Follow us on Pinterest
Welcome! Log In | Register |
Log In with

Excuse-Proof Your Diet

  • Comment Comments (6)
  • Print Print
I'm too busy. I'm stressed. I have PMS. Sound familiar? Here's how to stop whining and start losing.

Dieting Excuses and Strategies

Oops, I did it again. I gave in to the late-night siren song of Ben & Jerry's blaring from my freezer. As I scarf down New York Super Fudge Chunk, I come up with all kinds of reasons I need, even deserve, it. "We fool ourselves into thinking it's okay to give in to temptation, focusing on short-term gratification instead of long-term consequences," says psychologist Judith S. Beck, PhD, author of The Beck Diet Solution. Here, nine diet cop-outs and ways to reclaim control and ditch the excuses -- and the excess pounds -- for good.

Cop-Out: "I'm on vacation."

Everyone deserves a little R&R, but when rest equals a hiatus from exercise, and relaxation means eating everything in sight, you'll be packing more pounds on your return trip. "A few cocktails and three restaurant meals can easily sneak in an extra 2,000 to 3,000 daily calories," says Dawn Jackson Blatner, RD, a FITNESS advisory board member and author of The Flexitarian Diet. "In one week, that can add up to four to six pounds of fat."

Take charge. "Don't plan for perfection; instead, plan to indulge in moderation by paring down portions," Blatner suggests. Tasting the culture is part of the experience, so sample the local delicacies and skip the stuff you can get anywhere. (Brie in France? Oui. French fries? Non.) Do the opposite with vacay libations: Stick with your usual white wine or Bloody Mary as opposed to sugary, umbrella-adorned drinks. Finally, work some calorie-blasting fun into the itinerary: Go sightseeing by bike or try a new activity, like surfing.

Cop-Out: "I have PMS."

Take comfort in the fact that symptoms like cramps and mood swings aren't totally in your head. You may be extra susceptible to carb attacks; although we all experience fluctuations in estrogen and progesterone, certain women are more affected by them. "It's possible that those who are prone to PMS experience a drop in the brain chemical serotonin, and that can cause a spike in appetite -- especially cravings for carbohydrates," explains Stephanie Collins Reed, PhD, assistant professor of clinical neurobiology at Columbia University.

Take charge. Tame the PMS monster by tracking your cycle at mymonthlycycles.com (or try the iPeriod app); it will help you keep your blood sugar stable while your hormones ride the roller coaster. In the week before and during your period, reach for healthy, high-fiber snacks every few hours; choose those that provide a steady release of energy and satisfy your sweet -- or salty -- tooth. "Dip four strawberries in two tablespoons melted dark chocolate chips and refrigerate for 10 minutes, or have three cups of air-popped popcorn sprinkled with Parmesan," Blatner suggests.

Cop-Out: "But he's eating all that!"

The sexes are supposed to be equal, but our metabolism never got the memo. Men burn more calories at rest because they tend to have more muscle (muscle blasts more calories than fat does). Do the math: A 30-year-old man who is five feet 10 inches tall and weighs 175 pounds burns about 2,600 calories a day, while a woman of the same age, weight and height burns a little more than 2,200 calories a day. "Women are gaining more weight because they're consuming the same huge portions," explains weight-loss expert Jim Karas, author of The 7-Day Energy Surge.

Take charge. Instead of eating like a man, try exercising like one, with an emphasis on strength moves. If you don't have time to hit the weight room, do 10 push-ups and Supermans (lie on your stomach and raise your head, arms, and legs off the ground, as if you're flying, for as long as you can; rest for 30 seconds and repeat). Do three sets every other day and you'll build maximum muscle in minimum time. When mealtime rolls around, have half of what he's having. (Hint: Use a smaller plate to make the difference less obvious.)

What do you think of this story?  Leave a Comment.

What do you think? Review this story!
7903870272
libby70302 wrote:

I just started using a new gourmet instant coffee that helps reduce appetite, eliminate cravings, reduce portion sizes, decrease stored carbs and recharge your metabolism to burn more fat. Javita Burn + Control works because it contains two safe, proven herbs: YERBA MATE: Helps suppress appetite, and increases caloric burn rate. GARCINIA CAMBOGIA: Helps decrease your appetite and reduces the amount of carbs stored as fat. Visit www.myjavita.com/thecoffeebiz to learn more!

5/23/2014 06:38:30 PM Report Abuse
a3984502 wrote:

Right now I am following the Diet Plan for You blog by nutrition specialist Kate Hill. Kate helped me lose weight in a healthy way in few weeks, without starving! If you want to lose weight, just visit Kate's blog at: http://dietplanforyou.blogspot.com

3/4/2012 03:26:02 AM Report Abuse
anonymous wrote:

I'm developing a new anti-eating habit: brush my teeth and I won't eat!

11/2/2011 10:01:07 AM Report Abuse
lisasalinas88 wrote:

The more I exercise, the more I crave. The solution for me is to simply ignore the hunger pain until it is time for me to eat and then stick with my proportions. A little pain and discomfort is sometimes necessary.

5/6/2011 06:49:25 PM Report Abuse
drdnoe wrote:

For me evening cravings are a bad habit. To me they are no different than smoking or heroin. I believe that if I can break the habit, say 'no' night after night, that I too can be 'in recovery' and stop the madness.

3/3/2011 01:48:13 PM Report Abuse

Add your comment

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Register | Log In

Please confirm your comment by answering the question below and clicking "Submit Comment."

Todays Daily Prize
More Smart Savings
Fitness Magazine on Facebook