Is your diet backfiring on you?

It's true at the end of the day you want to cut some calories from your standard intake, but skipping breakfast, lunch or both and having a big dinner is a big mistake. This method boosts a hormone that signals hunger. Not only that but excess calories will be stored not utilized. Having at least three meals a day is your best bet.

On the other hand, constant grazing rather than eating regularly scheduled meals is another bad idea. Studies show regularly fixed times for meals helps the body to burn more calories along with releasing less insulin. Sticking to a schedule helps your system stay on track.

One of the worst diet tricks is crash dieting for a big event, cutting calories below 1200. This method slows metabolism and causes muscle loss, so when regular meals resume weight easily pops back on. So plan ahead and aim for a goal of losing just one pound a week.

The National Weight Control Registry finds that only 20 percent of dieters keep weight off for more than a year due to brief stints in cutting back. Setting short term goals has been found to fail as most let their old eating habits creep back in.

While experts applaud those who allow themselves small portions of foods they truly love, having a few free days each week generally puts pounds right back on. So watch out on weekends.

Then there are those that think healthy translates to low calorie. Words like sugar free, whole grain, even trans fat free foods might be healthy choices, but they still contain a lot of calories.

While you may have heard it before it bears repeating, the front of the package is an advertisement. If you're looking to cut calories you need to turn the package around to get the nutrition facts.



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