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As millions of dieters resolve to lose weight in the New Year, it can be helpful to know what NOT to do as you start a new diet. According to Rick Riess, Director of Behavioral Medicine for HMR, the biggest mistake dieters make is to use the popular dieting strategy to simply eat less.
"The idea of eating less is one of the biggest dieting myths that exist today," Riess says. He adds that, "If you follow that advice, chances are you're going to feel deprived and hungry. And when people are hungry, they go for the quickest food they can find, which in most cases will be higher calorie."
He adds that, "It may be possible to muscle through being really hungry and stick to your diet, but for every time someone does stare down the cookies, or the chips, pizza, candy, etc., there are countless times when the cookies win. When you let yourself get hungry, all bets are off, and for that moment, the diet is over."
The good news is that dieting doesn't have to be that way. Riess says the research is clear. Instead of simply trying to eat less, you can eat more, a lot more, of lower calorie, higher volume foods such as fruits and vegetables that will fill you up without the calories adding up. Being full makes it a lot easier to resist temptations to eat off the diet, and as a result, you lose more weight.
He adds that it's possible to eat a lot of food and still lose weight. He says, "It's much more important to change what you're eating than it is to try to change how much you're allowing yourself to eat."
He offers the following examples:
Breakfast: Instead of a 3 oz. donut for about 350 calories, have a weight-loss shake with a cup of strawberries blended in. You'll feel more full with almost a half-pound of food, for only 200 calories.
Lunch: Instead of a fast food burger and fries (940 calories and about 14 oz. of food), have a low-calorie packaged entree with two cups of vegetables for 20 oz. of food and only 320 calories.
Dinner: Instead of Fettuccine Alfredo (3 cups of food with around 1,300 calories), have the same amount of whole wheat pasta with a low-fat marinara sauce, and add at least a cup of vegetables. You'll be eating the same amount of food, but saving around 800 calories!
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