Defeat Your Dietary Downfall

Most people have an Achilles’ heel when it comes to weight control. Diagnose yours and overcome your difficulties with these simple solutions for common problems.

Sucker for Snacking

Don’t worry—snacking isn’t forbidden. Snacks can help control your appetite. Just don’t add snacks to three full meals a day. Instead, break your meals into smaller portions and eat them over the day as snacks.

For example, save half a banana from your breakfast cereal and eat it midday. To keep it healthy, reach for cut veggies, low-fat yogurt, whole-grain crackers, air-popped popcorn, or pretzels when the snacking urge strikes.

Junk Food Junkie        

Give in—a little! Thinking of foods as “good” or “bad” often creates more problems than it solves. Depriving yourself will simply trigger the urge to overeat something else. Any food is okay in moderation. When you treat yourself to a small portion occasionally, it can reward you for keeping up your healthier habits.

Short on Cooking Time

Take advantage of pre-cut, frozen, or canned veggies. Add frozen vegetables or canned beans to your favorite canned soup to make an instant, filling meal. Buy pre-washed salad-in-a-bag. Cook ahead on the weekend, or just double the ingredients of your Sunday-night supper. Freeze serving-size portions so they’ll be quicker to thaw and reheat. And don’t forget the microwave. A baked potato topped with broccoli takes only a few minutes to make.

Emotional Eater

Boredom, fatigue, depression, and stress are common triggers for eating too much. To break the hand-to-mouth habit, look for other ways to address your needs. If you’re tired, try a brisk walk (or a nap if possible). If you’re having a tough day, call a friend or write in your journal. If you’re feeling down, try renting a funny movie. Or, once in a while, save your favorite treat for just such a situation.

Your Family Won’t Give Up Their Fries       

Start by letting your family know how important it is to you to maintain a healthy diet. Then make sure there’s at least one healthy food at every meal, and serve yourself a hearty portion of it while skimping on the rest.

Also, doctor your menus in ways your family won’t notice, like using evaporated skim milk instead of cream in sauces and thickening “cream” soups with puréed potato. Try baking thin potato slices coated with oil as an alternative to those French fries.

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