They're around every corner and upon every shelf, just waiting to leap into your shopping cart.
What we've learned over our years of research and study is that no matter how tuned in we may think we are to our eating habits, it really seems that we're a generation of mindless eaters and imbibers.
Here's the truth, most people think they make maybe 15 eating decisions a day, but there's been recent studies showing we actually make well over 200 decisions a day.
We just don’t realize this, and that’s what leads to mindless mistakes or as we like to say..."Diet-Dangers"!
Let me explain.
Clever food marketers are trying to sell you empty calories by the belly-load.
We overeat because of the cool or pretty packaging, distractions and containers, the shapes and smells.
Yes, the smells!
Super markets are now starting to entice you with artificial aroma misters.
The list of diet-dangers is almost as long as it is invisible.
Simply employ the various tips here to eat better, look better and keep some money in your wallet.
Don't Assume Fancier Means Healthier
Fast food can make you fat, so you may think dining at a sit-down establishment must be better, right?
In fact, a menu analysis of 24 national chains revealed that the average entree at a sit-down restaurant contains 867 calories, compared with 522 calories in the average fast-food entree.
And that's before appetizers, sides, or desserts, selections that can easily double your total calorie intake.
Take, for instance, the diet-dangers of ice cream bowls.
If you serve 2 scoops of ice cream into a small bowl, it will look like a lot more than if you had scooped it into a soup or salad bowl.
Even if you intended to carefully follow your diet, chances are, the larger bowl would subconsciously influence you to eat more than intended.
Don’t Get Supersized
These are serious diet-dangers!
Sure, it feels like you’re getting a bargain because you’re getting proportionately more food for proportionately less money, but because food is so inexpensive for manufacturers to produce on a large scale, your average fast-food outlet makes a sizable profit whenever you super-size your meal, even though you’re getting on average, 73 percent more calories for only 17 percent more money.
But of course you’re not actually buying more nutrients; you’re just buying more calories.
And that’s not something you want more of.
Wait Staff are Salespeople
A 2005 study published in the Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services found that you’re more likely to order a side dish when the server verbally prompts you (“Would you like fries with that?”).
Restaurants know this, and now you do as well.
When the waiter makes a suggestion, remember his job is not necessarily to make you happy.
Of course he'd like to earn a tip, but his or her job is to extract more money from your wallet and insert fat in its place.
Adopt three or so of the following strategies for avoiding diet-dangers.
* Grab the appetizer plate at the dinner buffet and put only two items on your plate per trip.
Return as many times as you like, sure, but only take two items each time.
For a 2008 study published in the journal Obesity, researchers offered patrons two plate sizes, 98.6 percent took the larger of the two to the buffet.
A bigger plate tricks your eye into thinking you’re not eating as much when you load it up, and after you start eating.
Use a smaller plate, get a smaller tummy.
All those trips back and forth will help burn calories.
Chow down on the healthy stuff (like broccoli and carrots) and then determine if you have room for the rest.
* Your dining partner may be making you fat.
I found this to be quite interesting.
Researchers from Eastern Illinois University have discovered that people consume 65 percent more calories when they eat with a person who opts for seconds than when they dine with a companion who does not.
* Thirst can masquerade as hunger, which is one reason dieters should stay hydrated.
Now German researchers have found another reason: Water fuels your body’s fat burners.
For 90 minutes after drinking 16 ounces of chilled water, adults saw their rate of metabolism rise by 24 percent over their normal rates.
The increase is partially attributed to the energy your body generates to warm the water during digestion.
So it stands to reason that the colder the water the better.
* Cut Your Food
Japanese researchers recently proved what dieticians have been saying for years.
Slicing your food into strips or bite-sized chunks may help you eat less.
Study participants who compared equal amounts of sliced and whole vegetables rated the sliced serving as much as 27 percent larger.
The end result: Believing that you're eating larger portions of food, causes you to feel more satisfied with fewer calories.
* Watch out for Weekends
A study in the journal Obesity reveals that people eat an average of 236 more calories on Saturday than on any given weekday.
Blame it on the break from your usual routine.
Because your day is not as structured on the weekends, neither are your eating habits.
So now that you are forearmed, you can focus more on friends, family and fun and not so much on the...
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