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Women's Health

10 Habits That Mess up a Woman's Diet

Despite hundreds of different diets spanning decades of weight loss attempts, women are heavier than ever. They diet more vigorously, take better care of their health, and, in general, eat better than men. Yet 6 out of every 10 women are overweight, more than 3 in 10 are obese, and the numbers increase with each passing year.

Obesity experts predict that unless this trend reverses, almost all women will be overweight by the year 2050! What’s up?

Ten bad habits often interfere with the ultimate goal to eat well and lose weight, according to a new A book that will be released in January, "10 Habits That Mess Up a Woman’s Diet" addresses those stumbling blocks and is believed to be the first book of its kind to pinpoint the bad habits - often unconscious and typically unique to women - that subtly undermine their best intentions at healthful eating.

The bottom line in "10 Habits" When a woman eats well, when she feasts on fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes, and recognizes the little habits that subtly undermine her intentions to eat right, she automatically loses weight without even trying. She reclaims her health as she fits back into that little black dress.

Here are some sneak preview tips from the book:

  • Nibbling off a friend’s plate, taste-testing, and finishing off the kids’ leftovers can undermine the best intentions to lose weight. Learn tricks for ending this habit!

  • To stop letting others make our food choices, from hefty portion sizes at restaurants to pressure from family members to "just have one more bite."

  • Most women think they’re eating more vegetables and fewer calories than they really are. Becompletely honest about how much you’re eating and how often you exercise.

  • One little diet trick could be all it takes to drop weight and dramatically improve your diet and health. (Eat more fruits and vegetables)

  • Happy Hour could be packing on the pounds. Drinks like margarita and even diet sodas can add more calories than you’d get in a double cheeseburger or slice of pizza. Learn how to socialize yet keep your waistline in tact.

  • Being "on" or "off" a diet or feasting on "good" or "bad" foods is an all-or-nothing mentality that leads from abstinence to binge. Learn how to make simple changes for long-term results.

  • Most fad diets, from food combining and fat-free to low-carb, don’t work long-term and the one little habit that could help you lose weight for good. (Having a specific plan.)

  • All those excuses for not losing weight (I only eat vegetables, or I don’t eat any more than my thin friends or I have a thyroid problem) or exercising more (I have a sore knee or I’ve tried everything and nothing works) are interfering with your life! Learn how to overcome excuses and reach your goals.

  • Women eat to soothe emotions and how to satisfy your emotional hunger without food.

The book's author, Elizabeth Somer, M.A., RD, is a registered dietitian who has carved a unique professional niche as a dietitian well-versed in nutrition research. For the past 25 years, she has read more than 100 studies a month, packaging that information into her newsletter Nutrition Alert. Ms. Somer is a frequent guest on NBC’s Today Show, and a monthly guest on AM Northwest.

© 2005 Health Resources Publishing