Diet Mistakes: 6 Reasons You're Not Losing Weight (cont.)

And, at fast-food restaurants, "grilled chicken and salads are not always better than a burger," notes Lichten. "It all depends on the size and the toppings."

For example, the Burger King Tendergrill sandwich with honey mustard dressing has 450 calories while their Whopper Jr., with mustard instead of mayo, has only 290 calories. At McDonald's, the Caesar salad with crispy chicken and creamy dressing totals 490 calories, while a Quarter Pounder weighs in at 410 calories.

Diet Mistake No. 6: Mindless Eating

"Eating amnesia" is the act of unknowingly putting hand to mouth, usually from a bag or box in front of the television, while reading a book. It can also happen at happy hour, or when you finish the last few bites on your child's plate.

"Resist the temptation to clean yours or anyone else's plate," says Gidus. "Think about your waistline instead of the food waste."

Consider the calories in small portions of some of our favorite snacks, and see how quickly they can add up when portions are multiplied:

  • 1 Twinkie: 150 calories
  • 12 peanut M&Ms: 125 calories
  • 1 ounce of French fries: 88 calories
  • 1.5 donut holes: 100 calories
  • 3 Hershey kisses: 75 calories
  • 3 Oreo cookies: 160 calories
  • 15 tortilla chips: 142 calories
  • 20 potato chips: 162 calories

And how can you kick the mindless eating habit?

"First, try to get out of the habit of always eating something while you are sitting and relaxing," says Gidus. "Try a cup of tea, glass of water, or chew a piece of sugarless gum. If you want a snack, portion it out of the bag or container."

Published July 11, 2007.


SOURCES: Joanne Lichten, PhD, RD, author, Dining Lean. Tara Gidus, MS, RD, spokeswoman, American Dietetic Association; nutrition consultant, Tampa, Fla.

©2007 WebMD Inc. All rights reserved.


Last Editorial Review: 7/13/2007



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