The Top 5 Diet Blunders from Weight Watchers

You're eating less and exercising more. Why won't that scale budge? Even when you feel like you're doing everything right, there are certain behaviors that can still get in the way. Are you guilty of any of these habits?

1. Skipping Breakfast
Running late for work again? Before you bolt out the door on nothing but a cup of coffee, be aware that skipping breakfast can be bad news for weight loss. Chances are, you're going to feel hungry later, and that may be when you have less access to healthy food and are more likely to reach for a doughtnut.

Antidote: Keep something on hand that you can eat on the run, such as fruit, yogurt or fat-free cereal bars.

2. Feasting on Family Favorites
When your kids or spouse have a favorite family meal, it's hard to ban it from your menu list. Family favorites, such as lasagna, are often high in fat and calories.

Antidote: Treat yourself to a smaller serving of the main meal and a large serving of vegetables or salad. It's also a good idea to try to find a lower-fat version of the family favorite.

3. Social Overeating
Eating whatever you wanted at a restaurant was okay in the days when people ate out only a few times a year. But these days we eat out every week, if not every day.

Antidote: Search the menu for meals cooked using low-fat methods, such as grilling or stir-frying, and ask for sauces and dressings on the side. That way you can control how much you have.

4. Not Counting Nibbles
A few potato chips while you clean the house. Just a sliver of cake while you cook dinner. When we snack, we tend to be standing up or have our attention focused on another task. This can lead to thinking the calories "don't count." Unfortunately, they do.

Antidote: Set ground rules, such as "I don't eat in the car or while I'm watching television." And always, always keep track of everything you eat during the day. Knowing you'll have to write it down will make you think twice about having that one bite.

5. Expecting Too Much Too Soon
After several months of dedication you're down in the dumps — you feel the scale has barely moved. Expecting too much weight loss too soon is an extremely common diet blunder. A healthy rate of weight loss is up to two pounds a week. But many people aim for more than that, then feel like failures and give up when they don't reach that unrealistically high goal.

Antidote: Make "slow and steady" your diet mantra. If you really don't believe that one to two pounds amounts to much weight loss, lift two pounds of butter the next time you're at the supermarket. You'll realize how well you're doing.

BONUS: READ LABELS! High fructose corn syrup is in almost all processed food!

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