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7 deadly dieting sins

7 deadly dieting sins
Losing weight too fast Making drastic calorie cuts may seem like a good idea and, yes, the weight will melt away at first but, be warned, it won't last. Big weight losses in the early weeks are largely due to water loss and the weight comes back once you start eating normally. Very low-calorie diets may leave you nutritionally deficient and they won't help you to retrain your eating habits, which is the only way to keep the weight off long term. Stick to a slow, steady loss of no more than 1kg per week.

Falling at the first hurdle
Don't give up if you've had a bad day. Ups and downs are part of the process and nobody gets it right all the time. Forgive your failures, learn from your mistakes, pick yourself up and get back on track.

Fad diets Whether it's grapefruit, cabbage soup or low carb, dieticians say fad diets don't work, leading to yo-yoing weight loss and gain. A survey last year commissioned by the British Dietetic Association (BDA) found that one third of people were heavier than their original weight just weeks after dieting and the BDA blamed faddy diets.

Skipping meals to save calories
It's tempting and it can make you feel virtuous, but research suggests that skipping meals could mean you gain rather than lose weight. Studies show that when people skip breakfast, for example, it leads to high-fat snacking and overeating later in the day. It's better to eat little and often, rather than risk becoming so ravenous that you lose control and binge.

Leaving yourself wide open to temptation Being prepared is one of the cardinal rules of successful weight loss. Make sure you have some low-calorie satisfying snacks to hand, so you can turn your back on the mid-morning doughnut or chocolate biscuits.

Banishing treats Banning chocolate, crisps and other goodies for ever is unrealistic, unsustainable and likely to lead you into a diet/binge cycle, so allow yourself a little of what you fancy.

Not exercising
Eat less and you'll lose weight, but lose weight without exercising and you'll lose 75% fat and 25% muscle. If you include exercise in your weight-loss plan, you can cut muscle loss to 15%. Even resting muscle cells burn twice as many calories as fat cells and, when they're being exercised, they burn many more.

Published September 200

The answers to specific problems may not apply to everyone and are not substitutes for professional medical advice. If you're worried, see your GP.

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