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7:25 PM Fri, Nov. 16th

Avoid these common mistakes when dieting

Have you ever wondered why it seems like when you are really rushed for time or when you chose to eat out it seems like you gain weight?

Some top nutrition experts have watched what people tend to choose at restaurants and grocery stores. The following are the top five common mistakes they believe people make that contribute to an unhealthy diet and weight gain:

1. People try to get more for their money. People feel the need to buy super-sized portions to get a bargain. But is getting more worth consuming more calories? Portion sizing is essential for weight loss success. For example, a small order of french fries from McDonald's has 230 calories and 11 grams of fat. A large order of fries has 500 calories and 25 grams of fat.

2. People assume that liquids don't provide too many calories. Sodas, juices, instant lemonade, iced teas and cocoas all provide calories mainly from sugar. Cutting out sugary beverages can save hundreds of calories and leave room for more nutritious foods. For example, a small soda from McDonald's has about 150 calories, but a large soda has 310 calories (unless a diet soda is ordered). A small Minute Made orange juice contains 150 calories. A large one contains 280 calories.

3. People don't always recognize when they are truly hungry. Many people eat in response to the slightest feeling of hunger even if they may just be thirsty, or reacting to the sight or smell of food. It's important to understand when your body needs fuel and when your body is full. It is also important to recognize when your body needs water.

4. People don't know how to fit fats in their diet. If you don't know which fats are bad, you may consume too many that increase the risk of heart disease. If you don't consume good fats, you can miss out on essential nutrients your body needs for good health. And if you don't portion size, you can easily consume too many calories.

Stick to the good fat choices on your Diet Center program, and learn to familiarize yourself with the portions. It will help you fit in fat for good health and still lose weight.

5. People don't make time to prepare food. Technology has made convenience a priority. However, convenience foods such as frozen entrees, boxed instant meals, and canned items tend to be high in sodium, fat and/or calories. They also tend to be low in fiber. Try to make an effort to limit how often convenience foods are consumed. You can also learn to read labels and select more nutritious convenience items.