STYLE

Are You Ruining Your Diet?

02/11/2010 11:01 | Updated 22 May 2015

Are you ruining your diet without realising? Find out what simple little things may be secretly sabotaging your plans.

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Diet busters

Pub measures of wine have increased in the last few years – and if you regularly order a large (250ml) glass of white you'll be racking up around 200 calories per glass. That's the equivalent to a chocolate bar – so it makes sense to alternate with soft drinks or opt for spritzers if you're watching your weight.

Diet busters

Just because food is healthy, that doesn't mean you can eat as much as you want. Keep an eye on portion sizes, and be extra careful with carbs like pasta, rice and potatoes, as it's easy to over eat. As a guide, aim to fill half your plate with salad or veg, one quarter with starchy foods and one quarter with protein.

Diet busters

It's fine to drink juice in moderation, but bear in mind that it only counts as one of your 'five a day', no matter how much you drink. Fruit juice is full of natural sugars, so it can send your blood sugar levels soaring and leave you craving sweet foods. For this reason, it's best to limit yourself to one small glass with breakfast.

Diet busters

Diet drinks are virtually calorie-free, so many dieters rely on them to satisfy their sweet tooth. However studies show that diet drinks can actually make it harder to lose weight as artificial sweeteners can trigger over-eating and weight gain.

Diet busters

If you like to start the day with a coffee-shop latte, then don't be surprised if your weight loss stalls. A grande Starbucks latte, made with whole milk contains 223 calories – so if you have Monday-Friday, you'll be consuming an extra 1000 calories each week. If you can't kick the habit, then order a tall skinny cappuccino, which comes in at just 64 calories.

Diet busters

Cereal bars might seem like a healthy alternative – but they're usually not. Most of them are high in fats and sugars. If the bar contains nuts and dried fruit they are likely to contain as many calories as a bar of chocolate. Make time for a proper breakfast instead, and snack on fruit, nuts or yoghurt instead.

Diet busters

It's a good idea to fill up on salad if you're watching your weight – but resist the temptation to add creamy dressing as some of these contain around 150 calories per tablespoon. When eating out, ask for dressing on the side, and when eating at home try dressing your salad with lemon juice or balsamic vinegar mixed with a teaspoon of olive oil instead.

Diet busters

It's fine to chew gum occasionally, but if you're getting through a whole pack each day, then it could be interfering with your weight loss. Sugar-free gum contains sweeteners that can cause bloating and interfere with fat burning. The action of chewing prepares your body for food – when no food arrives, you'll find that your tummy starts growling and you'll be desperate for a snack.

Diet busters

Yes, fruit is natural and healthy – but eat too much of it and your jeans won't get any looser. Fruit is packed with natural sugar, which your body converts straight to fat. So opt for berries, plums and peaches, which have a lower GI and won't affect blood sugar levels too much, and limit yourself to one or two servings each day.

Diet busters

It's important to eat a healthy breakfast, and most of us assume that muesli is a healthy choice. It's true that muesli contains lots of wholegrains and nuts – but it's high in calories, so watch your serving size or your healthy breakfast could cost you 400 calories. Look for a brand with no added sugar (that includes honey) and measure out 30-40g. Better still, make your own using jumbo oats, chopped nuts and seeds and serve with skimmed milk and fresh fruit.

Diet busters

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