10 worst fat traps


Losing weight isn't easy, especially when you're surrounded by diet saboteurs. Check out the 10 most common fat traps and how you can avoid them.

THE CINEMA

Problem


A trip to the cinema can be a diet-breaker unless you are blessed with strong willpower. Although air-popped popcorn is a nutritious and diet-friendly snack, when butter and sugar are added, it can quickly lose its healthy credentials.

Solution


Try sneaking in a low-kilojoule packet of savoury popcorn, or go for a small portion of salted popcorn and share with a friend. Alternatively, take some dried fruit crisps for a crunchy snack without the fat and kilojoules.

YOUR WORKPLACE

Problem


Whether you're hankering after birthday cake in the kitchen, being tempted by refreshments at meetings, attending business lunches or being inundated with edible gifts, your workplace can be a source of constant food temptation and there can be a lot of pressure to indulge.

Solution


Bring in some healthy snacks or ask about the possibility of getting a fruit delivery for you and your colleagues to snack on at your desks and in meetings. Also, make it clear to your colleagues that you are eating healthily - after a few attempts they will most likely give up trying to persuade you to cave in.

PARTIES

Problem


Whether you're attending a house or cocktail party, the odds are nibbles are going to be on offer. Although these snacks may look small, the kilojoules can quickly add up and, with alcohol increasing your appetite, you may find it difficult to say no.

Solution


Try nibbling on healthier snacks such as vegetable crudites with salsa. Swap chips for olives, which will cure salt cravings. If you think the party may not have healthy snacks on offer, you could take your own to share.

TV DINNERS

Problem


Many of us spend our evenings in front of the television, often accompanying our viewing with meals and snacks. But, says the British Journal of Nutrition, eating when distracted can cause you to ignore signals from your body that you've had enough, leading you to eat more than you normally would.

Solution


Try to keep eating and watching television as separate activities. As we often snack out of boredom, try to limit your TV viewing to programmes that really engage you.

COFFEE SHOPS

Problem


Meeting a friend for a coffee may seem like a healthier option than getting together for a meal. However, even if you manage to resist the tempting cakes and treats on offer, many speciality coffees are rich in cream, whole milk and syrups and can contain as many kilojoules as a dessert.

Solution


Ditch the cream and swap rich and sugary coffees for skinny lattes, espressos and cappuccinos.

HANGOVERS

Problem


Drinking alcohol can lead to low blood sugar and salt levels which can trigger cravings and tiredness can affect your willpower. Consequently, hangovers can cause even the strongest-willed to give into cravings for greasy food and high-kilojoule snacks.

Solution


Although drinking less alcohol and alternating drinks is your best option, if you do overindulge you need to stock up on healthier hangover foods. Opt for fruit, which will raise your blood sugar levels and rehydrate you, and eggs, which will help raise your serotonin levels and fight alcohol-induced toxins.

3.23PM

Problem


Mid-afternoon is a dangerous time for snack cravings, generally caused by stress or boredom. Researchers for the Atkins Diet say that 62 per cent of people break their diets mid-afternoon, that 3.23pm is the time you are most likely to give in to temptation.

Solution


To sustain energy levels, make sure you eat a low-GI lunch such as vegetable soup with pulses or salads with beans or fish. Keep healthy snacks, such as nuts and dried fruit, to hand, or split your lunch in half and eat the rest later on.

Alternatively, try leaving interesting and enjoyable tasks for the afternoon to help prevent boredom or stress.

RESTAURANTS

Problem


Restaurant menus can be a minefield when dieting, with even the seemingly healthy options often smothered in oily and creamy sauces and dressings, and sugar appearing in many savoury foods.

Solution


Although it is good to treat yourself every so often, if you regularly visit restaurants it is important to dine out healthily. Opt for lean protein, such as chicken or fish, with salad or vegetables, and skip the dressings and sauces. Avoid being talked into sharing a dessert unless it is something you really want.

GROCERY DEALS

Problem


If your eyes light up at the sight of a two-for-one offer, you could be falling into a cleverly concealed fat trap.

Although many of us think of two-for-one offers as money-saving opportunities, they could just be encouraging us to buy more - and eat more - than we need. You may believe your purchases will last longer, but research shows that the more food that's put in front of us, the more we will in fact eat.

Solution


Only go for two-for-one deals on nutritious products which you know you will leave alone or are happy to eat more of. Avoid purchasing junk foods just because they are cheap.

WEEKENDS

Problem


Although many of us find it relatively easy to eat well during the week, it can be difficult to hold on to healthy intentions once the weekend comes around.

Solution: Restricting your diet seven days a week can seem too much like hard work, which is why many of us rebel at the weekends. However, by making sure you aren't restricting yourself too much during the week, you should find it less tempting to overindulge at the weekend.

For more lifestyle news see www.realbuzz.com

- Hamilton News

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