Do You Know Your Danger Zones?

You’ve been watching your weight and practicing portion control when all of a sudden you find yourself in troubled waters — your willpower tested! Whether you’re letting loose at your favorite all-you-can-eat buffet, snacking after a stressful day or indulging in your aunt’s macaroni casserole, it’s important to recognize your danger zones. Here are eight tips to get through them.

Here’s how to get through eight eating habits that can lead to weight gain.

1. Avoid watchin’ and grubbin’

Try not to munch while you’re watching TV. If you’re distracted by your favorite show, you might miss your belly’s cues that you’re full! If you plan to snack, bring a small portion (instead of the whole bag) to the couch.

2. Don’t go overboard at the buffet

Practice portion control by sticking to one plate with small portions. A good rule of thumb: Make your plate GO GREEN and load up on the veggies!

3. Play it safe on the weekend

You’ve stuck to a healthy eating plan all week. Now don’t let the weekend get you off track! Make time to exercise and plan healthy meals in advance.

4. Plan ahead when you dine out

Eating out at your favorite restaurant? Don’t leave the house without a plan. For starters, avoid ordering appetizers or bread, which often contain extra fat, calories and sodium. Choose broiled or baked over fried. And don’t be embarrassed to ask your waiter how things are prepared.

5. Don’t have fries with that!

Sometimes you just don’t have time to sit down for a meal. Avoid making a pit stop for fast food by packing a healthy meal before you go.

6. Listen to your heart before you eat

People often turn to food to deal with stress. Ask yourself first, “Am I really hungry?” Try another activity like talking with a friend or loved, taking a long walk or joining a fitness class.

7. Watch how you snack on the job

Some days it’s hard to peel yourself away from your desk for a nutritious meal. We tend to eat what’s quick and convenient but not healthy. Pack your lunch (and some healthy snacks) the night before to help control calories and portions. You’ll stay healthier and have more energy.

8. Sleep more to eat less

Being overtired can lead to weight gain. A recent study showed that people who were sleep deprived ate more than 500 additional calories a day! Make sure to get the rest your need – your body will thank you.

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