A Top Dieting Mistake and How to Avoid It

What NOT to Do as You Start a New Diet

There is one popular diet strategy that is almost certainly doomed to fail, according to Eduardo Grunvald, MD, at the UC San Diego Health Weight Management Program in La Jolla.

“The idea of eating less in order to lose weight is one of the biggest dieting myths that exists today,” says Dr. Grunvald. “If you follow that advice, chances are you’re going to feel deprived and hungry. And when people are hungry, they go for the quickest food they can find, which in most cases will be higher calorie.”

“It may be possible to muscle through being really hungry and stick to your diet, but for every time someone stare down the cookies, chips, pizza, candy, etc., there are countless times when the cookies will win. When you let yourself get too hungry, all bets are off and for that moment, the diet is over,” he says.

The good news is that dieting doesn’t have to be that way. The research is clear, he says. Instead of simply trying to eat less, you can eat more— a lot more— by choosing lower calorie, higher volume foods such as fruits and vegetables that fill you up without the calories adding up. Feeling full makes it a lot easier to resist temptations to eat off your diet and as a result, you lose more weight.

“In our weight-loss program, we tell our dieters that it’s possible to eat a lot of food and still lose weight, Dr. Grunvald. "It’s much more important to change what you’re eating than it is to try to change how much you’re allowing yourself to eat.”

Dieting Strategies from Dr. Grunvald

Breakfast: Instead of a three-ounce doughnut of about 350 calories, have a protein shake with a cup of strawberries blended in. You’ll feel more full with almost a half-pound of food, but for only 200 calories.

Lunch: Instead of a fast food burger and fries (940 calories and about 14 ounces of food) have a low-calorie packaged entree with two cups of vegetables for 20 ounces of food and only 320 calories.

These are just some of the strategies used by dieters in the UC San Diego Health Weight Management Program, a lifestyle/weight management program that offers diet classes, at-home diet kits and a line of low-calorie, high-volume meal replacements including shakes and entrees. To learn more about the program, call 858-657-7237.

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