Diet Traps

This page describes Easy Weight Loss Tips, the common factors that can interfere with a healthy diet and lifestyle. If you can avoid these and follow these solutions you will be on the right track!


Diet Trap 1: Wrong approach to dieting and waning willpower

Is this you?“I can’t stay motivated to stick to a diet long term”
The Solution
The first of the Easy Weight Loss Tips is simple. Don’t Diet! Diets fail because they are restrictive and often involve large changes to your eating habits that are hard to maintain in the long term.

It is better to make smaller changes (like 1-2 changes to your eating patterns every month) and forget the “all or nothing approach” (how often have you said, i will NOT eat chocolate from now on?) allow yourself small amounts of foods you view as “treats”, on a regular basis.

This will encourage compliance with your healthy eating changes.

Here are some Easy Weight Loss Tips Key points

  1. Make small changes to your diet that you can maintain over time
  2. Doesn’t have to be an all or nothing approach
  3. Don’t over restrict your diet



Diet Trap 2: Bad Habits
Is this you?“I don’t eat much during the day it’s after 4pm that the problem starts”
The Solution
The Australian magazine “Healthy Food Guide” recently did a poll which showed people usually reach for less healthy food in the afternoon or after dinner.

This is also consistent with other research. Reasons being: Energy levels decrease if food intake hasn’t been consistent during the day (i.e regular breakfast, morning snack and healthy lunch) so you are more likely to choose something high in fat or sugar to “pick you up”.

Also sleep deprivation can increase how much you eat due to changes in certain hunger regulating hormones so try and not fall for this diet trap and follow the Easy Weight Loss Tips.

Key points

  1. Eat regular meals during the day to avoid over eating later
  2. Get good quality sleep most nights
  3. Be mindful if you are eating out of hunger or other reasons



Diet Trap 3: Ignoring your hunger and fullness signals
Is this you?“I’m full but i’ll finish what’s on my plate anyway”
The Solution
As one of the most important tip out of the Easy Weight Loss Tips, This is a common diet trap that may have come from your childhood when your mother told you to eat everything or no desert/plat time etc. But what you are doing is not listening to how much fuel your body needs. Perhaps you eat quickly so you don’t give your body enough time to register that you are full (a meal should take at last 20 minutes, any quicker and you are likely to eat beyond fullness without actually knowing it)

Key points

  1. Only eat when you are hungry (the exception to this is at breakfast time as you need breakfast to “Wake up” your metabolism to start burning fuel. Without it you are likely to have a lower metabolic rate in the morning but over eat later in the day when hunger kicks in)
  2. Eat slowly and listen to your body. The slower you eat the better the signalling process from your stomach to your brain will be and the more likely you are to feel satisfied when you are satisfied. That is the point when you have had enough fuel and need to stop eating.
  3. Eat small meals every 3-4 hours to keep your metabolism burning kilojoules throughout the day. More than 5 hours without food and you will probably eat a much larger meal due to being over hungry
  4. Portion control. Portion out what you know is the right portion, perhaps even a bit less. Once you have finished this (having eaten slowly remember!) if you are still hungry after 10 minutes, have a bit more or a healthy desert but only if you are still hungry.
  5. Avoid mindless eating. No eating while you are doing things such as watching TV, studying, or cooking. Set time aside for meals and snacks and only eat then. Certain researchers have shown that people who eat mindlessly eat up to 40% more kilojoules in a day. Crazy!
  6. Emotional reason. If you are an emotional eater and you know it, try to address the reasons behind the emotions you are filling and set goals to do something other than eat. For example “when I feel bored today I will go for a walk” this has the added benefit of keeping you out of the kitchen. Once you return from your walk and the boredom has passed you will probably not feel like eating any more.



Diet Trap 4: Eating out and Environmental factors
Is this you?“ I eat healthy until i go out with friends for dinner”

“ I don’t eat cake unless i’m at work for morning tea”

The Solution
Research has shown that we eat up to twice as much when we go out with friends/family compared to when we are at home, especially if the people you socialise with are also overweight. This combined with increasing portion sizes can lead to some nasty blow outs to the fat intake budget!

Key points

  1. Order smaller portions or share a meal with your partner
  2. Think before eating? Am I full yet
  3. Take advantage of being in a social setting and talk or drink water in between mouthfuls so the meal takes longer and you become more aware of when you are full.
  4. If possible avoid drinking alcohol with meals, it loosens your inhibitions so you may think “desert won’t hurt me” when you know you are already full.
  5. Try to socialise more with supportive friends. If you have a group that likes to order buffets every time perhaps make outings with them less frequent.
  6. Try other ways of socialising. In summer go to the beach or park and play sports together, bring a healthy picnic, in winter try in-door ice skating. All these options are fun as well!



Diet Trap 5: the Guilt/Binge eating cycle
Is this you?“I can’t just stop at one”
The Solution
Do you have a muffin and feel guilty about it?

So guilty that you finish all 6?

Then you blow off the whole day of healthy eating because you think you’ve blown it?

It sounds like you are a “Restrained eater” i.e form strict rules then break them then feel guilty and eat more.

Restrained eaters label certain foods as forbidden so when they do eat them they feel like a failure. Often low self esteem and emotional eating come hand in hand.

Practice the “moderation mindset”. One of the most common of all diet traps .If you happen to overeat you probably haven’t eaten enough in the one sitting to gain actual fat weight but a whole week of overeating is a different story. So eat extra healthy the day after a blow, perhaps more fruit or vegetables than you usually have, out but don’t skip meals to compensate for your blow out as this will make things worse.

Key points

  1. Don’t place labels on good and bad foods: everything is ok as long as it is in moderation.
  2. If you do overdo it, take it as one meal out of hundreds of good meals you have eaten so make healthy choices for the rest of your day/week.