Due to the popularity of low fat and lower-fat foods, nearly everything has a low-fat version nowadays, even TV dinners and candy. In the effort to lose weight, many people have turned to traditional low calorie and low fat foods such as salads or have driven past fast food places such as McDonalds in favor of restaurants that are more diet friendly, yet they leave the restaurant and wonder why they still weigh the same as if they had that Big Mac Meal after all. Many low-fat meals can actually be more fat and calories than meals that are thought to be high fat.
Many people make the wrong choices when it comes to food, choosing something like lasagna over something like salad, but even when they make the right choice (the salad), they can easily stumble. One example is that a person having a supposedly healthy salad will usually add a lot of cheese, crutons, bacon bits, and salad dressing (I’m really guilty of this). Not that these things are really bad for you in moderation, but they can add the calories quickly.
A person easting a low-fat, low-calorie snack will, on average, eat 25-30 percent more than if that person was eating a snack that was less healthy. A person is also more likely to eat dessert after what was supposed to be a low-fat, low-calorie meal. In general, people seem to think that they can eat more of the lower calorie food than they can eat of the higher calorie food. This, of course, tends to negate the benefit of eating healthy.
Another thing that destroys many people’s diets is when the dieter realizes that they have exceeded their daily limit and decides to go ahead and eat more because the day is a loss anyway. This What-The-Hell attitude only makes matters worse and even negates the benefits of days where the person did not exceed their limits.
Another thing that trips people up is believing that low cholesterol is the same thing as low fat. This is wrong, because low-fat and low cholesterol are rarely together in the same food.
Several marketing stidies over the years have found that people are more likely to trust packaging over their own common sense. People will believe that the food they are eating will help reduce the risk for heart disease, even if something like the heart- healthy label is on something like lasagna. Companies are looking to take advantage of this without running the risk of false advertisement. Many could have already found a way.
Few people- only 10-20 percent- know how to count calories. A few of the rest of us can only guess at our calorie or fat intake, but usually the guess is extremely low, as low as 40 percent below actual intake.
This sounds dire for those of us who do not completely understand calories, fat, cholesterol, and the other things in food that we need to keep watch on, but all is not lost. One way to keep your calorie and fat intake down if you are not sure what you are eating is to stop eating when there is a little bit of food still left on your plate. This has always seemed like a big waste of food to me, so I have always tried to put smaller portions on my plate in the first place. Also, do not try to be a drill sergeant with your diet, there is nothing worse than being an adult and being told that you absolutely can not have something. It only makes it that much harder to stay away from what you are trying to stay away from. Indulge yourself once a week for good behavior.
Remember when on your diet, that moderation has always been the key to most successful diets.