Are your eating habits sabotaging your efforts to slim down? Dietician Cynthia Sass, RN, provides five strategies for better results.
It might be tempting to "save up" calories for dinner out or the weekend, but that can sap energy, mess with your mood and force your body to burn muscle for fuel—which slows down your metabolism. One study found that when people ate just one large meal late in the day, they upped their risk of prediabetes. I once had a client who stopped losing weight because she moved her afternoon snack to the evening—which meant a seven-hour stretch of no food between lunch and dinner and two rounds of eating at night, when her activity was low.
The Fix: Eat every three to five hours. That keeps your metabolism on high, burning the calories you've just eaten and more. Once my client moved her snack back to 4 p.m., the scale dial budged again.