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How to stop people sabotaging your diet

Underminers come in all shapes and sizes. Avoid getting off-track with this advice.

Saboteur – Your Gym Buddy: Bringing a friend along to work out can be great motivation, unless that friend is pushing you to guzzle calorie-rich smoothies or heavy protein drink after every trip to the gym. “Not all exercises call for a supplement or sports shake,” says Caroline Kaufman, MS, RDN, a nutrition expert and blogger based in Los Angeles. “If you burn off 200 calories at the gym and then down a 350-calorie protein shake, you’re not doing yourself any favours.” The Fix: Skip the post-workout beverage and opt for a protein-rich snack when you get home, like Greek yogurt or half a turkey sandwich. If your friend insists you get something with her, your best choice is a smoothie with one or two fruits and skim milk.

Saboteur – Your Business Clients: If your job requires you to eat out frequently or attend meetings with a catered lunch, it can be easy to gobble calories without even noticing. The Fix: Follow what the experts do when ordering off a menu. “See if there are some healthy choices so you have a game plan,” Kaufman suggests. And if you can, order before others. “You won’t have time to hear your neighbours ordering the less-healthy options and change your mind,” she says.

Saboteur – Your Bar-Hopping Friend: She’s a fan of happy hours and absolutely needs you to come along. Unfortunately for you, this could mean drinking one too many cocktails and those calories quickly add up. What’s more, studies show that boozing can increase your appetite – especially for high-fat, savoury foods. The Fix: Stick to low-cal drinks like a glass of red wine and avoid those giant mixed cocktails at all costs. “They’re loaded with sugary juices or sodas,” says Bonnie Taub-Dix, MA, RDN, CDN, the author of Read It Before You Eat It and a New York-based dietician.

Saboteur – Your Kids: Your child may want to share a treat with you, like a brownie or cookie. “I’ve seen patients who have mentioned this happening,” Taub-Dix says. “And it’s really hard to say no.” The Fix: Say thank you and tell him you’re so full but will eat it later…then make a plan to avoid the temptation of actually eating it once she’s in bed. 

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