What to do: Write down what you’re eating.

Starting a food diary is a research-proven weight loss technique. If you’ve never kept a food journal before, click on the link below to try Prevention’s free My Health Tracker tool and start logging food calories and portions. If you have logged food calories before, start again to track what you’re eating and how much.

Jeannie Gazzaniga-Moloo, PhD, RD, spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association, says keeping a food diary helps you get back to being accountable. “It raises awareness and gets you focused on eating healthier foods.”

3:30PM

You might be feeling midafternoon hunger pangs and eyeing that leftover cake in the fridge. But before you reach for a slice, take a deep breath and assess what your body needs.

What to do: Keep hunger under control.

Drink a glass of water and wait about 10 minutes to determine if you are truly hungry. It’s easy to mistake hunger for thirst, notes Dee Sandquist, RD, spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association.

If you are still hungry, have a small snack. Research has shown that eating regular meals or snacks every 3 to 4 hours can keep you from overeating.

Graham cracker snack (Total Calories: 137)

1. 1/4 c grapes

2. 2 graham cracker squares

3. 8 oz water

6:30PM

A healthy dinner doesn’t mean you have to spend hours in the kitchen. This easy recipe is ready in less than 10 minutes.

Personal Pizza (Total Calories: 396)

1. Top 1 toasted whole wheat pita with 1/2 c chopped tomatoes, 1/4 c shredded part-skim mozzarella, 1/2 c grilled chicken breast, and 1/4 c chopped sun-dried tomatoes.

2. Sprinkle with minced garlic and oregano.

3. Place under oven broiler until bubbly

7 PM

If you didn’t get any exercise today, go for a 10-minute walk after dinner. Walking after eating can help relieve belly bloat.

10 PM

Late night is often a very dangerous time for snackers, who reach for food out of boredom, emotion, or exhaustion. You can help avoid this temptation by just brushing your teeth, washing your face and hitting the sack!

What to do: Get at least 7 hours of sleep.

Getting enough sleep is one of the best things you can do to get back on track after overeating, says Sandquist. Research shows there are links between inadequate sleep and obesity. A study from Case Western Reserve University of about 68,000 middle-age women found that those who slept 5 or fewer hours were 32% more likely to experience major weight gain, and 15% more likely to become obese, than those who slept an average of 7 hours.

For the rest of the week, remember to:

• Weigh yourself to stay aware of the damage (and if you’re undoing it)

• Continue with your exercise plan

• Engage in positive self-talk and encouragement

• Eat meals around the same time every day

• Eat snacks with a serving of MUFAs, such as avocados, nuts, olives and dark chocolate

• Eat slowly

By following the above plan of attack, you (and your hips, butt and belly) will feel better before you know it!

Erasing Weekend Diet Damage  was originally published on blackdoctor.org

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