Diet traps that work against your plans to lose weight

Dietitian reveals common mistakes dieters make that could keep them from dropping the pounds

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DETROIT - Susan Nowasad and her daughter Sarah both want to be healthy and make it a habit to work out together at the Boll Family YMCA in downtown Detroit.

"You have to know what you want and it has to be important to you," said Susan.

Sarah, who lives in Corktown, said she likes to eat right and be healthy but foods should be enjoyed in moderation.

"If you want something that's not that great for you, have a little bit of it, satisfy the craving," said Sarah Nowosad. "What a lot of people do that doesn't help, is they try to starve themselves like they don't eat breakfast and then you know later on in the day they're really, really hungry so then you tend to eat more foods that are bad for you know potato chips and pop and stuff like that."

People can make poor choices with their diets, even with the best of intentions.
Judy Simon, a clinical dietitian from the University of Washington Medical Center said one common mistake is deciding to eat gluten-free as a way to lose weight.

"There's really nothing to do with weight loss when we talk about gluten," said Simon.

Simon said gluten-free dieters often lose weight because they consume fewer calories and carbs, not  because they cut gluten. She said another culprit can be healthy drinks like Vitamin Water. "You're kind of drinking sugar water, and you're spending a lot of money on it," said Simon.

She said to beware of snacks labeled low fat and used a bag of Chex Mix as an example.

"The claim on it is it has 50 percent less fat than potato chips," said Simon. But Simon said when you compare it to a bag of plain chips, it actually has more than twice  the calories.

Low sugar ice cream can also be a diet trap, according to Simon, because it has more artificial flavors and ingredients.

"What I tell people is if you want to enjoy a dessert, you'd probably do better with a smaller portion of the real thing," said Simon.

Another trap from Simon is low fat dressings.  She said they are often loaded with hidden sugars.

"Just because it has a health claim, doesn't mean it doesn't have calories," said Simon.

Charlene King, a Chicago native at the Boll YMCA working out while visiting family in the area, said people should consider how much they're eating.

"Sometimes portions are more important, so that you get all the nutrients that you need," said King.

King is newly retired and making regular exercise and a good diet priorities for her.
"You live longer and you have a better quality of life," King said.

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