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Folic Acid

Diets to Make You Wary
Here are some diet programs that doctors say to shy away from:
• Single-food diets. These diets (e.g., all-fruit) don’t retrain your eating habits and can be dangerous because they are nutritionally unbalanced.
• Highly restrictive diets. The weight you lose from these (e.g., low-carbohydrate plans) is mostly water, which you will gain back when you stop the diet-as, eventually, you must.
• Diet pills without a doctor’s prescription. Again, pills don’t correct your bad habits, and some appetite killers can be addictive.
• High-fat diets. Most medical experts say these can increase cholesterol levels and the risk of heart attack. They also are hard to stick with. Unfortunately, Parade’s survey could not determine the success of high-fat diets.
Act Thin to Be Thin
To lose weight successfully, you have to change your eating behavior.
Psychologists have discovered how to do that with behavior modification. In essence, you reward yourself for appropriate eating behavior and punish yourself for bad eating habits.
Unfortunately, eating is its own reward: The taste gives us pleasure; food assuages our hunger and, for some people, calms nerves. Because eating is so pleasurable, why aren’t we all as big as mountains? Our body punishes us with uncomfortable feelings of fullness. We don’t overeat.
But some people continue to eat even when they are not hungry. In Parade’s survey, one person in five said he or she eats when not hungry. That leads to diet failure.
Behavior modification works by making you aware of your eating-to counter the pleasure of food that overrides your sense of fullness. To begin, write down when you eat, what you eat, where you eat, and how you feel when you eat.
If you find that you nibble all day, restrict your eating to mealtimes. If you munch all over the house, eat only at the table. Stop eating when you read or watch television.
And if you eat to calm your nerves, find alternatives to food, like phoning a friend or, better, exercising.
Dr. Albert J. Stunkard, of the University of Pennsylvania, says that, although the amount of weight lost is modest, behavior modification works better than almost anything in maintaining weight loss over the long run.

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