Dieting Pitfalls Part 2: Stuck on Second Helpings


In order to succeed with losing weight, you must have the mindset of a seasoned soldier. Your daily task is to watch for potential pitfalls and be prepared to respond to them.

In the previous article, Dieting Pitfalls Part 1: Are You Sabotaging Yourself?, we reviewed some of the common physical ways you can derail your good nutritional intentions. In this second part of the series, we will cover some additional ways you can be your own worst enemy.

The second time around

    • If you are accustomed to having second helpings with meals, this habit can be hard to break. However, going back for second helpings is probably due more to habit than bodily hunger. This is especially true if you tend to eat fast. Within the brain is an appetite control center called the ‘Appestat.’ It regulates feelings of hunger and satisfaction. However, the Appestat takes

20 minutes

     to register satisfaction once you have started eating. So if you eat really fast, then you could end up eating two or three helpings before the Appestat says “Enough!” You want to make the Appestat your friend. There are two ways to do this. The first option is to slow down and enjoy your meal so that it lasts twenty minutes. The second option is to eat as fast as you always have, but instead of going back for a second helping, give yourself a time out. Wait 10 minutes to check if you are still hungry. You finish your meal, and then enjoy the environment, chat with friends, or think about what your next adventure is going to be for the next 10 minutes. If you are still hungry, then you may eat the second helping. If not, then you can go on to other things.

My crazy life

    This last item is the most important to ensuring your weight loss victory: Making sure that the things you can control in your life are controlled. If you are dealing with a lot of needless stress because you haven’t taken the time to manage your time well, then that will hinder you. To lose weight requires planning and good organization. You must plan your grocery lists so that you can have the foods necessary to obtain good health; you must schedule time to exercise; finally, you must take adequate time for rest and relaxation. If you fail to do these things, then you will ultimately fail in achieving your goals. Is your home cluttered? Are you constantly late for work? These are some items that need to be evaluated to get your life in order. Again, you want to create an environment that makes it easy for you to win. If your home is cluttered, then clean up one small corner. You will boost your confidence, which will translate into other areas of your life. If you are constantly late for work, make sure that you give yourself plenty of time to prepare adequately for unforeseen delays, such as traffic snarls. You might iron what you are going to wear the night before, take your shower at night, or learn how to make breakfast smoothies to create a faster breakfast option.

While I have covered the most common physical pitfalls that can sabotage your best dieting efforts, this list is not all inclusive. There are also mental pitfalls that can sabotage you. We will cover those issues in Dieting Pitfalls Part 3: Is Your Mind in Shape?

A Registered Nurse for many years, Kimberly Floyd battled obesity for much of her adult life. She was finally able to achieve her ideal weight and is currently writing a book that is designed to help others win their weight loss battles entitled ‘Take Back Your Temple’.

Kim has written articles for the Georgia Nurses Association publication and Nursing Spectrum Online. Now a technical writer, she has written training programs for corporate clients, including IBM, U.S. Bank, and Cingular.

Kim also teaches an online course called ‘Goodbye to Shy’ [^to^Shy&departmentnum=PE]. This course is distributed to over 500 colleges and universities in the United States, Canada, and Australia through Thomson Learning. An accomplished speaker and trainer, she delivers presentations on health-related topics to enthusiastic audiences.

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Author: Piyawut Sutthiruk

Losing weight will keep you healthy and have a long life. Cheer Up!

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