Dr. Oz's Diet Danger ZonesPosted on Jan 21st 2011 1:00PM by Norine Dworkin-McDaniel
Danger Zone: Breakfast pastries in the break room at work
Diet Protector 1: Eat breakfast at home. "If you're ravenous when you get to work, it's harder to avoid the temptation," said Dr. Oz. Make sure your breakfast has a good mix of protein and healthy carbs, like eggs and whole-wheat toast or steel-cut oatmeal with raisins and nuts, to keep you full through the morning so you're not even tempted to check out the doughnuts. No time to sit and eat? Try a smoothie made with bananas, low-fat soy milk and crushed pineapple when you need to eat breakfast on the go.
Diet Protector 2: Move your feet -- not your mouth. "Instead of heading for the break room, walk the stairs in your office for five minutes," suggested Dr. Oz. "That'll burn a few calories and give you an energy boost in the process."
Danger Zone: Lunchtime Client Meeting
Diet Protector 1: Prescreen the menu. These days you can find most restaurant menus online. Looking it over before your lunch meeting -- especially if the menu is extensive -- gives you more time to pick out your entree, so you don't order blindly because you're rushed or distracted by business talk. "When you have more time to think out your options, you'll be more likely to make the healthiest choice," said Dr. Oz.
Diet Protector 2: Get half to go. Restaurant portions can be so large there's enough for at least two meals on your plate. And according to research done at Penn State University, the more food on your plate, the more you'll eat. "Head off that temptation by asking your server to put half in a carryout bag as soon as your meal comes," said Dr. Oz.
Danger Zone: Early Evening Dinner Prep
Diet protector 1: Have a 3 o'clock snack. You're tired and hungry by the time you get home, so it's all too easy to start nibbling as you're making dinner. And before you know it, you've consumed a few hundred calories -- and that's before you sit down to eat. But if you eat a healthy snack between lunch and dinner, you won't be completely starving when you get home, and you can put together the meal without noshing, said Dr. Oz. His favorite choices: an ounce of nuts with a piece of fruit; low-fat yogurt with raisins and a half cup of canned unsweetened peaches or mandarin oranges; cut-up veggies dipped in low-fat yogurt; or a half cup of whole-grain cereal with a quarter cup apiece of almonds and dried fruits.
Diet Protector 2: Take a quick walk. If you can change into your walking shoes when you get home and take a quick lap around your neighborhood, "the exercise will curb your hunger and give you energy to prepare dinner for your family," said Dr. Oz.
Danger Zone: Nighttime Channel Surfing
Diet Protector 1: Close the kitchen after dinner. "You shouldn't be eating any food within three hours of bedtime," said Dr. Oz. "Don't open the fridge. Don't even walk by the kitchen if you can help it. If you can go to bed just a little hungry, when you wake up in the morning, you'll be just as hungry as if you'd had a piece of pie, but you won't have had the extra calories. It's that extra 100 to 200 calories that [can] slowly accumulate over a lifetime."
Diet Protector 2: Replace TV time with family time. "In our family, evenings aren't about snacking in front of the TV," said Dr. Oz. "Sometimes my wife and I do yoga, or I'll play sports or board games with the kids in the basement." But if you really want to just kick back and watch TV after dinner, record your favorite shows so you can fast-forward through the commercials. The endless parade of food ads can't help but make you hungry, which will lead you right into the kitchen, looking for a snack.