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1.You're doing too much research

Sharon Natoli, dietitian from Food & Nutrition Australia, thinks our "smarts" might lead to our biggest mistake."'Smart people' often do a lot of their own research and end up being susceptible to fads such as specific supplements or pseudo-scientific-sounding detox diets that really don't work in the long term," she says.

Solution: Get back to basics. Sure, the wheatgrass-infused, selenium-linseed-lecithin blend is supposed to be amazing, but so is a balanced eating and exercise program.

2. You're not reading the fine print

It's easy to be ambushed by misleading information. "When you're busy and you're grabbing boxes in the supermarket, you notice the large letters that say 'all natural', 'low-carb', 'added antioxidants'," says Paula Goodyer, author of Fit & Firm For Ever (Random House)."The nutrition panel, however, can tell a different story - that's where you'll see that it's high in sugar, high in salt and low in fibre."It's also important to remember that "organic" means grown without pesticides, not grown without kilojoules.

Solution: Just because it sounds healthy, doesn't mean it is. Check the "per 100g" column of the nutrition panel for foods that are:Total fat - less than 10g per 100gSaturated fat - less than 3g per 100gSugars - less than 15g per 100gSodium (salt) - moderate = less than 400mg per 100g - low = less than 120mg per 100g

3. You only hear what you want to hear

When you sit down to a big brekky at your local cafe on Saturday morning, you probably feel quite virtuous about eschewing the bacon (bad fat) for a side of avocado (good fat). Newsflash: it's still a fat. "The fat content [of avocado] is high, as are the kilojoules," says Aloysa Hourigan, senior nutritionist at Nutrition Australia. "We'll often hear a message about a food and then don't think of the other properties of the food. Nuts are another example - yes, they're healthy fats and can be a great snack in a healthy diet, but you have to watch how many you eat because they are high in kilojoules."

Solution: Stop thinking about foods in scientific terms, such as "healthy fats", and consider them as foods. Take your time to savour the flavours and you'll find that you naturally regulate your intake. Eat them slowly and you won't over-indulge on avocados and nuts - they're too filling.

4. You probably don't need to go gluten-free

"Unless someone has coeliac disease or a proven intolerance, there is no health benefit to eating gluten-free foods," says Natoli. "In fact, many gluten-free foods have a high GI and tend to be lower in B vitamins, iron and fibre compared to wholegrain foods."

Solution: Unless you're certain you have a problem with gluten, you're better off choosing low-GI wholegrains. These will leave you feeling fuller for longer, and won't give you the rollercoaster blood-sugar levels that high-GI foods can cause. The less processed a food is, the lower its GI will usually be.

5. You're still not eating carbs after 5pm

"There is no evidence to support the still-strong belief that having carbs in the evening is bad for you," says Hourigan. "If anything, it just leaves you unsatisfied and ready to snack after dinner. It also means your muscles are not fuelled for the next day, which is not great if you're planning an activity in the morning."

Solution: Nobody says you need to sit down to a huge bowl of anything. If you're focused on your weight, choose small portions of low-GI carbs - sweet potato, wholemeal pasta, brown rice.

6. You drink your dinner

"There's been a big change in the way that women, in particular, socialise," says Professor Sandra Jones, director of the Centre for Health Initiatives at the University of Wollongong."Ten or 15 years ago, they went on dates with men, or went to the movies with their friends. Now they go out in groups with other women, to the pub or a club."In other words, we're drinking like boys. Except male consumption of alcohol has stabilised, while women's, particularly young women's, has risen dramatically. Why? Our lifestyle has changed."Women have independence, they're working high-profile jobs and they like to go out," says Professor Jones. "All these things contribute.

There's a fair amount of anecdotal evidence and research to support the idea that drinking has become the new dinner."So you've been out for a few drinks and ended up getting home at midnight having had vodka and soda for dinner. "Sometimes we forget to eat," says Professor Jones. "But also, there's a view among young women that eating a meal and drinking as well adds up to too many kilojoules. So they skip dinner to keep kilojoules down."Unfortunately, drinking on an empty stomach destabilises blood sugar levels, saps B vitamins from your body and, if you're not eating, you're lacking the nutrients, such as zinc, to help you process the alcohol. Result: you retain those empty kilojoules.

Solution: Fit in a meal. Four glasses of wine is the equivalent of 1500 kilojoules. Forgo two of those and you can spend 750 kilojoules on a Thai beef salad, four large sushi rolls, one taco with meat, cheese and salad, or a bowl of chicken and sweet corn soup. Drink two large glasses of water with dinner and you'll wake up feeling a

lot better in the morning.

7. You're drinking a lot of diet soft drink

When it's zero kilojoules and tastes so good, it's easy to reach for a diet drink whenever you feel thirsty. It can't hurt you, right? The Dietitians Association of Australia begs to differ, pointing out that soft drinks can be acidic, contributing to tooth decay.The acid in the drink attacks the enamel (the thin outer layer that gives your tooth its whiteness and helps prevent decay) and can age your teeth prematurely. A researcher at Tufts University in the United States has also found that phosphoric acid in cola drinks, including diet drinks, can reduce bone density. Three diet cola drinks a day can reduce your bone mineral density by up to 5.1 per cent.

Solution: The best drink for your smile, your bones, your weight and your hydration levels is water.Read more here:formal dresses online

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