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8 Reasons Your Diet Isn't Working

Americans spend $33 billion each year on diet programs and products, yet we weigh more than ever. Why are we getting bigger when we're trying harder to get skinny? Chances are it's just a small diet mistake that's stopping you from losing those extra pounds. We'll help you pinpoint what's setting you back and get you on track.

By Karen Ansel, RD

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wheat bread and banana
Yunhee Kim
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Diet downfall: You eat a small breakfast.

When it comes to your morning meal, size matters—a lot. A recent study found that eating a substantial breakfast can help you lose some serious weight. Ninety-four women were put on a low-calorie diet. But half the women had a big breakfast (610 calories) and the other half a more modest (290 calories) morning meal. The surprising discovery: In just eight months the larger breakfast group shed, on average, 40 pounds, while their smaller-breakfast counterparts dropped a mere 10 pounds.

Undo the damage: Aim for roughly 500 calories. A breakfast made up of a whole wheat bagel with a tablespoon of trans fat-free margarine, a scrambled egg, and an 8-ounce glass of calcium-fortified O.J., or two slices of whole wheat toast topped with 2 tablespoons of peanut butter and a sliced banana fits the bill. Not hungry in the a.m.? It's likely you're eating too much or too late at night. To get your appetite in sync, close your kitchen by 8 p.m.

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