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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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Jason S. Wilde
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Diet downfall: You skip meals.

"Many women go without breakfast or lunch because they have a special occasion later or overindulged the night before," says Ward. "Then by 3 p.m. all hell breaks loose." The proof: A USDA Economic Research Service report released earlier this year found that stretching the time between meals from four to five hours causes you to overeat. Waiting six hours makes matters even worse. When you finally do eat, you'll consume substantially more and also choose less healthy options.

Undo the damage: "Try to go no more than four hours without having a little something to keep you satisfied," says Elizabeth Smythe, RD, president of the New York State Dietetic Association. "That way you're not setting yourself up to overdo it at the next meal." Stock your pantry, desk drawer, purse, or glove compartment with whole-grain cereal or soy nuts (prepack 2-tablespoon bags at home). And always be sure to place an 8-ounce container of 0% fat Greek yogurt or a piece of fresh fruit front and center in your fridge.

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