Weight Loss Food Swaps

The #1 Secret to Diet Success

Discover the best way to cut cravings, ditch deprivation, and shift to a new way of eating that makes you look and feel fantastic

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The #1 Secret to Diet Success // woman food plate glass kitchen picture c Thinkstock

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Not So Fast!

Let's be realistic: You aren't going to trade in your beloved potato chips for kale chips overnight. And that's why most diets fail you. So many of them depriving your body of the foods it's accustomed to—a move that sets you up for a weight-gain relapse.

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And determination doesn't matter. Your brain will literally go through withdrawal—and you'll feel hungry all the time. In a study published by the National Academy of Sciences, when rats with access to sugar and chocolate-flavored food had those treats withheld, their brains pumped out five times the normal levels of corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF)—the same stress hormone unleashed in junkies trying to kick a drug habit.

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So instead of going cold turkey, transition from bad eats to better ones in small steps. The following slides show examples of how to wean yourself off bad-for-you grub, going from bad to good to better to best. Spend two to four weeks at each stage—the reward system in your brain needs time to adapt and adjust. This will teach your body to enjoy healthy foods that satisfy hunger, and you'll shed inches. Get ready to welcome the end of yo-yo dieting—forever.

Adapted from The Hunger Fix: The Three-Stage Detox and Recovery Plan for Overeating and Food Addiction by Pam Peeke, M.D., M.P.H., F.A.C.P., Rodale 2012.

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