3. Don’t waste time on diet foods. Foods with low-fat or low-calorie labels sound good in theory. The problem is that these are often heavily processed and high in carbs. “These will convert to sugar in your body, potentially contributing to weight gain,” says Heiser. What’s more, companies enhance these products after removing fat by pumping them with sugar, salt and other additives. “Women who don’t diet are still reading ingredient labels,” says Lori Shemek, PhD, author of the forthcoming book Fight FATflammation. But they do that to cut through the tricky health claims splashed across the front of the package to find out what’s really in the food.
4. No food is “bad.” It doesn’t pay to refer to brownies as “bad” and kale as “good.” In a University of Toronto study, women who were deprived of chocolate for a week experienced more cravings and were more likely to eat more chocolate. A later 2010 study confirmed the results: If you tell yourself you can’t have chocolate and try not to think about chocolate, you obsess over…chocolate. And find yourself scarfing Snickers. It ties back to thinking you’re a dieting failure, which makes you feel guilty and overeat as a result. For a happier relationship with food, ditch “bad” from your vocabulary.