TODAY   |  March 20, 2013

How to break through 4 tough diet barriers

We’re now 10 weeks into 2013, and if your New Year’s resolution to loser weight has come to a screeching halt, TODAY diet and nutrition editor Madelyn Fernstrom is here to help. She offers tips on how to solve four troublesome diet dilemmas.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> this morning on "today's health" breaking through the diet barriers to get your weight loss back on track. madelyn fernstrom, good morning.

>> good morning, nice to see you.

>> first off lack of willpower something we've all been through.

>> break that.

>> give it a cut.

>> people made the january resolutions and finding so much for that. and so much for these scissors.

>> there we go.

>> will power is a made up word, people are losing focus. create some structure. whether you want to do it by getting a band or something to wear that gives you a reminder.

>> band it great, tells you how many steps you've taken.

>> apps are great.

>> apps keep track like lose it, where you're tracking what you're eating, you need a food log are the old-fashioned way with a pen and a pad. you have so keep a food log because you want to stay focused. structure is the way. people get panicky and say i really want something to eat and so you can't be deprived. you need to have a go to list.

>> snacks.

>> things that have almost no calories you can eat them freely instead of saying i'm done for the day. tea, vegetables, popcorn, flavored waters or if you have a chocolate craving, low calorie hot chocolate , so you have a safety net .

>> what about stress?

>> portion control. then we'll get to stress.

>> i'm already stressed out, i really wanted to get to it, i guess.

>> they pile on the plate even though they think they're watching what they're eating but not mindful of how much they're eating.

>> mindful is the most important but make it easy on yourself. you can have the healthiest food in the world, too many calories you won't lose weight . get things prepackaged.

>> there we go!

>> some things that are already prepackaged, 100 calorie packs or save money by packing your own but the satisfaction is eating to the bottom of the whole package, you eat the whole thing it's more satisfying. another way to cut back on portions is to actually just downsize your silverware, your plates, your cups, whether it's for juice or if it's for wine and eat with chopsticks.

>> that's a symbol for wine.

>> if you want a second cup this is equal to a regular pour. that's great.

>> i was anxious about stress.

>> you were anxious about stress.

>> it happens. how do we destress ourselves?

>> in destressing this is something, the hand-to-mouth activity, you get stressed and want to eat. you can't change the stress but you can change your response to it. instead of automatically turning to food, take a breath literally or keep a stress journal, or actually get an app that is a relaxation app, things that will settle you down or even read a book, whatever you like to do or just unclick all together and just read a magazine, do something that's relaxing but even deep breath will help you to be in the moment and separate.

>> and stress is so bad because the cortisol hormone and all that.

>> all the stress hormones wreak havoc on your body. the main thing when it comes to your weight is that everybody's response is, i'm going to do, eat something because it is very soothing and the perfect world , food really is.

>> comfort.

>> you can do yoga as well.

>> madelyn if we have no time to exercise what do we do?

>> no time --

>> break through that.

>> need new scissors, natalie. or more time in the gym, i don't know.

>> that worked out brilliantly!

>> just as planned.

>> so many people have no time. you want activity of daily living , that means something that, wear walking shoes and wear a pedometer. it separates mental fatigue from physical fatigue. food is what you have to cut back on mostly to lose weight . exercise boosts it up but helps you to keep engaged and do something you like to do. if you're not just walking or playing with your kids, get a dvd or do an activity that is fun for you. if you like to dance that counts. you don't have to be sweating in the gym. if you like to do that, that's good, too.