If You Ate French Fries Today, Don’t Give Up On Your Diet Yet

If you’re on a diet (well, healthy eating kick) and you’re trying to lose weight, what should you do when you totally butcher a day? (Say, I inhale some pizza for dinner one night and follow it up with ice cream.) My instinct is to throw my arms up and give up on the whole diet, but what SHOULD I do? Have I earned an extra few workouts? How badly did I really mess up my week? –Gayle

We sent this question to Tanya Zuckerbrot, celebrity nutritionist and author of The F-Factor Diet:

It is important to remember that weight loss is not a sprint it’s a marathon. If you trip and stumble just get up, dust yourself off, and keep moving towards your goal. The one thing you never want to do is skip your next meal to compensate. Skipping meals slows down your metabolism, and can make you ravenous when you do decide to eat again. Don’t punish yourself, rather then starving, get back on track at your very next meal and focus on eating healthfully for the rest of the day. At the end of the day weight loss is determined by calories in vs. calories out. If you overindulged, clean up the rest of the day or hit the gym a little harder at your next sweat session to burn off those extra calories.

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