Get Slimmer with This No-Guilt Diet

The next time a double-fudge brownie indulgence has you racked with guilt, remember this: Guilt just guarantees that brownie will go straight to your belly.

How? By causing you to ditch healthy eating completely. A study revealed that feeling bad for backsliding may cause people to abandon weight loss efforts altogether. So tell that self-imposed guilt trip to hit the road. Just forgive yourself and move on.

Hello, Mr. Guilt-Free
In the study, researchers examined differing food attitudes and their impact on body composition. And the women in the study who were "guilt-ridden dieters" had a higher body mass index (BMI) than the women who tended not to be racked by guilt over occasional slips. This led researchers to suspect that guilt-ridden people adopt an "all-or-nothing" attitude with dieting. One misstep can lead to complete abandonment of their healthy-eating plans. (Here are some other interesting gems on why many diets don't work.)

Busy, Impulsive, and Overweight
The researchers also singled out two other study groups that often had higher BMIs and body fat percentages: women too busy to cook and "impulsive eaters" -- people who don't pay close attention to what and how much they eat and use food to cope with stress, boredom, or negative emotions. Bottom line: Our food attitudes can have a pretty complicated impact on our weight and health. The study group that fared best? Women who tended to be focused on nutrition. So the take-home message here: Keep your eye on high-nutrition, high-fiber meals but be more tolerant of yourself. If you give in to an occasional junk food craving, don't beat yourself up too much. (Are you an emotional eater? Find out what that means and how to break the cycle.)