FAT FOOD TRAP: White rice
It takes more white rice than brown to make you feel just as satisfied. That's because white rice contains no fiber a food component that helps you feel full. White pasta also tends to be fiber-free and less filling than whole wheat.
WHAT TO EAT INSTEAD: Brown rice
You might eat only 50 or 60 fewer calories when you make the switch to brown rice or pasta, but that can be enough to make a difference in weight loss, says Miller-Kovach.
FAT FOOD TRAP: 1 percent cottage cheese
At first, study participants tried incorporating low-fat, not just nonfat, products. "We don't know whether this higher-fat cottage cheese affected weight loss because of the little bit of fat it contains, or because people ate more of it," says Miller-Kovach.
WHAT TO EAT INSTEAD: Nonfat cottage cheese
Eating only the fat-free version allowed people in the study to continue losing extra weight.
FAT FOOD TRAP: Sugar-free hot chocolate
People who tried to satisfy their sweet cravings with sugar-free hot chocolate ended up drinking as many as five cups a day. "People would keep a mug on their desk and sip all day long, because they didn't think of the cocoa as a 'bad' food," says Miller-Kovach. But, of course, the calories add up.
WHAT TO EAT INSTEAD: Diet chocolate pudding
People who ate this instead of drinking cocoa stopped after a single serving, she says. "I think that people see pudding as a treat. They use it to satisfy the occasional sweet tooth, not to snack on all day."