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FEED YOUR BODY RIGHT: THE FINE PRINT PARED HER FIGURE
When you want to lose weight, how much you eat is just as important as what you eat. Phyllis Barbour found that out the hard way.
In 1993, Phyllis went on a special low-fat, low-salt diet after undergoing cardiac bypass surgery. She followed the diet to the letter. To her pleasant surprise, her weight dropped from 130 pounds to 114 pounds in about 3 months and stayed there for several years.
So the Morristown, New Jersey, woman was understandably puzzled when, in 1997, her clothes started feeling a little snug. She was cooking and eating all the right foods, and she worked out three or four times a week at a local health club. Plus, her job as a department store saleswoman kept her on her feet constantly.
"I was doing all the right things, yet I was still gaining weight," she says. "I couldn't figure out why."
Then one day, while eating a bagel, Phyllis picked up the package and read the nutrition label. She discovered that one of those big, doughy delectables equaled four servings of bread. "I was shocked," she says. "I had always counted it as just one serving."
That incident prompted Phyllis to check out the labels of some other foods that she ate regularly. She found more of the same: What she considered one serving was actually two or three—some- | ^ times more.
"It became clear why I was gaining weight," Phyllis says. "I started paying closer attention to my serving sizes, even measuring portions when I needed to. It made a big difference almost immediately. My weight dropped back down to where it belonged."
Now age 70, Phyllis remains vigilant about her serving sizes. And it shows: Her weight is once again holding steady at 114 pounds. "I'm glad that I figured out why I was gaining," she says. "I worked hard to slim down, and I wasn't about to let all that effort go to waste."
Read those labels! Even low-fat and fat-free foods can cause you to gain weight if you eat too much of them. What they lack in fat they more than make up for in calories. So pay attention to the labels on packaged and processed foods.