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5 Common diet pitfalls & recipes that save the day

Kendra Y. Mims is a full-time writer in the Chicagoland area. When she is not writing articles on health, home, living, travel and fitness for online and print publications, she can be found writing fiction or with her head in a good boo...

Smart diet Food strategies

Sneaky weight gain, hair loss, just plain feeling crummy –- all common diet side effects everyone whose ever vowed to fit into too-tight jeans know all too well. Avoid these diet killers and kiss that extra junk in your trunk goodbye with these balanced, low-calorie recipes you can whip together in a snap.

5. PROBLEM: You're beating yourself upSmart diet Food strategies

Just because your sister lost 10 pounds drinking juice doesn't mean you'll have the same result. And now you're discouraged and playing the comparison game because while everyone else excitedly boasts about their progress, you have yet to see any results.

food fix: Treat yourself, wisely

Step outside the box to create your own diet plan and don't eat only what others tell you works for them. Feel confident about your own goals and treat yourself for your weight loss accomplishments. So don't deprive your body from a good treat—give yourself a pat on the back with this easy-to-make chocolate dessert recipe.

Warm Chocolate Pudding
Serves 4 (164 calories/ 2 grams of fat per serving; 6 servings)

1 large egg
2 1/4 cups nonfat or low-fat milk, divided
2/3 cup sugar, divided
1/8 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1.  Lightly beat egg with a fork in a medium bowl

2.  Combine 1 1/2 cups milk, 1/3 cup sugar and salt in a medium saucepan; bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally

3.  Meanwhile, whisk the remaining 1/3 cup sugar, cocoa and cornstarch in a medium bowl. Whisk in the remaining 3/4 cup milk until blended. Whisk the simmering milk mixture into the cocoa mixture. Pour the mixture back into the pan and bring to a simmer over medium heat, whisking constantly, until thickened and glossy, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat

4.  Whisk about 1 cup of the hot cocoa mixture into the beaten egg. Return the egg mixture to the pan and cook over medium-low heat, whisking constantly, until steaming and thickened, about 2 minutes. (Do not boil.) Whisk in vanilla. Serve warm

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