When you’re trying to lose weight, there are certain places that would make even the most seasoned dieter sweat.

These danger zones have temptation written all over them, and they can easily derail your diet if you let them.

Luckily, we have a guide to navigating these danger zones, so take note!


1. Cheese and Wine Nights

The biggest danger zone of them all, a ‘cheese and wine’ night with friends. There’s nothing better than catching up with friends over a couple of glasses of wine and nibblies.

Unfortunately, the sugar in a lot of alcoholic drinks (beer included) gives you a huge spike in insulin, which in turn makes you hungry. You’ve also got the more-ish cheese and other goodies in front of you, which can quickly add up.

How to navigate:

Eat before you go! A meal high in protein and fibre will keep you full so that you don’t snack as much as you normally would. Also, try to drink a glass of water for every glass of wine or alcoholic drink (you can quickly have one while you refill your glass).


2. The Shopping Centre

This danger zone is a red flag for dieting. After all the energy you exert walking around and trying things on, the food court becomes more and more appealing.

How often do you go to the shopping centre without grabbing lunch while you’re there? The danger here is that with so many food choices, you’re likely to choose with your eyes instead of your brain.

How to navigate:

Have a meal option prepared ahead of time. If you know you’re going home to something, you’re less likely to give in to temptation.

If you must eat there, make your decision without the influence of what others are getting (if someone else gets something high cal you’re more likely to) and look at calories before purchasing.


3. Work

Work is a hidden danger zone, especially when your colleague says they’re doing a lunch run.

Lunch is a clear danger, but you’ve also got other work-related factors that come into play. It’s easy to mistake stress, boredom or dehydration for hunger – so stay alert to these dangers.

How to navigate:

Bring your own lunch! You’re not only going to eat better, but you’ll save money too. Remember to move around as much as possible during the day and drink plenty of water.

Dehydration often gets mistaken for hunger, so try drinking a glass of water before giving in to snacking, chances are the urges will subside.


4. The Servo

You can’t even buy petrol these days without having junk food thrown in your face. From the moment you walk in you’re hit with walls lined with sugary drinks, chocolate, lollies, and grab and go pastries.

If you’re a bit peckish, this danger zone can get the better of you with its combo deals, counter lollies and snickers bars.

How to navigate:

Straight in and straight out. The longer you mull around, the more tempting it becomes.

Have breakfast before you go to work, and have a Lady Bar or snack on hand so you can’t convince yourself that $2 7/Eleven pie is a good idea (check out the nutrition panel and you’ll think differently).


5. The Supermarket

When you walk into the supermarket what do you see at the front of the aisles? Nine times out of 10 it’s going to be sugar in one form or another, trying to distract you from buying real food.

How to navigate:

A great trick at the shops is to shop around the outside of the store. Have you ever noticed that this is where all the fresh food is? If you make a grocery list prior to going, you’re much less likely to deviate from this.

The best tip is that you need to head in with a full tank. Our primal instinct is to go for sugar when we’re hungry (it’s the most readily available energy source) and there’s plenty of that on offer, so don’t go shopping on an empty stomach.


6. Home! (sometimes)

“So you’re telling me I can’t even go into my own home!?”

No, that’s not what I’m saying, but even at home, you need to be smart. There’s no more dangerous place for a dieter than the couch in front of a TV. We all love having a snack while we unwind after a hard day, and the sugary junk food in the cupboard is often the first choice.

How to navigate:

Out of sight, out of mind. If you don’t have junk in the house, you can’t eat it. Clean out the cupboard, and cut up some fruit or make some healthy snack options so you can just grab them as you please.


7. Fast Food Restaurants

Now, this is an obvious one, but when you walk into a fast-food restaurant the alarm bells go off for weight gain. This isn’t to say you aren’t going to make a relatively healthy choice, but it means there are just a lot less healthy choices to choose between.

How to navigate:

Having food at home makes you way less likely to stop in. If you must have fast food (which is an unlikely situation so just avoid it), opt for options that are grilled not fried, choose a wrap over a burger bun, and look for healthier side alternatives. No Upsizes!