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“We lie best when we lie to ourselves,” Stephen King wrote.

The master of horror may not be at the top of your list when looking for a weight loss guru, but in this case, his words are startlingly accurate.

In 2012, a British survey of 3,000 people revealed that the average dieter tells 9 lies a week about their eating habits and weight loss progress. At the top of the list? “It was only a small portion.”

Little white lies may seem harmless, but they’re actually sabotaging your diet.

“Denial symptoms are common but the problem is overweight people tend to eat emotionally rather than due to actual hunger, so if they feel that they have denied themselves they are likely to overeat it at the next opportunity,” explains Dr. Davina Deniszczyc at Nuffield Health.

So how do you avoid this cycle of dishonesty, binge eating, and weight gain? Find a way to keep yourself honest, obviously. For thousands of dieters over the years, the answer has been a weight loss journal.

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