While we all know that junk food is bad for you, it’s still hard to resist sugar and delicious fried foods on a day to day basis. So, we end up cheating on our diets, feeling guilty and a little sick, vowing to never eat them again. Until the cycle is broken and we cave once more.
Being on a diet is stressful, which is why nutritionists believe that instead of “on/off dieting,” eating should be a “rest of your life kind of thing.” Suggesting that you should quit sweets and unhealthy food forever is unrealistic for even the most healthy people, and there’s nothing wrong with indulging once in a while. It’s important is to have a plan, and to make sure you know what to do when you eat something unhealthy.
Popular Science interviewed Teresa Fung, a professor of nutrition at Simmons College, who suggests a few tips that’ll help you eat healthy while also allowing you to eat what you’re craving:
Make A Plan
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Instead of succumbing to your impulses, like we all tend to do, plan ahead. At the beginning of the week, give yourself a couple of times when you’ll be allowed to eat junk food. the number could be 6 or 3 cheat meals, just make sure to stick with them and to decrease this number over time. This slow decrease will make the process much smoother and your body will thank you for it. After a few months you might even forget about your weekly doughnut.
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When you’re eating something that you’ve been craving for a while make sure to enjoy it and to chew it slowly. This will satisfy your psychological craving and it will also make you feel like you’re more full. Studies have discovered that prolonged chewing makes people feel more full, decreasing their desire to eat.
It’s also important to pay attention to what you’re eating. Eating while distracted leads to overeating, because you’re not giving your brain enough time to catch up to your stomach.
Don’t Eat Junk On An Empty Stomach
It’s common for people to skip out on meals when they know they’re gonna eat something with a high amount of calories, but this is a mistake, because you’re blood sugar level drops and you lose your self-control. Make sure to eat treats after you’re sort of full, allowing you to enjoy them and to avoid repeats.
Having desert for breakfast is also a good idea, even though a lot of people think it’s crazy. Your insulin levels are higher and your body will take the sugar and convert it into fuel rather than storing it as fat.