Last week I walked by my office printer, a popular landing spot for extra food, and grabbed what I thought was a cookie. It was more of a cookie/energy bar hybrid, and while it wasn't awful, it wasn't great either, and definitely not worth the calories. But I ate it anyway. Why? It was in my hand. Like pretty much everyone I, too, on occasion, eat things I don't really want because I feel obligated, because it's free, because it's sitting on a plate next to the printer. This is a mistake-and is easy to correct. Here's how skewed logic like this can add unnecessary calories to your diet:
The Logic: It's free, therefore I should eat it
The Solution: I don't care if it's free or if someone is paying you to eat it, free calories count! In fact, walking around a grocery store nibbling on free samples could easily add up to 500 calories, according to experts, which is practically a whole meal!What are your bad eating habits?
The Logic: I don't want to be rude
The Solution: If you're at a dinner party and the host passes something you know will blow your diet (like a side of mac 'n' cheese) just (politely) say no thanks. People have different tastes, food tolerances, and aversions. If she presses the issue, take a small portion and eat just a bite. The same rules can be applied to "special occasion" logic: Take one bite of cake, have one margarita, eat three or four fries. You'll satisfy your need for the taste, feel celebratory, and still keep calories in check (while I'm on the subject, don't let those margaritas sway your judgment. Just one can have close to 500 calories. Switch to white wine (about 80 cals per glass) and spike it with seltzer.
The Logic: It's a special occasion
The Solution: Be careful what you label "special"-your birthday, yes, any given Friday, no. Then ask yourself: 'Is a second giant slice of cake (or if you're like me, sliver number 6) really worth it?' Also, portion control is always more successful when you do it before your first bite, whether it's the aforementioned cake, a third piece of chicken or a second banana daiquiri, so decide ahead of time where you want to splurge. If the dessert is amazing, indulge there; if the red wine is top notch, get a second glass and skip the cheese plate. Pick and choose your calorie battles, and remember that there's always another day, afternoon or evening to indulge in something you love.
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