3 Steps to a Slimmer, Saner You

Trying to shed a few extra pounds? The number-one way to sabotage your success, in my experience, is to focus your energy attempting NOT to think about food. Another surefire way to sabatoge your diet is to totally deprive yourself of anything edible that brings you joy, like pizza or ice cream. Research shows that, in fact, a history of restricting your eating sets you up for binging, which usually leads to weight gain and feelings of frustration, which results in your seeking solace in a pint of Chubby Hubby. For those who tend to be diet obsessed-are you?-the key to losing weight healthfully, happily and forever is to change the way you think about food.

Three things you can do right now to get on the path to a slimmer, saner you:

1. Stop trying to get by on rabbit food that doesn't supply enough calories to keep you moving. Instead, make a point to plan healthy meals that are satisfying (physically and emotionally).

2. Quit pretending you can go the rest of your life without ever eating chocolate or pizza again. You can't. At some point, you will break down, mug the delivery guy and devour a whole pie. (Okay, maybe you won't go that far.) Master low-cal recipes, such as EatingWell's Gingersnap-Banana Frozen Yogurt, that will help you stay on track by satisfying your sweet tooth. Find a healthier substitute for that high-fat "party" snack that you can't ever resist. I bring Southwestern Layered Bean Dip to just about every get-together I go to. It's a huge hit and no one would ever guess that it has less than 150 calories per serving.

3. Celebrate your love of food-by savoring every bite!

By Nicci Micco

Nicci Micco is senior editor of features and nutrition at EatingWell. She has a master's degree in nutrition and food sciences, with a focus in weight management. She's addicted to ice cream and pizza. But she also can't imagine going a week without eating sweet potatoes, salad greens or kidney beans. Kale and beets also rank at the top of her favorite-foods list.

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