Here are a few tips that Fung recommends to eat healthily while still making room for your favorite cookies.
Make a plan for how much junk you can eat per week
“Don’t do it in the heat of the moment,” says Fung. Instead, decide up front how many treats you’re allowed to have each week. By treats, of course, we mean things that are definitely not good for you.
We’re not here to quibble about how often you should swap out pasta for brown rice; this is about how to handle junk. And avoiding junk doesn’t have to be about losing weight or eating as few calories as possible. Even if you’re just trying to maintain a balanced, healthy diet full of a good mix of carbs and fats, you should still be mindful of things like pastries and candies. And Fung says that simply keeping tabs on your indulgences can go a long way.
Chew that cookie slowly
Some people crave sweets so much they’ll wolf those occasional treats down in a few bites, Fung says, and then they end up disappointed when it’s over so fast. Her advice? “Eat it slowly. Really, really taste the cookie. Enjoy it. Stretch it out.”
On top of satisfying your psychological craving, the physical act of chewing helps you feel more full. In a meta-analysis of mastication studies, most experiments found that prolonged chewing—whether it be more chews or pauses between bites—made participants feel more full and decreased their desire to eat.
That meant a tendency to eat less of whatever food they were indulging in. It’s the same phenomenon that makes you eat more when you dine in front of the television—you’re not thinking about the food. Distracted eating is over-eating. Pay attention and you’ll consume fewer calories. It’s not about cutting out cookies; it’s about getting more cookie bang for your cookie buck.
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