A meal plan devoid of favorite foods is doomed to disaster, not to mention virtually impossible to follow for very long. It's too difficult for most of us to just say no to the foods we love. But we also may be afraid to allow ourselves even one bite, for fear of losing control. Here, Susan Roberts, Ph.D., a nutrition professor and researcher at Tufts University, offers a few tips for enjoying your food favorites without breaking the calorie bank:
- Aim for a small total amount, maybe a small portion daily, of a favorite food.
- Choose foods that you like but are able to resist after you've had a small portion. For example, you'll probably never be satisfied with one or two potato chips, but one bite of cheesecake might be enough to satisfy.
- If a certain food is extremely hard to resist, eat it infrequently, like once a week, or not at all.
- Avoid foods such as potato chips that make you hungrier or lead you to crave more.
- Keep only a few different favorite foods in the house at one time. Research shows that people eat more calories when there's a greater variety of treats around.
- Slow down. Take small bites and enjoy every one.
- Eat first, then have a beverage, so you can give your full attention to your food.--Mindy Hermann, R.D.