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Myth: To lose weight, you have to give up all your favorite foods

I can recall many times being at a birthday party staring at a delicious rich chocolate cake while telling myself that I cannot have any because it is a “bad” food. How many of you can relate to this situation? What if I were to tell you that you can have your piece of cake and lose weight too!

A healthy relationship with food does not eliminate all the foods we love to eat. When we label food as “good” or “bad” it internalizes a message that we are not good enough when we overeat these foods. Remember that we are only human and its okay to indulge once in awhile because food is more than just fuel; its the center of celebrations, memories, nostalgia, and culture.

Reject the diet mentality and follow these few helpful tips to weight-loss and a good life

1. Make your portions count

What I love about portion sizes is that I am in control of how much I eat and

what I want to eat. Some tricks I use at home is to pile on vegetables on a regular sized plate and use a small dessert plate to eat my protein and starchy food. Another trick is to not snack out of the bag and measure serving sizes in a small bowl. These tricks work for me because I am less inclined to overeat and I can still indulge in small portions of my favorite treats (bring on some chocolate cake!).

2. Be mindful when you are eating

I’ll admit this is easier said than done, especially in a society of multitaskers.

We like to get work done on our laptops while we gobble down our lunch. Try giving yourself at least 20 minutes during meals to eat without your phone and laptop, and just be mindful of how the food tastes. Enjoying foods mindfully especially the “bad” foods on a regular basis can keep you from overeating these foods.

3. Honor feelings without using food

I remember my senior year of college being one of the most stressful years. I would snack mindlessly on my favorite foods because I was anxious and overwhelmed with my workload, personal life, and my future. Food is comforting and it is to no surprise that some of us may turn to food during stressful situations. If you are an emotional eater like me try to take a mental break and find other outlets to manage stress. Make some time to be active, creative, or to do anything that you genuinely enjoy.

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