My regular diet is fairly healthy. I try to eat lots of protein and fresh vegetables, and limit myself when it comes to sugar and carbs. But the big problem for me – and the thing that’s keeping me about 5-10 pounds heavier than I’d like – is that I snack after dinner. It’s almost always junk (cookies or ice cream). And it’s almost always an extra 300-plus calories that I don’t need. Jon Herring, ETR’s resident health expert, says it’s not so bad to indulge once in a while. Any diet that is going to work needs to have a little give in it – room for you to occasionally reward yourself with some off-limits foods that you enjoy. That’s why my indulgence is so unhealthy. Instead of treating myself once in a while, I do it two or three times a week.
You may have a similar problem. To limit this type of habitual snacking, Jon recommends:
1. Keeping “off-limits” foods out of the house entirely. That way, there’s no temptation.
2. Choosing healthy snacks that will satisfy your sweet tooth and fill your stomach without sabotaging your health and weight-loss efforts. (Think fruit leather, yogurt, high-fiber cereal, organic applesauce, Newman’s Own popcorn, or fresh berries.)