7 Mental Tricks That Shed Pounds
It's a Special OccasionTHE LOGIC: It's okay to indulge at restaurants and parties as long as you eat healthfully at home.
Special occasions feel like a time to relax the rules and enjoy yourself. The problem is, when you've got an "occasion" every other day -- whether it's a birthday party, working lunch, family event, happy hour, or restaurant outing -- they can't all be considered "special" anymore. If, like most Americans, you eat out a few days a week, the calories can really add up: Just one piece of bread with butter tacks on more than 100 calories per slice.
Change your mind: Approach each day, whether you're dining in or out, with the same nutrition goals. A study of members of the National Weight Control Registry revealed that people with this mind-set were one and a half times more likely to maintain their weight. The trick is to remember that it's never your last chance to indulge -- delicious food will still be available tomorrow and the day after that. Order the must-have appetizer this time and the fabulous dessert next time.
Just can't resist ordering all your favorites every time? Take a look at your regular diet: If all you eat is lackluster food (like frozen dinners, energy bars, and garden salads), no wonder you go nuts every time you go out. Replace some or all of your "diet" meals with real food -- take a healthy-cooking class, buy a new cookbook, or make a trip to a gourmet shop. Just including one nutritious but full-flavored item at each meal, like artisanal cheese or dark chocolate, can make you feel less compelled to "get it while you can" at restaurants and parties, says Stokes.
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