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How to Incorporate "Unhealthy" Foods in Moderation: Tips and Tricks

Updated: Sep 3, 2023

Are you tired of feeling guilty every time you indulge in your favourite "unhealthy" foods? It's time to stop labeling foods as "good" or "bad" and learn how to incorporate them in moderation. Here are some tips and tricks to help you enjoy your favourite foods while still maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

Child eating pizza

1. Practice Mindful Eating

Mindful eating is a practice that involves being present in the moment and paying attention to your body's hunger and fullness cues. It has been shown to be an effective strategy for managing weight and promoting healthy eating habits.

When you practice mindful eating, you take the time to savour every bite and appreciate the flavours and textures of your food. This can help you feel more satisfied with your meal and less likely to overeat. Additionally, by paying attention to your body's signals of hunger and fullness, you can better regulate your food intake and avoid mindless snacking or emotional eating.

2. Portion Control is Key


Friends eating pizza

Portion control is an important aspect of maintaining a healthy diet. Studies have shown that people tend to eat more when they are presented with larger portions, even if they don't feel any hungrier.

To practice portion control, try using smaller plates and bowls to help you visually control your portions. Another helpful tip is to divide your plate into thirds: one-third for protein, one-third for vegetables, and one-third for carbs (including your favourite unhealthy foods). By doing so, you can still enjoy your favourite foods without overdoing it.

Remember that portion control does not mean depriving yourself of the foods you love. Instead, it's about finding a balance between enjoying your favourite indulgences in moderation and fuelling your body with healthy nutrients.

3. Plan Ahead

Planning ahead can be an effective strategy for managing your diet and avoiding unhealthy foods. One study found that people who planned their meals in advance were more likely to consume a healthy diet and less likely to consume unhealthy foods than those who did not plan ahead.

When you know that you will be indulging in an "unhealthy" food, it's important to plan ahead. Eating a balanced meal beforehand can help you feel full and satisfied, reducing the likelihood that you will overindulge. Additionally, planning to do some extra physical activity after indulging can help burn off those extra calories.

4. Choose Wisely


Chocolate and dairy

When it comes to "unhealthy" foods, it's important to choose wisely. Some are better choices than others in terms of their nutrient content and calorie density. For example, dark chocolate is a healthier choice than milk chocolate because it contains more antioxidants and less sugar. Similarly, popcorn is a better choice than potato chips because it is lower in calories and higher in fiber.


On the other hand, foods that are high in saturated and trans fats, added sugars, and refined carbohydrates should be avoided or consumed in moderation. These foods have been linked to an increased risk of obesity, diabetes, and other chronic diseases.



5. Don't Deprive Yourself


Girl eating sandwich

Depriving yourself of your favourite foods can be counterproductive and may lead to binge eating and an unhealthy relationship with food. In fact, studies have shown that restrictive diets can increase the risk of overeating and weight gain over time .

Instead of completely cutting out "unhealthy" foods from your diet, allow yourself to indulge in moderation. Remember that one meal or snack won't make or break your healthy eating habits. By practicing moderation and balance, you can maintain a healthy relationship with food and still enjoy the foods you love.

Conclusion

In conclusion, incorporating "unhealthy" foods in moderation is all about balance and mindfulness. By practicing portion control, planning ahead, and choosing wisely, you can enjoy your favourite foods without feeling guilty. Remember to listen to your body and enjoy every bite.

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