If your new year’s resolution included making your health a priority this year, you may think you need to cut certain foods out of your diet. If so, I have a great news for you!
It’s possible to be healthy and include some of your favorite treats into your life.
What’s more, if you’re trying to lose weight, restricting treats can be counterproductive. If you can’t enjoy your favorite foods, you might not be motivated to try to eat healthy. In a 2008 study by the American Dietetic Association, more than 70 percent of adults claimed they have not tried harder to achieve a balanced diet because they don’t want to give up their favorite foods.
Even if you try to eat a balanced diet, being overly restrictive may lead to the notion of treats as “forbidden fruit”. The thought that you can’t enjoy any treats at all may increase desire for treats and ultimately lead to overeating, according to consumer and scientific research. Children may be especially susceptible to these eating behaviors, which can lead to increased weight.
Professionals with hands-on experience in the field have similar opinions. In fact, nine out of 10 Registered Dietitians believe that people are more likely to maintain a balanced lifestyle when they don’t deprive themselves of treats.
Enjoying a moderate portion of a sweet snack each day as part of a reduced-calorie diet may help sustain your efforts to lose weight, suggests a pilot study at Penn State of women who did just that.
Quick, easy suggestions for including candy into a healthy diet:
- Choose nutritious foods in recommended amounts from all food groups to allow room in your diet for an occasional chocolate or confection.
- Share a full-sized bar or package of candy with a friend. Or portion out one-third to one-half to enjoy now, and save the rest for another day. Hint: Look for candy options in re-sealable wrappers.
- Keep chewing gum handy—at home, in the car, when you’re on the go—for a five- to 10-calorie treat any time! Or go sugar-free for even fewer calories!
You can find more tips on our website.
How do you include candy in your healthy diet?