Home HealthTopics Health Centers Reference Library Research
Join us on Facebook Join us on Facebook Share on Facebook
Print this pageEMail this page

Diet and Nutrition

Good Food vs. Bad? Forget About It!

Many dieters succumb to the myth of "good food, bad food" when trying to maintain their weight loss.

They may feel that by eating one 'bad' cookie, their whole diet is blown and all their weight will return in one day. Unfortunately, this type of negative, restrictive thinking may lead to binge eating, weight gain and decreased self-esteem. Food should be pleasurable, not punitive!

Let's face it- tempting food will always be around. Whether it's a wedding reception, a favorite holiday or family barbeque, you simply can't always stick to your diet. And, that's okay! Is it so bad to eat moderately and enjoy your food? Don't call it cheating; call it living.

Here are some ways to have your cake and eat it too!

1. Plan ahead. If you know you'll be faced with birthday cake, modify your eating habits prior to the party by eating low calorie, high fiber foods that fill you up. Whole grain cereal and skim milk, a large salad with low fat dressing or a big bowl of fruit salad will curb your hunger and keep your calories in check.

2. Move More. Earn those extra calories by doing a little more exercises more a day. Walk or cycle an extra 15 minutes or dance a little more at the party. Burn it to earn it. Make exercise a part of your life style for long term disease prevention and health benefits.

3. Make your calories count. You can eat chips, nuts or cheese cubes any day; why waste the calories on these boring snacks? Choose a seasonal treat like eggnog at the holidays or savor your aunt's famous baked beans at the family reunion.

4. Drink water. Studies show that liquid calories from soda, juice or alcohol don't fill you up and may promote weight gain over time. Drinking water will limit empty calorie intake and allow more room to enjoy something sinfully delicious. Being hydrated may also reduce the risk of overeating.

5. Get back on track: Once the balloons have lost their lift and the party's over get back to your regular, healthy eating pattern. If you had a birthday every day, you'd be tired of cake. Enjoy your treats in moderation and don't beat yourself up for living!

For more information:

Go to the Diet and Nutrition health topic, where you can:

Last Reviewed: Aug 29, 2010

Lisa Cicciarello Andrews, MEd, RD, LD Lisa Cicciarello Andrews, MEd, RD, LD
Adjunct Faculty
University of Cincinnati