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Moderation in Dieting Vs Outright Banning Foods

I haven't given up chocolate.

But I have dramatically reduced my sugar intake by switching to dark chocolate. And what is better, dark chocolate cuts down on food cravings.

But sugary chocolate causes you to crave more, because the sugar causes a reaction in your brain which makes you want more.

Thus the first lesson to learn here is to stick to darker chocolates - the darker the better.

The second lesson is that you can apply this same principle to the rest of your eating habits by either moderating the foods you enjoy and/or banning foods you know are just plain harmful.

Example: Twinkies. They're mostly sugar and if you eat one the sugar-rush will cause you to crave more right away, resulting in a binge-fest of Twinkies. 150 calories each. If you buy and consume such sugary foods regularly you can pack on the pounds pretty quickly. So Twinkies are one of those things you should just plain give up entirely.

What to Give Up on Entirely

Fast food and soft drinks. If you count the calories and compare what you could have eaten for the equivalent amount of fast food you realize that you could have a lot more delicious / healthy food simply by cutting out the sugary treats. You will still eat out as fast food places maybe a couple times per year, but you will keep it to a very low moderation. Making healthier food at home gives you a lot of healthier alternatives such as baked potatoes or sweet potato fries, which saves you a tonne of fat calories and dramatically cuts back on sodium. Homemade hamburgers are way more delicious than their fast food counterparts.

Soft drinks can rack up calories very quickly - the simple act of switching to juice or milk or tea makes a big difference over the long term. A single soft drink has enough sugar for a small meal. Drinking 2 Litres of Coca-Cola or Pepsi in a single day is like drinking 6 small meals worth of sugar.

What to Eat in Moderation

Never try to deprive yourself of foods that you love. eg. Dark Chocolate is great if you love chocolate. Just avoid fudge, chocolate bars, white chocolate (there is no real chocolate in white chocolate, its basically all sugar).

Start thinking in terms of moderation and healthy alternatives. Instead of eating fried potato chips there are baked versions. There is also the option to bake chickpeas or make veggie chips to satisfy the salty cravings. Air popped popcorn is a whole grain, and without the butter and massive amounts of salt, is a low calorie and fast snack.

Bacon strips go great with your breakfast - but don't eat the whole 500 grams of it all at once! Save most of it for later!

Start Thinking Healthy Snacks

Apples, oranges, tangerines, bananas, berries... if you have a favourite fruit, veggie or berry start stocking up on those healthy foods you love. eg. I never get tired of carrot sticks.

Once you make the mental switch to healthy snacks you can still have your unhealthy choices once in awhile, but your goal is to make a mental switch in your brain to realize "Hey, I don't need those sugary snacks!"

Making vegetables an entree instead of a side dish is also a handy thing to do. Vegetables have no fat, lots of fiber and they are very filling. Eating whole grains, beans, low fat dairy and lean protein will be the sure way to guarantee a very full belly, without a trace of deprivation. You won't feel hungry because you won't be hungry.

Try also: Cooking more at home, making soups or stews, large hearty salads as a main dish, and cutting back on boxed, frozen and other processed food.

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