Can I still eat for pleasure?

I’m reading Mireille Guillano’s terrific book, French Women Don’t Get Fat: The Secret of Eating for Pleasure.  How’s that for a great title?  I want to know how to eat for pleasure and still stay thin.  One thing I have learned so far:  choose your pleasures wisely.   Don’t fill up on a bag of chips you don’t really enjoy.  Skip the chips and eat one piece of dark chocolate that sends you to the moon.  Pick your pleasures and really savor them.  Be choosy about wasted calories.  You may not need to completely deprive yourself after all.  You just have to learn how to make wise choices and balance out your calories throughout the day. 

No more closet eating habits (you know, when you’re leaning into your pantry hoping no one will catch you with your hand in the cookie jar).  Indulge in the open; enjoy the fine pleasure of food and friends – but only once in a while when you’re losing weight after baby. 

Should I eat Valentine’s Day chocolates?

You’re trying to lose weight, but then comes the beautifully wrapped truffles for Valentine’s Day.  What is the chocolate-deprived-because I’m trying to lose weight-mom supposed to do? 

 Here are a few suggestions: 

1.  Eat only dark chocolate. Give all your milk and white chocolate pieces away to your skinny friends. Enjoy dark chocolate that is at least 70% cocoa. Research shows that flavonoid-rich foods like dark chocolate may keep high blood pressure down and decrease your risk for heart disease. So as long as you’re indulging, make it dark chocolate.

2.  Give yourself a chocolate allowance. Enjoy 500 calories worth of chocolate throughout your Valentine’s celebrations, or have five pieces of chocolate, or one piece of cake. Decide beforehand what you are going to do. Indulge all at once by ordering that rich cake for dessert on Valentine’s Day or savor your chocolate over a longer period of time (like one piece of chocolate, five days in a row). But after you have your allowance, you are done. Finished. Just like when you were a kid and your parents gave you a dollar a week, once the dollar was spent, you didn’t have money to buy anything else.

3.  Get creative with the leftovers. Chances are you’re going to have some chocolate left after you’ve had your allowance. You can wrap chocolate pieces and give them away to your friends and neighbors with notes of appreciation. Or if your truffles came from your husband who doesn’t really want to see his hard earned money going to buy chocolates for the neighbors, you can put the chocolate in the freezer and have a celebration when you hit your goal weight.

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Super Bowl Snacks

 Are you ready for the biggest chow fest of the year, Super Bowl Sunday?  With millions of people gathered around their televisions, there’s only one thing to do, snack all day! Surrounded by chips, dip, pizza, buffalo wings and soda, what’s a person supposed to do who is trying to lose weight?

Have healthy snacks on hand. Instead of the junk food you usually eat at parties, look for Super Bowl snacks that are nutritious. Some great ideas include:

  • Bean dip with blue corn chips
  • Avocado dip with tofu and salsa
  • Spinach dip with whole grain bread
  • Light popcorn
  • Wheat pita bread with hummus
  • Trail mix with nuts and dried fruit

Avoid continuous snacking. Don’t stand near the food. Talk to people in another room and catch up together without a plate of food in your hand. Chew gum to keep your mouth moving and stop yourself from overeating. Drink water instead of soda or beer. It will make you feel full and you won’t have to worry about one extra calorie.

You can still lose weight while enjoying a Super Bowl Sunday party, as long as you focus on football and friends instead of the food table!

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