Go Ahead, Eat Dessert First

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I love a good dessert, and I am all about indulging now and then. But, I recently came across some new information about desserts that has radically changed things for me as a woman and a mom. I bet you are going to feel the same way.

Have you ever found yourself forcing your way through a meal just because you are anxious to get to the dessert? Have you ever told your kid they had to eat all that is on their plate before they get dessert? Have you ever treated dessert like a prize?

Guess what? When you view dessert this way, you run the risk over actually overeating (or making your kids overeat). When you stop forcing yourself to say “no” to sweets, you will be surprised to find you don’t binge eat the way you did before. It’s true!

Eat Like a European

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Did you know that it is common to start your meal with a pastry or tart in European countries? Since Europeans are not quite as obese as Americans, this is an interesting tidbit. They treat desserts differently than we do.

Stop Treating Dessert Like a Reward

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What would happen if you stopped treated dessert like a reward and treated it more like a normal part of a balanced diet? When we treat desserts like an indulgence, it makes it easier to overindulge. Think about it. We always want more of the things we aren’t supposed to have. If we took the danger out of desserts, maybe we wouldn’t allow them to put us in the danger zone.

Even Science Agrees

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The American Psychological Association has studied it, and even they say eat dessert first! In their report aptly titled If I Indulge First, I Will Eat Less Overall: The Unexpected Interaction Effect of Indulgence and Presentation Order on Consumption, they found that individuals who started their meal with their highest-calorie dish first tend to eat less calories overall.

From the report: “The results of four experiments consistently showed that when the first item in a sequence is indulgent, individuals subsequently choose healthier foods and consume fewer calories.” It makes sense to me. If I choose to begin with a dessert, I will likely not stuff myself with other high-calorie foods after.

Moderation is Key

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“All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn't hurt.” - Charles M. Schulz

Like all things in life, moderation is key. While Europeans and scientists may agree that dessert comes first, I don’t think it means dessert comes first at every meal. Or that every dessert should be super indulgent. Some desserts are better than others.

Ultimately, the key is to let go of dessert guilt. When you eat what you want when you want it, you are less likely to overindulge. By taking away the prize of dessert and treating it like a regular part of a balanced diet, we are less likely to feel like we “need” a dessert to satisfy us.

What do you think? Are desserts worth it?

 

These Small Changes Changed Everything About the Way I Eat

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At the start of a new year, there is always so much pressure to lose more weight and get healthier. For most women, this turns into a cycle of dieting where we lose weight, gain weight, and feel less than. I’m over it.

Being healthy matters. But eating well and living a life you enjoy matters just as much. If we are not careful, we can develop a negative attitude towards food, which will make life harder and less enjoyable. This is why it is so important to have a positive attitude toward food.

Today, I’m sharing some of the small changes I made regarding the way I view food and dieting. These small changes have made such a big difference in my life. I bet you’ll notice a positive change when you change your attitude about food, too.

Dieting for the Sake of Dieting – No Thank You!

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If you are dieting to get healthy, good for you! If you are dieting simply because everyone around you is dieting, just stop. While it is important to eat healthy, there is no reason to go overboard with juice cleanses and diets.

Let Go of Food Guilt

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Please, once and for all, can we get over food guilt? There is already so much pressure on women to look the right way that we don’t need to feel pressure to eat the right way all the time. If you eat something not on the health menu, don’t beat yourself up. Tomorrow is a new day.

Stop Saying Never – Eat Some Treats!

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Along with the above attitude, stop telling yourself you can “never” eat certain things. This will only make you want them more. It is perfectly fine to indulge in the occasional treats. Many nutritionists recommend following the 80/20 rule – try to eat healthy 80% of the time with a 20% cushion.

Eat When You are Hungry – Not for the Sake of Staying Busy

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Many women fall into the habit of eating just to stay busy. Women get bored, and it feels better to be doing something – even something as simple as snacking. Instead, aim to eat when you are hungry. Before you pull a snack out of the pantry, ask yourself if you are actually hungry.

Enjoy Eating and Engage Your Senses

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The more you enjoy eating, the better your relationship with food will become. For instance, take time to taste your food rather than rushing through a meal. Engage your senses. Notice the aromas and taste the different flavors. Marvel at the beautiful display on the plate before you at the restaurant – isn’t that half the pics on Insta? We love looking at beautiful food. Now, take the time to enjoy eating it!

Be a Positive Food Role Model

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As a mom, it is important that I am a positive food role model for my daughters. Bad food habits can cause big problems like obesity and eating disorders. That’s why I believe it is important to teach them to eat well and enjoy every bite.