It’s That First Bite That Will Do You In

Staying away from sweet treats and fried foods may be the best strategy to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

You’ve been eating healthy and avoiding junk food.

There is a kind of momentum which develops where you are gaining will power by exercising your will to stay away from fatty, sugary foods.

But, that first whiff leads to that first bite which can lead to a slippery slope into over indulgence.

There’s a reason this tends to happen almost exclusively with fatty and sugary foods and not, say, lettuce. The saturated fats in foods like bacon and cheese impair your brain’s normal ability to regulate appetite and cravings, so you don’t realize you’re full until you’re completely stuffed, says Kelly McGonigal, Ph.D., a health psychologist at Stanford University and author of The Willpower Instinct. What’s more, that effect on your appetite can last for up to three days, the length of time it takes to flush those fats from your system. So one unhealthy indulgence can end up triggering a major relapse.
Add sugar to the fatty food, ice cream, cake, doughnuts, and you have a double whammy. High-sugar foods increase your levels of ghrelin, a hormone that stimulates appetite and increases cravings. “So you may tell yourself ‘Just one bite’ but find yourself wanting more and more, the more you eat,” says McGonigal.

Moderation is a term that gets tossed around often, however, the definition seems to have a wide range of meaning.

If being around treats could derail your diet, then better to avoid them altogether especially considering that there is no nutritional gain to be had from eating junk food anyway.

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