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How to Control Sweets During Weight LossHow to Control Sweets During Weight Loss


How to Control Sweets During Weight Loss

For many people, sweet treats are the trigger foods that set off uncontrolled eating. Some individuals are sensitive to simple sugars and find that by eating sweets, they actually end up craving more. For example, perhaps you have a difficult time stopping at one donut. Your decision to include sweets in your eating plan should be based on your past experience. Here are two methods for developing a healthy relationship with sweets during weight loss.

Eliminate and reintroduce

In the early stages of a weight loss program it can be beneficial to refrain from eating foods you identify as trigger foods. Once the destructive cycle of food abuse has been broken and new habits formed, small portions of these foods can be reintroduced. Ideally, as you progress through your program, all foods can be included in your eating plan. A good rule of thumb is that about 90% of your daily caloric intake should be from nutrient-dense foods and about 10% of your calories can be used for extras, such as dessert.

Portion control over time

Another approach is based on the healthy eating principal that no food should ever be off limits. Some people find that any restriction of food leads to increased obsession with it, which results in overindulgence. By including small portions (as long as they do not lead to uncontrolled eating), over time food obsession will lessen and the cycle of overeating will be broken.

Only you can decide what approach will work best for you. Experiment with different methods and know that the underlying issue with trigger foods is almost always emotional, behavioral, or habitual. Focus the majority of your energy on trying to fix these underlying problems.

Lori Rice, M.S., is a nutritional scientist and author with a passion for healthy cooking, exercise physiology, and food photography.
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