PREVENT THE PUDGE CHALLENGE

Commandment #9: YOU NEED TO ALLOW YOURSELF A TREAT


Deciding how often to indulge in your favorite treats can be a difficult choice. Do you indulge in a treat every day or just on the weekends? If you are too strict with your eating plan, it can backfire, resulting in binge eating or worse yet uncontrollable binge eating. A single binge is not the end of the world, as long as you get back on track with your diet. But regular binges could definitely interfere with your progress and damage what you are trying to accomplish – balancing a healthy eating lifestyle.

When it comes to allowing yourself to indulge in your favorite foods, you always hear the phrase, ‘moderation is key”. What does that even mean? For the foodie, it may mean eating a few bites of fries every day or eating pizza once a week. For the extreme health nut, it might mean eating pizza everything three months with light cheese and no pepperoni! Most nutritionists agree it’s about finding that balance of eating healthy and allowing some indulgences.

Research has suggested that indulging in your favorite foods during a “diet” can have some benefits. For instance, it can help eliminate binge eating because you are not adhering to a strict unrealistic diet plan. In addition, research has found that it can help speed up your metabolism. If you tend to eat the same clean eating healthy foods over and over without over indulging, your body gets kind of lazy metabolizing the same foods. Your body starts to recognize the same foods you are eating and this decreases the amount of work needed to metabolize it. Getting a tasty treat in once or twice a week during your diet may actually be helpful in allowing you to reach your long term weight goals.

This holiday season, allow yourself a treat that that you truly enjoy and love and forgoe the others. If you don’t have a weak spot for cake, don’t eat it. Just because the people around you are eating it doesn’t mean you have to as well. If your weakness is pizza, have a slice just keep in mind to skip something else to make room for that pizza slice. It’s all about finding balance in exercise and eating a variety of nutritious foods.

** Recipe ***

ONE POT TOMATO BASIL PASTA

Ingredients:
1 (16 ounce) box linguine (such as Barilla linguine)
1 (ounces) can diced tomatoes with liquid
1 medium white onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 teaspoons dried oregano leaves
2 ¼ c broth (I used low sodium)
2 ¼ c. water
1 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
1 bunch (about 10 to 12 leaves) basil, diced
optional: Parmesan cheese for garnish
Optional: add your choice of protein: shrimp, fish, meat balls, chicken, etc.

Directions:
1. In a large stock pan or 3 quart sautee pan, place un-cooked pasta, tomatoes, onion, and garlic in a large stock pot. Pour in broth and water. Drizzle top with oil.

2. On medium heat, cover pot and bring to a boil. Reduce to a low simmer and keep covered and cook for about 8 to10 minutes, stirring every 2 minutes or so with tongs or large fork. Cook until almost all liquid has evaporated – I left about an inch of liquid in the bottom of the pot – but you can reduce as desired.

3.Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add basil leaves and stir pasta several times to distribute the liquid in the bottom of the pot evenly throughout the pasta as you are serving.

4. Serve garnished with Parmesan cheese. Top with your choice of protein.

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