Oops. Your cravings got the best of you and you ate a pint too much of your favorite ice cream! While it's important not to let it become a habit, you shouldn't beat yourself up for occasionally slipping up. We've got six reasons why you should chill out when it comes to extra calories.
You're not alone. You might feel that you're the only one who has a weakness for sour cream and onion potato chips, but according to a survey from Self, nearly three out of five women overeat in a big way. If you tend to pig out on chocolate, candy, chips, ice cream and cheese, you're in good company. As humans, we only have so much willpower. And sometimes that willpower runs out when we see a bag of Oreos.
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It's really not that bad. Most of us assume that unhealthy foods are worse for you than they really are, overestimating calorie counts by about 41 per serving! That means you should subtract that number from your estimate. Feel a little better yet? Plus, it takes an extra 3,500 calories to gain a pound overnight! That's 21 slices of our Best Ever Red Velvet Cake, 64 Peanut Butter and Chocolate Pretzel Bites, and 204 Cheesecake-Stuffed Strawberries!
Guilt can have a bad effect on you. Those who obsess over indulging actually wind up eating more junk food than those who cut themselves a little slack. When you feel bad about bingeing, you'll try to distract yourself from more negative thoughts with more food, and then you fall into a cycle of overeating and feeling bad. Instead, you shouldn't punish yourself. You should simply accept the splurge and move on!
You're healthier than you think. If you're feeling pretty bad for your eating splurge, chances are you eat pretty well the rest of the time. "The problem is, we think of eating in absolutes: We're either healthy or not, on a diet or off, up or down," says Michelle May, M.D., author of "Eat What You Love, Love What You Eat." Instead, you should think of your diet like a pendulum. "You can swing one way or the other, but if you stay mostly within that relatively narrow center where you balance eating for pleasure with eating for nourishment, that's the healthy diet territory."
Bad eating choices don't make you a bad person. Stop labeling your food choices as character flaws and start listening to your body! Next time you want to gobble down 12 pieces of pumpkin pie (3,500 calories, by the way), stop and see if you're truly hungry. If you really are, eat something like a piece of fruit, and then indulge yourself in a small piece of pumpkin pie. You'll appreciate the goodness of the pie instead of mindlessly inhaling the stuff, and you can stash the leftovers for another day!
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You can avoid a next time. If after all that, you still can't avoid the pangs of guilt, keep in mind that you can nix a repeat performance. If portion control is your nemesis, divvy up smaller portions of your favorite junk foods ahead of time. If you find yourself justifying eating the last few cookies because they might go stale, just freeze 'em! Or, just don't buy it! If it's not in your house, you can't overeat it!
What tips do you have for overeating? Share with us in the comments below!