The solution: Reassess things. “If youre eating enough calories, you may be labeling yourself as hungry when youre actually just experiencing a desire to eat,” dream team psych expert Judith Beck, PhD, says. “When youre truly hungry, your stomach feels empty.” Otherwise, something elselike boredom or thirstmay be spurring your desire to nosh.
The solution: Have some! The trick isnt to stop indulgingits to learn how to do it right. “If you put it off limits, the craving will only get worse,” Dr. Beck says. “Youll eventually give in and probably eat way more than you should.” Whether its ice cream, a brownie, or, yep, a piece of red velvet cake, have a little every night as your evening snack.
The solution: Make these “healthy” foods so yummy that your brain thinks theyre treats. “There are so many tasty low-cal foods out there now. If you can forget theyre good for you and focus on the taste, youll realize that youre not giving up anything by making healthier choices,” says dream team dietitian Alyse Levine. Get creative, too: Sprinkle low-fat key lime pie yogurt with a few crushed vanilla wafers and, voila, its key lime pie instead of just yogurt. “Or try a quick substitute for something high-fat, like a mini cheesecake sandwich made with part-skim ricotta cheese and raspberry jam between graham crackers,” Levine says.
The solution: “Your best bet is a white wine spritzer: half wine, half club soda,” Levine says. Other options include a glass of wine, a light beer, or any kind of spirit mixed with a noncaloric liquid (like vodka with seltzer). Then, chase each drink with an equal amount of water or seltzer, so you drink less overall. One final tip: Be sure to slide that bowl of mixed nuts down the bar, far out of reach.