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Healthy Eating Jump-Start Day 20: Treat yourself

DENIS BALIBOUSE/DENIS BALIBOUSE/REUTERS

Have you made a resolution to eat better and lose weight? Follow our month-long program of daily nutrition tips, created by dietitian Leslie Beck to change your lifestyle for January - and beyond. And to get your fitness on track, try our personal trainer-designed Boot Camp 2012 program .

DAY 20: Treat yourself

You've almost done it – conquered The Globe and Mail's Healthy Eating Jump-Start and mastered some healthy habits along the way. Today, it's time to indulge yourself. Plan for a splurge you enjoy – be it cookies, cake, ice cream, French fries or, better yet, dark chocolate. (Do this along with getting your whole grains, fruit, vegetables, water, vegetarian protein foods and watching your sodium, of course).

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To maintain healthy eating habits, it's important that you don't feel deprived. As soon as you put a food on a forbidden list, it becomes more desirable. When you're stressed or bored you're more likely to crave what's taboo – a feeling that can lead to bingeing.

Make this weekly treat part of your ongoing eating plan. The occasional indulgence won't hinder your ability to eat healthfully – or lose weight for that matter.

Missed earlier days? It's easy to get caught up.

DAY 19: Go for whole grains

DAY 18: Don't eat after 8 p.m.

DAY 17: Eat an afternoon snack

DAY 16: Track your calories

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DAY 15: Ban sugary drinks

DAY 14: Eat an orange vegetable

DAY 13: Add ground flaxseed to your diet

DAY 12: Eat one vegetarian meal

DAY 11: Pass on the salt

DAY 10: Plan next week's meals in advance

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DAY 9: Eat a leafy green vegetable

DAY 8: Drink a cup of green tea

DAY 7: Snack on fruit

DAY 6: Use a smaller plate

DAY 5: Eat more veggies

DAY 4: Practise eating slowly

DAY 3: Boost fibre at breakfast

DAY 2: Drink a large glass of water before each meal

DAY 1: Keep a food diary for the next seven days

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