28. Be flexible.
Recognize that it’s OK to have some of those highly-rewarding foods. Completely avoiding them, or demonizing them as “bad” or “poison” usually does the opposite of what you want: You feel like a guilty failure, and you often end up overeating or bingeing on those “banned” foods. Instead, choose (in other words, decide in advance) to indulge in some occasional cookies, brownies or ice cream. Eat them slowly and mindfully, until you’re satisfied. Enjoy them. And then move on, back to your regular routine like it’s nothing. Keep in mind that how often you choose to indulge should depend on what you’re looking to achieve. Be aware
Cultivate an awareness of how you feel before, during and after your meals. Do you eat because you’re truly hungry, or because the clock says it’s time to eat, or because you just “feel snacky”? Do you feel overstuffed at the end of a meal, only to find yourself staring into the fridge two hours later? Where do most of your meals come from? Consider keeping a food journal for a couple of weeks, making note of what you eat and how you feel. You can also jot down stuff like what you’re thinking, and what else is going on in your life (e.g. stress at work). Simply becoming more aware of your body’s cues — and how these relate to other factors — will help you better regulate your food intake. Awareness helps you make decisions that are more in line with your body’s actual needs.