Look at the big picture
As a practicing registered dietitian, I recommend my clients take a step back before they make dinner and look at their pattern for the day. Did you have a healthy, lighter breakfast and lunch? Then reward yourself with a small “treat” at dinner. Aim for around 150 calories, whether it’s a glass of wine, a bit of ice cream, or a couple of squares of dark chocolate.
On the other hand, if you went out for brunch and ate more than you planned (darn mimosas!), have a lighter dinner. By not depriving yourself but also being realistic about how you’re doing, you can lose weight and keep it off. I call it the 80/20 rule: eat as healthy as you can 80 percent of the time and enjoy less healthy options 20 percent of the time. Just make sure you avoid these daily food mistakes even healthy people make.
Think of each meal and snack as a fresh start
So what if you ate a little bit more than you planned on and you’re feeling disappointed in yourself—it happens. Dust yourself off and get right back on track. Don’t fall into the trap of telling yourself the whole day is “ruined,” so you might as well overeat. Think of each time you eat as a fresh chance to make a better choice. You’ll end up eating less and eating healthier overall, which means you’ll be more successful in achieving your weight loss goals.