When you're hoping to lose weight, you may be tempted to set rules for yourself, but do your body (and your sanity) a big favor by steering clear of strict ultimatums. It's smart to track your progress and food habits, but if you find that you're playing mind games with yourself and feeling discouraged, it's time to ditch the firm absolutes. Vowing to shun sugar for a month may seem like a great weight-loss strategy, but in reality, it's more likely to kick-start a craving for sweets.
A better idea? Follow your instincts. When you want something sugary, eat something sweet to avoid binge eating later. If there are certain foods that you struggle to eat in moderation, look into healthier alternatives to help curb your cravings. Swap yogurt or Popsicles for ice cream, try some of our nutritious versions of your favorite comfort foods, and satisfy the need for fries with these salty substitutes. By sticking to your natural impulses, you'll have a greater sense of your body's hunger signals and be able to eat sensibly without having to think twice.