Back away from the free donuts

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Back away from the free donuts

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve found myself in this exact situation: I wake up with the best of intentions, make myself a ~super balanced~ breakfast, walk to class, aaaaaand there’s a box of donuts sitting there, staring me down. I always cave—ALWAYS. How can you not?! Of course, then my hopes of having a healthy day go right in the trash, and I end up eating a bunch of garbage for the rest of the day too. Here’s how to avoid getting derailed.

Set yourself up for success

Probably the best way to avoid the free-donut trap is to plan ahead. If you’ve got yourself some healthy snacks and a killer #notsaddesklunch packed away for later, you’ll be less likely to reach for the free carbs. The key is finding something you actually really love eating, so a wilted iceberg salad isn’t gonna cut it.

Doubling down on protein will also help a lot; it fills you up more than carbs, meaning the idea of a huge jelly-filled pastry will seem a bit more, well, daunting. Revising your breakfast to include more protein and healthy fats will keep you full and focused till lunchtime. Hello, super-basic avocado toast with an egg on it. I’ve been dreaming of you.

Be “that guy”

As the token health-food-obsessed friend, I can tell you that it can be a hard adjustment to make. There’s all this weird pressure on you to EAT THE DONUTS lest you offend the kind-hearted but diet-ruining soul that brought them. But if you’re trying to do better by your body and mind, just do what I do: lie and say you did. I’m way too afraid of offending people to just say no, so I usually take one and then pass it off to someone else I know will eat it. No harm done. And next time, try returning the favor by bringing a healthy(ish) snack to pass instead. You might be that guy, but I guarantee someone just like you will appreciate it.
Fight temptation

Chocolate = healthy (best news ever)

It seems like one food or another is always in the spotlight as the new “it” food. These foods often cycle out of the limelight (some of them are actually found to be wildly unhealthy—not sure how we can get it backwards so often, but what can ya do) to be replaced by new ones. The latest food all-star? Dark chocolate. A lot of very important scientists have conducted a lot of very important studies to prove that cocoa is, in fact, good for you. Chocolate lovers rejoice!

Consider me the healthiest person alive

Cocoa is rich in antioxidants and heart-healthy compounds called flavanols. This discovery has prompted a sharp shift in how we think about chocolate; what was once dismissed as a useless, fattening filler food is now being touted as a superfood.

That doesn’t mean you can just sit on your couch and binge chocolate all day, though (unfortunate, I know). The catch: these studies were subsidized by the chocolate industry, so needless to say, they’ve been a little self-serving. Eating a whole chocolate bar still isn’t the best choice, thanks to all the sugar. What’s more, there is still no evidence that chocolate has any notable long-term benefits.

Finding balance

Okay, so maybe we shouldn’t run out to the grocery store and buy a bunch of chocolate bars at the checkout counter. In a time when diet-related diseases are wreaking havoc on a huge percentage of the U.S. population, it’s important to consider exactly what we’re putting in our bodies. There are a lot of ways to get your chocolate fix without jamming a whole bag of fun-sized 3 Musketeers down your gullet (we’ve all been there).

Try whipping up a smoothie with a frozen banana, some cacao powder, peanut butter, and ice. Tastes like a Reese’s cup, I swear. Still craving some good, honest, actual chocolate? Opt for a better bar: bars with at least 65% cacao are your healthiest option, and a lot of them are fair trade, so everyone wins. Just try not to eat the whole bar.
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