2 steps to balance sweet treats and healthy foods this Valentine’s Day – KSL.com

SALT LAKE CITY Valentines Day is a wonderful day to celebrate people who we love and respect, but it can start to feel overwhelming if you dont have a game plan to help you balance the yummy treats and healthy eating.

So often, people feel the need to use holidays as "cheat days" in their diets, but this doesnt have to be the case. It is possible to enjoy all the chocolate and candy of Valentines Day while maintaining a healthy lifestyle because a truly balanced diet has room for a sweet treat.

The first step to balancing out all of the sweet treats this Valentines Day is to give yourself permission to eat them. When we put restraints on what foods we can and cant eat it may cause our body to fixate on that food item and crave it until we give in and eat it. This is a common problem many people face when trying to stick to a diet.

Often times, when people cave to these cravings they might binge on the food item and eat a large amount, which can result in feelings of guilt and failure. The easiest way to avoid this is to give yourself permission to eat whatever you would like. You may be surprised to find that as you practice allowing all foods to be part of your diet, you wont continuously crave the "forbidden" foods and binge eat them later.

It takes practice to truly accept all foods into your diet, so dont give up on this idea after the first attempt. Give it a try this Valentines Day and eat a yummy treat, guilt-free.

The second step to having a balanced lifestyle is try to be more mentally aware of why you are eating. Eating doesn't need to be a stressful event, but often times it becomes very stressful for people. This stress can result in overeating or eating food we dont like very much.

Try to take a mental note before eating something. Ask yourself a couple of simple questions: "Am I actually hungry?" or "Am I eating my feelings (e.g., stress, anger, sadness)?"

Valentines Day can be a hard day for many individuals, for many different reasons. This may result in eating food to cope with difficult feelings. This isnt always a bad thing as food can temporarily help us feel happier and calmer, which can be helpful in re-centering ourselves. However, it can also become a serious problem if it's used as our only coping mechanism to deal with a stressful day or sadness.

Being more mindful of the reasons for why and what you are choosing to eat can help you identify if you're using food as a coping mechanism. Using food as a daily coping mechanism can be very unhealthy. If you find yourself in this situation, you may want to look into other coping strategies and seek help to improve your relationship with food.

Now that you have a couple of tips on how to maintain a balanced lifestyle this Valentines Day, here are a few fun Valentines-themed dinner ideas that include both healthy foods and a sweet treat:

Editors Note: Anything in this article is for informational purposes only. The content is not intended, nor should it be interpreted, to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition; Any opinions, statements, services, offers, or other information or content expressed or made available are those of the respective author(s) or distributor(s) and not of KSL. KSL does not endorse nor is it responsible for the accuracy or reliability of any opinion, information, or statement made in this article. KSL expressly disclaims all liability in respect to actions taken or not taken based on the content of this article.

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2 steps to balance sweet treats and healthy foods this Valentine's Day - KSL.com

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