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In fact, experts say that allowing yourself to enjoy a little of your favorite foods – even if they’re fattening – can actually help you lose weight! According to a study in the journal Appetite – it’s all about perception. In other words, the way we feel when we indulge has a major impact on our ability to stick with our diet.

The researchers found that people who thought of the occasional treat as a “celebration” – and enjoyed it without beating themselves up – were more likely to stick to a healthy eating plan. While people who felt guilty afterward saw their indulgence as a sign of failure and loss of control… Making them much more likely to throw in the towel, and resume their old, unhealthy eating habits.