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"How Bad Is It Really?" (GLAMOUR)

How Bad Is Your Health Habit Really?

By Shannan Rouss

“For dinner last night, I had a cookie. And another. And another. And another.”

How bad is it?

Not so bad. “If your diet is usually healthy and balanced, then you could swing a cookie dinner once a week,” says SELF contributing editor Janis Jibrin, R.D. By “balanced,” we mean the rest of your meals are low in sugar, fat and salt and high in fruit, vegetables, fiber, whole grains and lean protein. Just don’t eat the entire box, and add a glass of lowfat milk for calcium. And keep in mind that cookies are a nutritional zero, so you may feel satisfied in the short term but famished soon after—in which case Jibrin recommends having a low-calorie, filling snack such as a cup of lentil soup or carrots with about 1/3 cup of hummus. If your cookie indulgence leaves you racked with guilt or trying to compensate by starving yourself the next day, tell yourself to eat healthily to make up for it, because starving can set you up for more overeating later.

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