Have Your Cookie and Eat it Too

by Anne Bennett on December 13, 2010

Warning: Contents irresistible.

Are you a white-knuckle dieter during the holidays, dodging the cookie tray while thinking nonstop about the goodies you’re trying to avoid? A new study suggests that you may be better off giving in to your cravings.

In the study three groups of young women were asked to sit alone; one group was asked to think about chocolate, the second group was asked to avoid thinking about chocolate and the third was asked to think about something else altogether.

Can you guess which group succumbed to eating the most chocolate after the study was concluded?

The ones who were asked to avoid thinking about it. The study concluded that the more we crave a food and attempt to avoid it, the more likely we are to eventually overindulge. This suggests that dieters who constantly deprive themselves of their favorite foods are waging a losing battle. It’s better to give in once in awhile and enjoy our favorite treats.

During the holidays, and any other time of year for that matter, my favorites are the chocolate chip cookies my friend Connie makes and brings to every social gathering.

Salted or unsalted, doesn't matter

Other than baking cookies–her recipe comes straight off the back of the Nestles Toll House Chocolate Chip bag–Connie doesn’t cook. There’s nothing really unique about her cookies: she adds no nuts and the salt level in each batch depends upon whether she used salted or unsalted butter (she buys whatever is on sale).

Nevertheless, for some reason that I haven’t been able to specifically determine, her cookies are the best, sought after by all who are within arm’s reach. (Come to think of it, we’re all watching our weight and are constantly cookie-deprived. No wonder we practically knock her down when she comes through the door!)

Connie always brings her cookies in a large Christmas tin, even to our 4th of July party, from which the leftovers call my name nonstop until they are gone. (Another nagging aspect of her cookies is that they taste just as good, dunked in hot coffee, days later!)

How do I resist these irresistible morsels? I don’t. I succumb to at least one a day while they’re there, sometimes two. And that has been the key to my being able to deal with them. I give in, but within reason. I won’t say it’s easy, but for me, it’s the only way I can actually have my cookie and eat it too, that is, without seeing a gain on the scale.

This year I’m looking forward to an upcoming Christmas party, because I know Connie will be there and that means so will her cookies. I plan on saving room for one big cookie. I can’t wait.

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