I see so many fad diets going around and honestly, they just make me sad.

I’m a huge believer in enjoying food and not being neurotic about every little indulgence that goes in your body. With that being said, a person can’t solely live on cookies (I wish). I was lying in bed at 3 am when I thought, there has to be a way to find a balance.

So then I thought of a new “diet”. The neat part is it’s not a diet at all. It’s a mindset, a level of mindfulness that let’s you control everything that goes into your body. You can eat anything you want, but after you ask yourself three questions.

Is it social? Is it worth it? Do I actually want it?

They sound simple in theory, but the trick is to be honest with yourself. If you blindly answer yes to each question then it will have zero impact.

Is it Social?

This is referring to whom you are around. Some examples of what would make an indulgence social are an ice cream social, a date at an Italian restaurant, a bubble tea run with your best friend, or a movie night with your roommate. Eating yummy food to connect with people is a great way to make a great night an amazing night.

Another situation that would make something social is if you go out to get it, rather than eat it at home. Go out and get some pizza rather than getting it delivered, or eat in the McDonalds rather than going through the drive thru and bringing it home.

Another benefit of saving unhealthy food for social moments is it helps to detract from on your couch, TV binging with mindless eating. We’ve all been there. One moment the pint was full then it just kind of disappeared.

Is It Worth It?

candy, chocolate cookie, pastry, cake, sweet, goody, chocolate, cookie
Scott Harrington

This one obviously varies from person to person because we all have different cravings. You’ll want to make your own distinctions. Essentially when there is junk food in front of you, make sure it’s something that you love…something that is utterly delicious.

For example I would always take straight out of the oven chocolate chip cookies over some candy or processed cakes. I also am not a huge potato chip craver. A decadent ice cream sundae is way more worth it to me.

Taking that extra second to give what’s in front of you a final judgment call will make sure your indulgences truly are spectacular.

Do I Actually Want It?

cake, cream, cheese, cream cheese, cupcake, lemon, buttercream
Adrianna Sniezek

This one in some ways is the hardest to mentally answer. Humans are very visual creatures. We see the bacon cheeseburger and our mouths start watering.

But sometimes we convince ourselves that we want something just because it’s there. Taking an extra second to dive into your body and see if you actually feel for something, might lead to some surprising outcomes.

Asking yourself this is one of the best ways to avoid bored eating and eating when you aren’t really hungry. It’s a simple question with powerful results.

So When Can I Eat It?

cream, espresso, cappuccino, milk, tea, coffee
Adrianna Sniezek

Ideally, all three questions should have a confident “yes” answer. And the first evaluation shouldn’t be the last. Once you’re halfway through a massive piece of cheesecake, perhaps reevaluate if it still has the same enjoyment as when you started. This will allow you to feel confident in your decisions. But I understand there are circumstances that 2/3 or even 1/3 “yes” answers can lead to a perfectly valid indulgence.

For example, everyone needs a night in front of reality TV with a pint of their favorite Ben and Jerry’s flavor in hand. It’s not social, but it’s sure as hell worth it and you obviously feel for it.

Another example would be the times when you just want something trashy like a Twinkie. I’d argue that it’s not worth it, but sometimes you just feel for it (Make sure there is nothing that you feel for more, before diving in.)

Ideally, you should be going for three “yes” answers. This will lead to the upmost confidence in your decisions and the most mindfulness in your eating habits. A yes to the third question is the most important one.

Sometimes simply reevaluating your choices before making them is enough to make healthier choices. No calorie counting or strict diets, just knowing and having more control over what you’re eating.