Science Says: Have Your Cake And…Fiber, Too.

Remember the good old days when a well-rounded diet consisted of meat, potatoes, bread slathered in butter, the occasional veggie, and a beautiful display-worthy cake every night for dessert? (Wait, was this the 1950s or a dream I had the other night…? Really hard to tell.)

Either way, those dreams have been crushed as every diet in the book has risen to the surface over the years, each preaching a contradictory message to the last:

No meat! All meat! No starch! No carbs! Aaaaaaaall the carbs! No fat! All fat! How could anyone make sense of all the options?

Thankfully, science is now telling us that we are free to have our cake, as long as we have some fiber, too.

Recent research done by the University of Georgia tells us that in tests conducted where each group was fed either a high-fiber diet, a high-fat diet, or a high-fat diet supplemented with fiber, the latter didn’t come out looking half bad. While the high-fiber diet group came out of the study with the best overall gut health, those that ate the high-fat diet supplemented with fiber had less weight gain and obesity than the solely high-fat dieters. The fiber supplements also helped decrease the size of fat cells, regulate blood sugar, and lower cholesterol.

I bet those bran flakes aren’t looking too bad right about now!

So, it looks like we can put the diet battle to rest at last as moderation in all things is probably our best bet. Especially since I am now justified in finishing off the ice cream tonight because I had a bowl of ultra-fibrous peas at dinner. Win.


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Seven Mocktails for Mama

We are offering an exclusive discount to Today’s Mama’s readers. Enter code HMHBLOVESTM to take $40 off a lifetime membership to our program.

Are you planning a party menu? If you’re Whole30-ing, pregnant, or breastfeeding, you’re most likely not planning to partake in adult beverages. But, we think you still deserve to kick back and put your feet up while sipping a refreshing, healthy drink. We’ve got you covered in this post with our round up of seven mocktails for mama. Cheers!

Coconut Mojito Mocktail

from Laura of @cookathomemom on Instagram
(makes 2 servings)

½ cup coconut milk
1 small lime
1 can La Croix Lime
15-20 mint leaves
¼ cup flakey sea salt (optional, for salt rims)

TO salt rim the glasses (optional): Cut the lime in half and run one piece along the edge of each glass. Pour sea salt in a shallow dish and dip each glass in.

DIVIDE the mint leaves among 2 tall glasses. Juice the lime and pour half into each glass. Muddle the mint leaves into the lime juice, then pour ¼ cup of coconut milk into each glass.

ADD ice to the glasses, then top off with lime LaCroix until full (be careful as you pour… bubbles!). Garnish with extra lime slices and mint.

Beauty Lemonade

mocktails for mama

from Food Matters
(makes 2 servings)

8 oz fresh strawberries
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 cups coconut water
1 cup kombucha (choose your favorite flavor!)

BLEND all ingredients in a blender until smooth. Pour into two glasses. Enjoy!

White Sangria Mocktail

mocktails for mama

from La Croix
(makes about 4 servings)

4 cans of lemon LaCroix sparkling water (add to taste)
6 oranges (sliced) or substitute 2 cups of orange juice
2 lemons (sliced)
2 limes (sliced)

POUR LaCroix in the pitcher and squeeze the juice wedges from the orange, lemon and lime into the LaCroix.

 TOSS in the fruit wedges (leaving out seeds if possible).
CHILL overnight. If you’d like to serve right away, use chilled LaCroix and serve over ice.


Watermelon Lime Slushy

mocktails for mama

from @smithfamilykitchen on Instagram
(serves 1-2)

1 cup diced watermelon (remove seeds)
Juice from 1 lime
Lime sparkling water
Salt (optional, for salted rim)

RIM glass with salt, if desired.

BLEND watermelon and lime juice. Pour into glass, filling about halfway, and then add sparkling water to fill. Enjoy!

Other options we love:

The Dark and Not-so-Stormy from

Bonus for pregnant mamas: limes are loaded with vitamin C, molasses is chock full of iron, calcium, and potassium, and ginger is a tummy soother for any nausea that ails you.

Detoxifying Water from Whole Sisters

Check out these potential health benefits just from sipping on this one! Cucumbers and ginger have anti-inflammatory properties, mint is known to ease nausea, and lemons are a refreshing addition that can also support digestion.

More Mocktails from the Whole30 blog

This post from Whole30 has SIX mocktail recipes, but don’t miss the Lemon Lime Zinger, which uses citrus and ginger to create a refreshing (and potentially nausea relieving) drink.

join now!

Our goal at Whole30 HMHB is to give you the information you need about pregnancy nutrition and health without the judgment or fear-mongering that is so commonly directed at expecting mothers. For more information on our program, find us at and on Instagram @Whole30HMHB. We are offering an exclusive discount to Today’s Mama’s readers. Enter code HMHBLOVESTM to take $40 off a lifetime membership to our program.



mocktails for mama



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Take Control of Emotional Eating in 2 Steps

Food is social, it holds memories, and we feel comfort, satisfaction and pleasure from it.  In that way, we all are emotional eaters to a certain extent.  Emotional Eating only becomes an issue when we use food as the only way to consistently distract from or numb uncomfortable emotions.

It’s much more common than some realize, and can feel absolutely overwhelming to the person trying to make sense of it. It’s really easy to blame the food and become rigid and restrictive with what foods are allowed in the house or on a diet plan.

Unfortunately this only works to increase emotional distress, feelings of deprivation and cravings for the very foods that may be felt to be problematic. Restriction breeds rebellion.

In my experience there are two ways to work effectively with emotional eating. They complement and support each other while also being their own unique skill or tool.

emotional eating


1. Feel the emotion

Imagine that a 2-year-old is trying to get your attention. She may start by saying your name or tapping you on the leg. What happens if you don’t answer? If you have experience with 2-year-olds, you know that she gets louder and louder and more obnoxious until you answer. However, if you had responded the first time, it’s likely she just needed to be listened to, validated, helped and then sent on her way.

The same could be said for your feelings and emotions. The more you ignore them, the bigger they get. The middle part of your brain, called the limbic system, is responsible for processing emotions.

In his book “Mindsight,” Dr. Dan Siegel, a professor of clinical psychiatry at the UCLA School of Medicine and executive director of the Mindsight Institute, teaches the reader about a technique called “name it to tame it.”

Neuroscience has found that naming the emotion like “I feel sad” can actually decrease the stress response in the brain. When you name it, your brain increases soothing neurotransmitters that are sent to your limbic system to calm it down. The very act of moving toward the emotion, naming it and aiming to understand it decreases its power over you.

A big hurdle to doing this is the common propensity of judging yourself for how you feel. Maybe you feel like you shouldn’t feel frustrated so you avoid acknowledging it. Maybe you feel like you should feel happy so you avoid acknowledging your true emotion. Separate who you are from what you feel.

Please note that in our “name it to tame it” example above, we used the phrase “I feel sad” not “I am sad.” Feelings, thoughts and emotions are only activity of the mind, not who you are. Acknowledging them gives you a chance to be transparent, honest and authentic and move toward growth and healing.

Another hurdle is identifying how you truly feel. If you say “I am angry” and don’t feel the calming neurotransmitters doing their job, it may be because you didn’t identify the true emotion. Maybe you feel hurt, which is making you feel angry. Aim to understand and validate rather than judge and react.

Why is feeling the emotion important? Because if you can move toward the emotion, then you won’t need to move way from it — and toward food.

emotional eating tips


2. Avoid emotional reactivity

The second technique may seem to be at odds with the first. We aren’t trying to avoid emotions, just avoid letting them get to a point where they feel unmanageable. In working with clients I find there are very specific triggers for emotional reactivity.

First, you don’t stand a chance against emotional eating if you aren’t eating consistently, regularly and adequately. It’s very difficult to think cohesively, rationally and clearly when you are overly hungry. Our brains only burn glucose for energy, so if blood sugar levels are dropping, you can expect that not much fuel is getting to your brain. If you are prone to emotional eating already, feeling overly hungry just creates the perfect storm.

Eat balanced meals (carbohydrate, protein, fat, fruit and/or vegetable) three times a day, adding snacks between if meals are longer than three to four hours apart. I am certain that you will feel more level-headed in many areas, including with food. Skipping meals might make you feel like you are saving time, but I assure you it’s only backfiring.




Second, establish clear work-life boundaries. If life feels out of balance, it’s easy to become burned out, drained and reactive. If you are strung out in all other areas of your life, it’s easy to let food become the place where you throw caution to the wind and unwind.  Set clear work-life boundaries, being sure to include time for your own personal hobbies and passions. Be realistic and appropriate in setting those boundaries, but do set them.

Third, find ways to be proactive in self-care to avoid “crisis mode.” You can handle what life throws at you if you cultivate resilience regularly. This will mean different things to different people, but some good examples might include taking regular breaks during the day to get up and stretch, turning on music while you work.

Put a project aside for a bit to work on something less draining (but that lets you still feel productive), practice time management by planning your day ahead of time, start your day with meditation and/or prayer to feel connected and grounded, eat meals away from your desk, set regular sleep patterns and make time for physical activities you enjoy.

Your emotions, feelings and well-being matter. Being too busy for them or pretending they don’t matter is likely manifesting in emotional eating. See it as a sign that coping strategies and self-care behaviors are inadequate and take steps to support yourself.


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 The information included in our Dear Steph series is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always consult your healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for your own situation, or if you have any questions regarding your healthcare plan. Have a question for Steph? Send her an email.


Dear Stephanie, Is it safe for me to do a Whole30 during my pregnancy? I’m nervous that my baby might not get all of the nutrients he/she needs, I’m not sure how to combat morning sickness without crackers and ginger ale. There’s no way I’m going to be able to not snack! Help! – Pregnant Women on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and the entire Internet


Dear Pregnant Women,

You are not alone in wondering if a Whole30 is safe to do while pregnant. We (Whole30 co-creator Melissa Hartwig and myself) get these questions every day. In fact, this is the primary reason we created the Healthy Mama, Happy Baby program.

Your #PregnantWhole30 concerns are common, and they also show me how serious you are about your health and the health of your baby. As a registered dietitian, I’m happy to say that a Whole30 is perfectly safe for most pregnant women. And as a mom, I can lend you my support and encouragement because I did a Whole30 during my pregnancy. During pregnancy, it’s possible to complete a Whole30 exactly as outlined in The Whole30 program guidelines.  However, I have a few additional recommendations to make those 30 days as smooth and stress-free as possible:

  1. Listen to your body
  2. Make sure you are eating enough
  3. Enjoy smaller meals and snacks, if desired
  4. Consider your protein and carb intake

We hear the following concerns over and over again:


Concern #1 I’m afraid I’ll LOSE too much weight if I do a Whole30.


When you embark on a Whole30, you remove foods (grains, legumes, and dairy) that make up a large percentage of your total calorie intake. This is especially true if you’re coming to the program from a standard American diet. Not only are you potentially eliminating significant sources of calories, but you are replacing those foods with foods that promote satiety (non-starchy vegetables, healthy fat, and protein). During pregnancy, your body needs an additional 300-500 calories to promote the health, growth and development of you and your baby. Do you see how this scenario can set us up for potential weight loss or under-consumption of calories?

Pregnancy isn’t truly a time to eat for two, but your body does require additional calories. You want to make sure these additions come from nutrient-dense sources. Ideally, your meals and snacks should contain plenty of healthy fat (such as avocado, olives, nuts, seeds, and coconut products), protein, vegetables (starchy and non-starchy) and fruit. If you’re coming to the Whole30 from a low-fat or calorie controlled diet, you may have to make a conscious effort to include enough healthy fat with each meal. If you’re exercising during your pregnancy, be sure to purposefully include enough starchy vegetables (like potatoes and winter squash) and fruit to support your activity level.

At any point during your pregnancy, if you’re losing too much weight, or are feeling under-fed and exhausted, it may be time to take a break from your Whole30. Now isn’t the time to “push through it” or “Whole30 harder.” Listen to your body, take a break, and do whatever you need to do to get through the rough time. This may include eating a gluten-free bagel or some full-fat, grass-fed yogurt. As your energy levels increase and you feel better, check in with your healthcare provider, and consider restarting your Whole30 at a later date.

Our Healthy Mama, Happy Baby program addresses this in depth, and we include sample meal plans to give you plenty of ideas on how to eat well during pregnancy.


Concern #2: There’s no way I can eat that much protein, fat, and non-starchy vegetables at each meal!


While the recommendations of the traditional Whole30 program say to avoid/minimize snacking, you may need to ditch this recommendation during your pregnancy. This is especially true if you are dealing with morning sickness or are in your 3rd trimester. Having smaller meals every three hours may help alleviate some of the nausea you experience, which can be triggered by an empty stomach or low blood sugar. As your baby grows, you may not have the physical space in your stomach to eat larger meals. Do the best you can with the issues that pop up. Remember that everything you’re eating is nutrient-dense and healthy for your baby, which is the most important thing.

In our Healthy Mama, Happy Baby program, we give you meal plans, tips, and tricks designed to help you modify the Whole30 for pregnancy.


pregnancy whole30 whole 30


Concern #3: Should I modify the recommended portion sizes in the Whole30 Meal Planning Template?


Pregnancy is not the time to follow a very low-carbohydrate diet or go heavy on protein. You’ll want to add some form of starchy vegetables and/or fruit to most of your meals. This will ensure you and your baby receive a wide-variety of nutrients while reducing any additional stress on your body as a result of going too low-carb.  Consider sticking to the lower-end of the recommendations for protein as your body’s ability to safely convert protein by-products is less efficient during pregnancy.

Many women experience protein aversions during pregnancy, especially during the first trimester. You may naturally find yourself consuming less throughout the day. A palm-sized amount of protein at each meal might seem impossible! You can try having smaller meals, use collagen peptides in smoothies or a cup of bone broth or whatever you need to do to make it work. Don’t stress about it too much. You’ll likely feel much better once the second trimester hits and can resume eating your normal protein staples.

In addition to tossing out the “no snacking” recommendation, you may also choose to ditch the Whole30 recommendation to limit fruit to two servings a day, eaten with your meals. I found myself craving fruit during my pregnancy and enjoyed it a few times a day. Pair fruit and starchy vegetables with protein or fat to reduce the impact on your blood sugar levels. Preventing blood sugar spikes and crashes means you’ll feel better and hopefully avoid developing pregnancy-related complications!


A Final Note


Know that Melissa and I would never advocate for doing a Whole30 for your entire pregnancy. You can still focus on the main principles outlined by the program and have a fantastic pregnancy without doing a #PregnantWhole30. Lastly, know that there is no such thing as a perfect Whole30 while pregnant. Your version of a a Whole30 may be very different from another pregnant mama’s, and that’s totally fine! The key is finding a balance of nutrient-dense, whole foods that works for your unique needs.

Pregnancy is a time to listen to your body, do your best with the curve-balls thrown your way, and enjoy the journey. I know you probably still have a million questions and that’s why I’m here! We provide tons of information, tools, and tricks in the Healthy Mama, Happy Baby program. I’m happy to answer any additional questions or concerns you may have. Follow us on Instagram @Whole30HMHB, or find my personal account @rockyourhormones.

Our goal at Whole30 HMHB is to give you the information you need about pregnancy nutrition and health without the judgment or fear-mongering that is so commonly directed at expecting mothers. For more information on our program, find us at and on Instagram @Whole30HMHB. We are offering an exclusive discount to Today’s Mama’s readers. Enter code HMHBLOVESTM to take $40 a lifetime membership to our program.


Steph Whole30 HMHBStephanie Greunke is the co-creator of Whole30 Healthy Mama, Happy Baby. She is a registered dietitian with a master’s degree in nutrition who specializes in women’s health. She is a certified personal trainer and prenatal and postnatal corrective exercise specialist. Stephanie guides and supports women locally and globally through her web-based private practice,





Here’s What Your Food Cravings Are REALLY Trying To Tell You

Your cravings have wisdom. 

If you are human, you’ve likely experienced cravings before.  Maybe you even feel like you are someone who experiences them to a greater degree than what may be considered normal.  Our current nutrition culture is such that you likely have felt a lot of judgment about having them, particularly if they are for “unhealthy” foods.  Alternately, you would likely feel pride or relief about craving something “healthy” like a salad or oatmeal.

Judging our cravings, however, gets us nowhere.  The process of making peace with food, embracing Intuitive Eating and giving up the diet mentality absolutely requires curiosity.  A critical, judgmental mind holds you back whereas curiosity is probably your biggest asset. If you can lean into WHY, you can uncover so much about yourself, about food and about what you need.

As you lead with curiosity, you’re likely to find your cravings have wisdom.  It’s so true.  They can teach you a lot actually, if you’ll let them.  I’m gonna help you out here with a list of possibilities when it comes to cravings.  I would love to hear what you’ve found to be true for you as well.  Leave me a comment below!

It just sounds good to eat.  Really don’t need to overthink that too much.

Inadequate nutrition.  A very common cause of cravings is inadequate fuel and nutrition, particularly if those cravings (or resulting behaviors) feel compulsive.  Often we blame this on willpower, self-control or lack of discipline when really it’s because you’ve felt unsatisfied and undernourished.  If you’ve skipped meals, gone too long without eating or been restricting foods or food groups (which has left meals or snacks unbalanced or too small), it could easily lead to cravings later.  It’s common practice to skimp on carbohydrates or fats, and isn’t it often high fat carbohydrates that we are craving?  It’s definitely worth checking to see if you have an even distribution of carbohydrates and fats all throughout the day.  Of course, protein is worth looking at too.

Food insecurity.  We typically associate food insecurity with kids who don’t have access to food.  While that’s true, it could also be self-inflicted through dieting or restrictive mindsets.  When you feel like food isn’t going to be there tomorrow, it will absolutely effect your thoughts and behaviors today.  Giving yourself unconditional permission to eat will decrease the power food has over you.  Being in control by having food rules is an illusion; they are actually controlling you.

Emotional hunger.  We certainly are complex human beings with many different kinds of hunger.  Eating outside of physical hunger is totally normal and happens to us all.  However, consistently using food as the only way to meet your needs is likely leaving you confused and lacking confidence in your ability to take care of yourself.  We need food.  We also need rest, connection, movement, love and variety.  We need to feel relevant and like we are making contributions in positive ways.  We want to feel like we belong and are a part of something meaningful and valuable.  I’m sure we could list more.  If you feel like something is lacking, it could be easier to distract or numb with food instead of leaning into what it is or how you’re feeling.  In this case, working to become more emotionally aware would be worthwhile to you.  This could be done through journaling, therapy (nutrition therapy with an RD included) or some other form of self-reflection.

You’re craving variety.  Have you been eating the same thing over and over and over?  Our bodies want and need a wide variety of foods to function optimally.  It’s physically and psychologically unsatisfying to eat the same foods day in and day out.  Building more flexibility into your meals and snacks will likely help you feel less preoccupied with food.

You’re not at your natural weight.  If you are trying to maintain a weight that is below your natural healthy weight, you will experience strong cravings for food.  It’s a really smart biological adaptation that supports survival.  The idea that we can look however we want if we just work hard enough is a really irresponsible cultural narrative which can easily lead to extreme, dangerous and unhealthy behaviors.  The truth is that we all have a genetically determined set-point, or a weight at which we function optimally.  If you are restricting food and/or overexercising to maintain a weight lower than ideal for you, food will feel really compelling and preoccupying and you will likely have frequent, intense cravings.

food craving wisdom scale

You aren’t respecting your body’s intuitive signals of hunger and fullness.  When you get hungry, do you honor it?  When you get full, do you respect that?  We are all going to have days where we end up overly hungry and/or overly full.  But consistently ignoring what your body is communicating to you leads to lack of self-trust.  What you might be interpreting as cravings may just be your body communicating it’s needs.  Interoceptive awareness, or the signaling and perception of internal bodily sensations, is a skill often lacking in those with disordered eating.  Perhaps assigning a number to your hunger and a number to your fullness for a few days will help you connect, fostering more trust for your body and it’s ability to communicate with you.  HERE is a hunger scale you could use.

Lots of judgment about “good” food and “bad” food.  This is related to #2.  In our current nutrition culture, it’s easy to equate healthy eating with restrictive eating.  However, healthy eating is actually very flexible and inclusive of a wide variety of foods.  By labeling foods good and bad, you are encouraging an all-or-nothing mentality where you are either being good or bad.  This can lead to inconsistent, irregular and inadequate food patterns (think restriction/chaos diet cycle) when in reality our bodies function best with consistent, regular and adequate nutrition.  When we are swinging between extremes in eating, our blood sugar can swing, our mood can swing and our hunger/fullness signals can swing, leading to more intense cravings than you may be comfortable with.

Some cravings – like salty foods for example – may indicate a medical issue.  If you find these cravings to be very intense and very frequent, it may be necessary to seek medical advice.

Lastly, be sure you aren’t thinking of hunger like it’s a character flaw.  We are human.  We get hungry and when we get hungry we want to eat and feel satisfied.  It’s an innate need which diet culture would have us feel ashamed of.  I’ve definitely learned that if I’m craving chocolate, fruit will not cut it.  If I’m craving pizza, a salad will not do.  How often do we eat around the craving and then have it anyway?  Don’t waste too much of your time overthinking cravings.  Honestly, most of the time it’s best just to honor it.

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What You Need to Know About Diet and Weight Loss

Most people know that if you want to lose weight, you simply consume fewer calories than you burn off in a day. But this is not always as easy as it sounds. Hitting the gym requires energy, and a lot of people have jobs where they sit at a desk all day. Your body simply does not burn the number of calories needed to make sure you lose the amount of weight you may wish to lose, even if you reduce your intake to healthy levels. But there are things you can do to make a difference. With the Jenny Craig plan, you know that your calorie intake will be at the correct levels, as all the delicious meals are prepared specially to be tasty and healthy. But simple tricks will help you burn off those extra calories without you even noticing it!

Are both diet and weight loss critical when trying to lose weight?

It goes without saying that the diet is a very large part of your weight loss journey. But what if you are following the diet, but the scales don’t show that you have lost weight? That can be pretty demoralising, and may cause some people to give up on trying to lose weight too soon. Don’t weigh yourself too often. There are many things that can influence your weight loss on a day-to-day basis. On the Jenny Craig plan, you will weigh yourself once a week, which will give you far more of a chance of seeing a real difference. Don’t expect miracles; with a healthy and balanced diet, you will on average see a loss of ½ to 1 kg a week, which is a great way to shed the weight and keep it off!

Want to know how you can burn off a few extra calories?

  • Don’t be tempted to skip meals. Lots of people think that skipping breakfast or lunch will automatically lead to weight loss. The opposite is often true. Not eating breakfast can make you hungry later, leading to too much nibbling in-between meals. Jenny Craig plans are designed to make sure you get a breakfast, lunch, and dinner plus a delicious snack, and you can add plenty of fruit and vegetables
  • Make sure you get enough sleep. When you lack sleep, alterations in your metabolism lead to an increased appetite, so trying to keep a good sleeping pattern is important. Seven to nine hours of sleep is ideal for maximum weight loss.
  • Make sure you keep hydrated. Water is essential to good health. Experts recommend that you should drink about 2 litres every day. But if you get bored of drinking water, try using some fruit or herbal tea, either hot or cold, or flavour your water with some lemon juice, slices of fruit or cucumber for variation.
  • Keep moving. It is no secret that exercise helps to speed up weight loss, but you can do simple things such as setting your alarm on your phone to go off every 30 minutes. When the alarm goes off, make sure you get up and walk around for a bit, or keep a skipping rope handy and skip vigorously for just one minute before sitting back down.
  • Change just one thing. Sign up for a weekly dance class, or find a friend to go swimming with once a week. Always use the lift at work? Make yourself use the stairs at least once every day, or get out a few floors before your floor if you are really high up in the building, and walk the rest of the way.
  • Treat yourself. Instead of food, treat yourself to a good book or a CD by your favourite artist. Once you see the weight loss is beginning to make a difference, treat yourself to a new top. It doesn’t have to be expensive, anything that looks good will make you feel great.

There’s an easier way

When you follow the Jenny Craig plan, you will be surprised at how much you can still eat of the foods you love; Dietitians have adapted many food favourites to be healthier, so you can still enjoy the taste you love without feeling guilty. Diets are counterproductive if you have to eat things that you don’t like; this may tempt you to not eat at all, which doesn’t help you. The Jenny Craig Consultants will guide you and teach you about how to look at food, portion sizes, eating habits and exercise so you can learn to control what and how much you eat in the future, which will help you feel much better too.