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They Eat...but Within Reason

Your friend who seems to slim down effortlessly just ordered the lobster mac and cheese for dinner, and you just want to order a clue as to how she could possibly eat that and still lose weight. Here's the key: She's most likely not eating like that every day, let alone at every meal. Because the truth is that unless your favorite foods are sautéed veggies, lean proteins and avocado ice cream, it's not realistic to eat anything you want and lose weight. The key is to eat the things that bring you joy on occasion (that monthly Sunday brunch with friends, for example, or the occasional trip to your favorite ice cream shop), and eat healthfully the rest of the time. "I tell my clients this all the time," says Amy Shapiro, RD, founder of Real Nutrition in New York City. "You're not allowed to be the person who's out to dinner and isn't allowed to eat something. You can eat anything you want—you just can't eat it all at the same time or all the time."

Your takeaway: If you're out for a meal with friends or family and the four-cheese pizza is calling your name, order it. Just remember that if you do that too often, the number on the scale will start to creep in the wrong direction.