Ever feel like you’ve got a license to splurge just because you bought some healthy foods? Psychologists call this the licensing effect. Here’s what happens: you buy a nice bunch of kale and maybe a bag of carrots and your mind tries to convince you that you deserve a little ice cream since you’re being healthy. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t buy healthy foods. The bottom line is: Buy the healthy foods, but know you may need a little willpower to keep your cart rolling past the ice cream!
This same “licensing effect” can happen when you do a hard workout or reached your 10,000 steps? Don’t lose the calorie deficit you created by giving in to empty calories in a candy bar or French fries!
Health & Nutrition Letter from Tufts University