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Ambushed By a Cronut: The Trendy Food Trap

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If you are sad that you don't live in New York and are missing out on the Cronut trend, dry your eyes. The flaky, sugary lovechild of the donut and the croissant is coming to a Dunkin' Donuts near you! And not only will you not have to wait hours in a line, they cost half the price of the original treat. One caveat though: It's still fat rolled in sugar, dipped in fat, and coated with more sugar.

But whether it's a Sprinkles cupcake, a Cronut, a macaron, or even a pot edible—what is it about trendy foods that make us forget all our healthy eating intentions? No one really thinks a cronut or cupcake is healthy, says Jo Bartell, a registered dietician and director of Coaching at Rise. It's just that many of us are more willing to make an exception to our usual diet for foods that everyone's talking about.

"Basically, people think if there’s a line out the door at 6 a.m., the food has to be worth trying,” she explains. And treat foods are the worst when it comes to the trendy trap. There's just something about how little and cute they are that makes them seem harmless. Plus, it's easy to rationalize the indulgence if everyone else is eating it (hello, office holiday treats!), or if you see a celebrity out with one. 

But the trick to not falling under the cake pop spell isn't sheer willpower, Bartell says. Severe restriction can often backfire—making you feel deprived and grouchy watching everyone else enjoy the treats, and then guilty when you do finally give in. "If a hyped up food is particularly alluring to you, go ahead and try it once!" she says.

The key: Make sure you enjoy the whole experience. Bartell recommends making it a social occasion by going with a friend. You can even split the treat to get a taste without going overboard. Then when you eat it, don't guiltily scarf it down. It's important to pay attention to the look, smell, feel, and taste which will help you appreciate every last, tasty bite. Looking for other ways to manage your "vice foods"? Here, The Smart Trick to Satisfy Cravings for Fewer Calories.

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