If you’re really into fitness, one of the first things you might have learned at the start of your journey to “awesome” health is self-control, primarily with food. Getting addicted to food and gaining unwanted weight is one of the core reasons why people prioritize the gym.

Comfort foods might provide the much-needed feelings of nostalgia once in a while, and as we near the holidays, we tend to overindulge in these comfort feelings. These are the foods you eat, and you begin to have flashbacks of the good times, like when you were 6, and your mom cooked some amazing chicken soup for you. Or your grandma’s special cookies that you eagerly ate out of the oven.

However, now that you’re older and trying to focus on your health, self-control with food is essential if you want to achieve your goals at the gym. Comfort foods can get addictive, just like pizza, which is one of the most addictive comfort foods for Americans.

The truth is you shouldn’t have to abandon great food because you’re trying to keep fit. You can enjoy the good things in life once in a while. That’s why you’ve built up your self-control.

Self-control doesn’t mean you have to abandon your comfort food. Restraint means knowing when to stop, knowing when to say no, and knowing when to look away.

Cutting out certain foods or food groups in the name of self-control will ultimately backfire since, psychologically, self-control depletes with every choice you make throughout the day. That’s why people tend to succumb to late-night binges. The more restraint you exercise, the harder it becomes to resist later on in the day. Let yourself have a cookie or a muffin once in a while, and your body and fitness routine will thank you for it.