Being on a diet can often be too restrictive which usually leads to frustration and binge eating. But why should you go through all this pain in the first place? If dieting would mean you need to permanently ditch all your favorite treats forever then most of us wouldn’t stick to such a regimen for long. Luckily, there are healthy ways to cheat on your diet and still have success regarding weight loss.
In fact, even nutritionists recommend that we occasionally indulge while on a diet, but we still need to use common sense. You know you’ll want that chocolate cake even more if someone tells you that you can’t have it.
10 Healthy ways to cheat on your diet and keep your weight loss
When cheating your diet, you need to make a conscious and guilt-free decision (because guilt never helps) so that you can still enjoy some of your favorite foods, but occasionally and in moderation.
Many of us think that starting a weight loss diet means forsaking the fattening foods we love. No sweets, no cream sauces, no chips, no wine, no fun! But this kind of weight loss plan can actually lead to more cravings, fixating on forbidden foods — and goals abandoned long before their time. The truth, experts say, is that you can have your weight loss and eat cake, too — as long as you “cheat” on your diet the sensible way.
Actually, the most successful diet is a healthy lifestyle, not a diet per se. And you can’t have that without splurging every now and then. With that said, here are some of the best healthy ways to cheat on your diet without ruining your results!
1. Know your favorite treats
You’ll always love them and you’ll always want them. Accept this and realize that it’s ok to have them every once in a while.
2. Choose intense flavor
If you know you’re a sucker for everything chocolate go for the best chocolatey treat. This way you will feel even more rewarded when you’re cheating and you also won’t be tempted to eat too much of it.
3. Eat filling foods
It’s a good idea to avoid eating treats when you’re very hungry. The best way to achieve this is to make sure your diet contains plenty of filling foods such as eggs, veggies, lean meats, salads, dairy products, and seafood. These foods will keep your appetite in check and when you choose to indulge you won’t be ravenous and prone to eating an entire box of ice cream all by yourself.
4. If you “splurge” it better be worth it
There’s no point in cheating your diet with something that you won’t enjoy 100%. Each of us has their own favorite treats but make sure your “splurge” is on the list. Otherwise, all those extra calories are not worth it.
5. Make it an event
If you’re indulging make sure what you eat is served in an appealing way and looks pretty too. This way you’ll get the full experience, not just the taste and it will feel that much more rewarding. Also, remember to eat slowly and enjoy each bite!
6. Plan your “cheat”
If you know you’re going to have a dessert in the afternoon, make a quick calorie count and plan your breakfast and lunch accordingly. I’d call this “making room” for the splurge.
7. Make small compromises
If you’re a sucker for pasta carbonara try making it with zucchini noodles instead of wheat spaghetti. You’ll get that same creamy goodness while cutting a significant chunk of calories. Small compromises are worth it!
8. “Pay” for your diet cheats
So you ate some pizza, and it was great but now you feel stuffed? Get outside for a walk or a bike ride. The movement will get your blood pumping and ease your digestion, burning some of those calories in the process. It’s a win-win, right?
9. Be the chef
Sometimes a treat is even better if you make it yourself. With the Internet being so full of detailed recipes cooking at home is that much easier. Besides the fact that homemade meals are almost always healthier than anything storebought you can make them exactly how you like them.
10. There’s nothing off limits but keep portions small
I’m pretty sure that none of us considers a sliced cucumber one of their go-to treats – almost all those foods we choose when cheating our diets are rich in calories, to say the least. While none of them are off limits make sure the portions are small.