Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

Weight Loss & Diet Plans

Font Size

How to Cheat on Your Diet and Still Lose Weight

Diet 'cheat days' can actually boost your chances of weight loss success

12 Healthy Ways to Cheat on Your Diet continued...

3.    Go for flavor hits. Whatever you love, buy it in its most intense and tasty form, says O'Neil. This way, you can have less of it, yet still get the flavor you crave. For example, are you crazy about salty snacks? Splurge on gourmet sea salt or chunky kosher salt, and sprinkle it over a ripe, red tomato. "You'll have a more brilliant, bright flavor," says O'Neil, "but a better salty hit and crunch -- so you'll use less."

4.    Enjoy with all your senses. When you indulge in your diet splurge, serve it on a pretty plate with a colorful garnish so you can appreciate its eye appeal. "Eat your meals and snacks slowly by taking small bites so you can enjoy the taste and have a satisfying and mindful meal experience," advises Brian Wansink, PhD, author of Mindful Eating. Being more aware of what is on your plate and eating it slowly can help you get more satisfaction from your food.

5.    Have a plan. "If you happen to be a dessert lover and eat out, ask to see the dessert menu first," says O'Neil. This way, you can budget your calories for what matters most to you. Knowing where you're really headed -- toward that pecan torte, perhaps? -- will make it easier to skip the creamy clam chowder or deep-fried cheese sticks.

6.    Eat only what you love. "If it's bad [for your diet], it had better be good," says O'Neil. So instead of grabbing a trio of donut holes each morning with your coffee -- and distractedly downing a doughy 300 calories -- splurge on something worth savoring, like a small, perfect wedge of creamy cheesecake.

7.    Make it yourself. Can't enjoy your morning coffee without a muffin? Mix up your own batch, slipping in goodies like oats, nuts, and whole-grain flour. Love piping hot pizza? Try making it yourself, using intensely flavored toppings like goat cheese, smoked salmon, and fresh herbs. You won't even miss the pepperoni. WebMD's "Recipe Doctor," Elaine Magee, knows where to slash calories without anyone noticing: "Cheesecake is a perfect example of an easy dish to lighten, because you can use a dusting of graham cracker or cookie crumbs instead of a crust made with 6 tablespoons of melted butter; [and use] reduced-fat ingredients like light cream cheese and egg substitute and a little less sugar," she says. "Then you can heighten the flavor with lemon or lime zest for a dessert that is much lighter so you can enjoy a larger portion."

8.    Get away from it all. How many times have you eaten lunch at your desk or in front of the TV, and then realized you didn't taste a bite? "Our society doesn't embrace eating and enjoying our food; we try and be productive at all times," says Grotto. That's why it's so important to savor your splurge without distractions. And if you do so away from the kitchen, it's harder to sneak in seconds.

Today on WebMD

measuring waist
4 tips for shedding yours.
apple cider vinegar
Does it have health benefits?
 
Chocolate truffle
For weight loss, some aren’t so bad after all.
woman holding red dress
24 simple, practical tips.
 
woman shopping fresh produce
Video
butter curl on knife
Quiz
 
eating out healthy
Article
Smiling woman, red hair
Article
 
thumbnail_woman_tossing_spinach
Video
lunchbox
Article
 
What Girls Need To Know About Eating Disorders
Article
teen squeezing into jeans
fitfor Teens
 

Special Sections