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...
1. Accept your "splurge foods." Your desire
for them isn't going anywhere. And as we all know, when you tell people they
can't do something -- like enjoy a slice of pie -- they're going to want to do
it even more, cautions Grotto.
2. Eat more filling foods. Load up your diet
with foods that go the distance -- those with lean protein and fiber. "Add eggs,
whole grains, fruits, vegetables, broth-based soups, salads, lean meats,
seafood, and low fat dairy because these foods fill you up and help tame your
appetite" says American Dietetic Association spokesperson Marisa Moore,
RD. For further cravings control, plan for healthy snacks so that you
don't go for long periods without eating.
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.