Cheating on Your Diet
When you’re on a diet you suddenly have a craving for every food that is bad for you. It doesn’t matter if you usually hate chocolate suddenly you are craving it. The experts have many theories about why it is that you crave certain foods. No matter what theory you go with the bottom line is this, cheating on your diet is okay and can even be helpful. This doesn’t mean that every time you get a craving, you cheat. This means that every once in a while, you splurge. So when is it okay to cheat a little bit? It is okay to have a little dessert.
When you are at a special occasion, whether it be a birthday party or a holiday get together, it is okay to have dessert. Chances are if you are craving a dessert you are going to eat other things “to keep your mind off of it.” You may as well eat a small portion of the dessert that is calling your name. You don’t have to eat the whole pie, just a small slice will do. You don’t have to eat one of every dessert that is on the table in front of you. Pick one, or (maybe) two, and eat a reasonable portion.
Set a Goal & Reward Yourself
If your long-term goal is to lose a hundred pounds, it isn’t going to happen overnight. Long-term goals like these can often be difficult to obtain because the end seems nowhere near. So set smaller goals. Tell yourself that you are going to stay strong and not cheat at all until you lose twenty pounds. Once you lose that set amount, reward yourself. Whether you go out to eat or buy a pint of ice cream for home, savor the moment. Don’t go overboard. The reward should be something small. Just because you bought the pint of ice cream, doesn’t mean you need to eat the whole pint. You have worked hard to make it to your first goal, but don’t blow it by gorging yourself on all the comfort foods you have been avoiding.
When You Go Out to Eat Live A Little
If you get to go out to eat, you don’t have to order a salad with no dressing. Indulge. A little. This doesn’t mean that you need to make excuses to go out to eat so that you can cheat. If you are going out solo, eat the salad. If you regularly have to eat out because of your job, eat the salad. But if you are going out with friends or on a date, eat something else. More than likely your friends and date do not want to hear about your diet. And they certainly do not want to eat in front of you while you eat your salad. This also doesn’t mean eat a huge plate of pasta. Order something that will not harm your diet too bad, like grilled chicken and some seasonal vegetables.
The bottom line is that some of those same experts that argue over why we have cravings also say that cheat days are helpful to diets. They give you something to look forward to and they give your body a break from your diet. So indulge, in moderation.