to Lose Weight and Get Healthier without Quitting on the Foods You
As you know if you read the
articles on our site, we believe that a consistent and conscientious
diet low in sugars and empty carbs is the most effective way to lose
weight quickly. Of course, there are multiple strategies for weight
loss that can be effective, dependent upon the way you live your
life, the things you enjoy, and your resolve.
of Pleasure can Make Dieting Difficult
Many people struggle with a diet
that revolves purely around caloric restriction and always eating
healthy one hundred percent of the time. Other people simply enjoy
the foods they like in moderation. A lot of people think that dieting
means giving up the delicious, albeit unhealthy, foods that we so
often enjoy. This means no beer, no french fries, no cream sauces, no
candy, nothing fun ever.
The problem with a diet which is
void of these sorts of guilty pleasures is that for many people, the
lure of these foods becomes impossible to ignore, and an unhealthy
obsession develops which revolves around intense cravings. Many
dieters simply aren't capable of ignoring these cravings, and give in
and give up on their diet in shame.
Responsibly Can Make Dieting Easier
Many weight loss experts agree
that it is possible to have a sensible diet while also making room to
give in to these cravings in a responsible and manageable way. One
professional, Dr. David Grotto, even suggests that avoiding guilty
pleasure foods is a bad idea which can hurt more than it can help.
Dr. Grotto believes in a dietary
plan known as structured cheating. This type of diet revolves around
eating a healthy dietmost of the time. The most important
aspect of maintaining healthy eating habits is keeping control of
your diet and understanding your habits and how to limit their
negative impact on your health. The key is to recognize that many of
the foods that you love are unhealthy and treating them with the
Control is Most Important Aspect of Dieting
You must control your diet, you
can't let food control you, even if it means indulging yourself
responsibly from time to time. Another doctor, Carolyn O'Neil, feels
the same way. She believes that indulging responsibly is the key to a
healthy diet and a healthy way of living.
She explains that anyone can
engage in a difficult diet for a little while, but the problem with
highly restrictive diets is that temptation eventually becomes too
great and all people but those with strong constitution will likely
fail and give in, splurging heavily on the foods that they've been
avoiding and quickly reversing the gains they worked so hard to
achieve. The logical way to prevent this form of overindulgence is to
recognize that in order to diet effectively, it may be necessary to
cheat from time to time in a way that does not wreck your diet
The key to all of this is control
and self-realization. You understand that your brain is going to
drive you to certain foods, and you recognize that you can enjoy
these foods safely without ruining your diet. For example, if you
love cookies, always pay attention to the number of calories in a
serving and limit yourself in a sensible way. The more you understand
about yourself and the foods that you enjoy, the greater control you
will have over your diet and the more success that you will likely
Ways to Manage Your Diet through Cheating
Your Food Weaknesses
Understand what foods tempt you
and accept your desire. Especially in the early months of your new
lifestyle, your cravings for the unhealthy foods that you enjoy will
only increase the longer that you deny yourself the pleasure. By
recognizing the foods that trigger you to potentially overeat, you
can take steps to mitigate the risk that these foods pose to your
Filling Foods to Reduce Cravings
Eat foods that are filling.
Another way to increase the success of your diet and reduce your
desire for foods that will hinder you in the long run is to eat
foods that will fill up your stomach while not contributing too
heavily to your daily calories.
The nutrients that achieve this
goal most effectively with the lowest contribution to your calorie
count are fiber and protein. Some examples of foods that can fill
you up quickly are seafood, lean meats, salads, soups made from
broth, vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and eggs. Even low-fat milk
and dairy products can be good choices.
If you fill yourself up with
these foods, you will limit your feelings of hunger and desire for
foods which are more unhealthy for you. Another way to control your
diet and your cravings is to pack healthy snacks with you so that
you can quell your hunger with a low-calorie treat before it revs up
into a full-blown craving.
Settle for Junk When Indulging Yourself
Instead of going for diet
forms of the food you love that can be just as unhealthy as the
regular foods, choose foods which fulfill your cravings with big
flavor rather than big calories. For example, if salty foods are
your favorite snacks, consider taking some kosher salt or sea salt
and sprinkling it over a delicious and ripe tomato.
This way, you satisfy your
desire for salt without turning to carbs or sugars, and you add a
nutritious, low-calorie snack to your day. It will taste fantastic,
and you'll quench your desire even more effectively than you would
with a handful of peanuts or a pack of crackers.
Your Meal with All Five Senses
Stimulate all your senses when
you eat. This applies to healthy meals as well as dietary
indulgences. You will eat healthier if you ensure that all of your
senses are fulfilled in a meal, even sight. When you make a meal,
garnish it colorfully and arrange it in a way which pleases your
Also eat the meal slowly so that
you can savor the taste, smell, and sound of every bite. Take time
to dwell on your meal, don't just gulp it down. Your brain desires
satiation just as much as your stomach, and when you eat slowly and
purposefully, you really let your brain in on the fun. Many people
overeat because they simply don't take the time to enjoy their
Out Meals from the Very Beginning
plan your meals. For example, if you are the type of person that
absolutely loves desserts, don't eat a full and dense meal, then
decide you can't leave the restaurant without dessert. Come to the
restaurant knowing that you will be getting dessert, and ask for a
dessert menu even before you order your entree.
Knowing that you are going to
get dessert allows you to plan your caloric consumption around the
entire meal, rather than giving in and tacking on more calories at
the last minute. Planning your entire meal conscientiously will
allow you to eat a smarter and healthier dinner to compensate for
the splurge of the last course.
What You Love, not Just What's Close
If it doesn't fit your diet, eat
only what you truly love. If you are going to cheat, don't just
stick your hand in a bag of greasy potato chips, choose something
that sates your craving in the best way possible.
Don't eat something unhealthy
haphazardly just because you're hit with a craving, choose something
that will truly make you appreciate your snack. For example, instead
of buying a box of donuts to tempt you all week, go out for a small
piece of that pecan pie that you love and take the time to savor and
Your Own Treats
If you want it so bad, bake it
yourself! If you want to splurge, take the time to make want you
want on your own time. This way, you can make it in the healthiest
way possible as well as appreciate the work that put into making the
food that you love so much.
If you like to eat blueberry
muffins for breakfast each morning with your coffee, take the time
during the weekend to cook up a week's worth of breakfast. Don't
just throw in muffin mix, make it yourself with whole oats, fresh
blueberries, and whole wheat. This way, you get a higher density of
nutrients, and you'll fill yourself up more effectively.
If you love pizza, don't call
the local pizza place and sit on the couch for an hour, learn how to
make it yourself. Pizza in particular is a food that is exactly as
healthy or unhealthy as you make it. If you make it yourself, you
can be sensible with toppings like cheese and tomato sauce and
splurge on the foods that can make it a truly healthy meal, such as
cherry tomatoes, spinach, grilled chicken, and artichokes.
You can even make foods that
sound indulgent to their core, such as cheesecake, and take steps to
make them much more sensible. For example, you can add less sugar to
your personal batch, or you can substitute eggs and heavy cream for
egg substitute and light cream cheese. You can even forgo the thick
crust entirely for a modest base of cookie crumbs or broken up
graham cracker. You can also add low-calorie ingredients to your
dessert which add a real zing, including lemon zest.
Eat Where You Work, Where You Rest, or Where You Cook
Eat in specifically designated
zones. How often do you find yourself zone out at your office or on
your living room couch, eating far more than you intended to
mindlessly, just because it was there? You eat hundreds of calories
and then thirty minutes later, you can barely even remember stuffing
your face with cookies.
One big problem with the way
that Americans eat is that most Americans don't really give food the
respect that it deserves. We are also so obsessed with maintaining
productivity that we have a tendency to eat as an afterthought. By
only eating in particular, designated zones, you force your brain to
think about the foods that you eat, whether you choose to savor them
or simply entertain the importance of a healthy diet.
In keeping with this theory,
don't eat in the kitchen! Eating in the room you keep all your food
is just asking for trouble, because there is nothing stopping you
from preparing seconds or moving straight on to the freezer to fix
some fatty ice cream as a dessert.
Portion control is central to
indulgence. You have to understand that you can eat the things that
you truly enjoy, even if they aren't exactly healthy for you, you
just have to eat them in small, sensible portions. If you eat smart,
there is absolutely no food that should be considered off-limits to
you so long as you remain cognizant of the importance of calorie
control. Even dense foods like ice cream can be perfectly okay as
long as you limit yourself to a small bowl and don't eat it too
You can also choose small
portions which provide maximum flavor for the smallest bite. If you
love chocolate, don't buy a milk chocolate candy bar every day, buy
some exquisite dark chocolate and keep it in the freezer. When you
have a craving, open the freezer and grab a couple of bites to
consume slowly and deliberately to enjoy the escape responsibly.
to Compromise with Your Cravings
Make compromises when necessary.
If there are certain things that you absolutely love or can't live
without, meet your cravings halfway in order to create a balance
where your indulgence isn't exactly healthy, but it isn't
Take sweet tea, for example.
This staple Southern drink is packed with calories the way that it
is popularly brewed and consumed. Rather than dump sugar into every
glass of tea you drink, start cutting unsweet tea with sweet tea in
order to satiate your craving while also limiting your calories.
Also think about carrying an
artificial sweetener with you, such as Stevia. Be very careful with
these sweeteners, however, because most popular substitutes actually
stimulate hunger, which can make dieting more difficult. Stevia is
one of the few unique brands of artificial sweetener which sate your
desire for hunger without unwanted side-effects.
In terms of food, think about
ways that you can minimize the unhealthy portion of your meal while
emphasizing the healthy part of your dinner. If you love pizza, make
yourself a thin-crust pizza instead of ordering out a hand-tossed
pizza. This way, you can add healthy toppings to your pizza while
not consuming too many unhealthy calories from thick bread crust.
Compromise puts you in control of your vices in a powerful way that
will go a long way toward helping you lose weight successfully.
Change Your Whole Diet at Once
Make changes incrementally.
Don't try to drastically change your diet over the course of a
single day or week. Alter your diet a step or two at a time, getting
your body acclimated to the changes you are making. So much of
eating doesn't have to do with hunger, but habit. Your brain will
start to rebel if you change too quickly, demanding that you go back
to your old, reliable schedule, which just happened to involve
Also, implement small changes to
your daily habits to both encourage a more sensible diet and
encourage increased metabolism. If you choose to indulge in a piece
of chocolate cake occasionally, go for a walk around the
neighborhood afterward. If you like to eat a burger for lunch twice
a week, think about just buying the burger and cutting down the
fries, or keep the french fries and only indulge once a week. There
are a lot of little commitments that you can make which will
eventually add up to consistent weight loss gains.
with Your Diet Even if You Slip
give up just because you slipped up. It is nearly impossible to diet
perfectly. Accept your infallibility and recognize that you will
screw up from time to time and splurge irresponsibly. Simply take it
on the chin and stay true to your long term goals of sensibility and
So many people diet for a little
while, overindulge for one meal or one day, and think everything is
ruined. Either that or they lose all composure and go back to
overeating and eating unhealthy foods. Rather than give up, simply
recognize the mistake that you made and try to get some meaning out
What made you back-step? What
made you overeat? Understanding why you do the things you do is
incredibly important to a healthy and successful diet. By taking
these conscientious steps, we are confident that you will find the
inner composure to lose the weight and keep it off!