Everyone has a favorite cheat meal that is loaded with calories and provides far less nutrients per calorie consumed. If you’re already familiar with the concept of eating healthy, you already know that you don’t have to give that food up entirely, just eat it far less frequently. Instead of once a day or once a week, wean yourself to less frequently and also choose smaller portions. Let’s face it, portion control is part of the whole healthy eating program so eating an entire pie, even once in a while, can be disastrous. However, a smaller slice occasionally will barely be noticed. One more thing, those small slices occasionally shouldn’t include a small slice at 10:00 am, then another at noon and finally two more later in the afternoon and evening.
Find a great alternative.
As you make your way into the world of healthy foods, you’re bound to find several foods you really like. Keep searching if you haven’t found it already. It can be a little less “dangerous” than your favorite cheat food, but that means you can eat a little more of it. The lower the calorie count and the higher in nutrition it is, the more you can consume. Learn to use this as your celebration food or comfort food. Texture counts, particularly when it comes to comfort food. If you’re a cruncher and eat food to eliminate anger, (remember exercise does that too!) find a crunchy food. If you love a smooth creamy comfort from dishes like mashed potatoes, find a smooth creamy alternative. Exercise also helps lift your spirits, so try that first.
Fill up before you eat it.
Savor the experience before you gobble up that cheat food and fill your belly with healthy food in the process. You won’t be as tempted to eat the whole bag of cookies if you’ve just filled up on a large meal and will be able to stop eating those chips quicker. You may even find you don’t really want them anymore once you’re full.
Learn to make your food differently.
Cheat foods can become part of your diet again if you learn to make them healthier. Love that pizza? You don’t have to give it up entirely, just learn to make it healthier and with fewer calories. A cauliflower crust is healthier and tastes extremely good, while healthy toppings add to the enjoyment. Modifying recipes for healthy eating can be fun and an adventure you’ll probably enjoy. It also allows you to stick to healthy eating and savor the foods that used to mean cheating.
Don’t throw in the towel if you cheat a little. Get back on the healthier path of eating as soon as possible. Even a week of eating unhealthy doesn’t mean you should forget the whole thing. It’s just a tiny detour.
Don’t forget to exercise. That stress you’re feeling can be helped far better by exercise rather than eating. Feeling blue, take a brisk walk, run or workout hard and you’ll soon find you’re spirits rising.
Experiment with new foods and make new associations. If you try something new every day for a while, you’re bound to find a recipe that you absolutely love or a food that fits perfectly in place of the cheat food.
Water is your best friend. When out for drinks with friends, a glass of water can take the place of the calorie laden alcohol selections. Find a lower calorie drink if you must and follow it with water chasers.