Smart Cheating on Your Diet
Worried about cheating on your week's carefully planned menu? Here are some tips on how to avoid overindulging with your favourite treats.
- Don't make it easy. Remove any potential temptations. Don't surround yourself with food items that you normally give in to; if the foods are out of sight, they will be out of mind. Instead, fill your cupboards with items you have control over.
- Plan your treats. The key to avoiding cheating is not feeling deprived. If you know a treat helps you to feel satisfied, plan how you can make it fit on program. Portion your treat and find a place for it in your daily/weekly plan. Plan to have your favourite cookie one time per week, or one piece of dark chocolate on Wednesdays and Sundays.
- Redefine “cheating”. By changing the way you think about cheating, you can indulge without regret. Choose a healthy version of your favourite “cheat” meal or snack. Alter the way your dish is prepared, for example use skim milk instead of cream, or lettuce as a hamburger bun. By altering the way your foods are prepared, you can “cheat” and still lose weight.
- Practice portion control. Everything can be enjoyed in moderation. You do not have to feel like you are cheating as long as you practice portion control and do not overindulge. Portion control allows for these foods to have a place in your weight loss journey.
- Knowing and planning your meals for the day or week will help with preventing cheating along the way. If you have meals and snacks scheduled into your day, it leaves little room for spontaneous snacking. By scheduling your meals, you will never be in a hurry to grab something on a whim and will be prepared every time hunger strikes!
- Avoid giving into peer pressure. Sometimes cheating will be induced when you are around friends or family. Remind them that you plan to stick to your goals and would appreciate their support. Make sure to stay firm. Be a good influence on your friends and family and try sharing a healthy dish.
With a little planning, moderation and creativity, you can keep in control of your weekly menu and stay on track to reach your health or weight loss goals.