It would be great if you were never tempted to eat pizza, doughnuts, or McDonald’s ever again. But let’s face it, a little thing called life will probably interfere from time to time. And that’s OK, as long as you’re prepared with a plan.
Some people allow themselves a little treat every day. Others pig out on the weekends, while others treat themselves spontaneously. Not all ‘cheating’ is created equal. Here’s your quick guide to breaking your diet rules.
Eat ‘Not-So-Awful’ Treats Frequently
When a group of young, overweight girls consumed a dessert low in sugar four times a week, they lost 9 pounds more than a group that ate any dessert they wanted once a week. The study was presented last week at the Endocrine Society’s 93rd Annual Meeting in Boston.
‘Those who ate desserts more frequently didn’t feel deprived, which can lead to uncontrolled eating of unhealthy foods,’ says Dastamani Antonia, M.D., Ph.D., lead researcher of the study.
Researchers say that the effects apply to men, too. That’s right, indulging in your favorite 1,500-calorie banana split every weekend is worse than eating a small post-dinner ice cream cone a few times a week.
Follow the 10 Percent Rule
Once all of the other nutritional needs have been met, 10 to 15 percent of your caloric intake can come from treats. A daily treat makes junk food less ‘forbidden’, which might even calm your cravings.
Don’t Binge on Weekends
People who already lost weight and had a consistent diet throughout the week were 1.5 times more likely to keep the weight off, in comparison to those who restricted on weekdays and ate more on the weekends, according to a study published in the International Journal of Obesity.
Always remember, you are what you eat.