Myth: Food cheats are terrible for dieting


“Cheat” meals and snacks can be a part of a successful diet.  

Chocolate Truffle

Chocolate Truffle

The thought of starting a diet can be quite depressing for many, and one thing is for certain, dieting is not easy.  Most of us do not enjoy dieting, but it is a necessary evil.  Most believe that dieting must be completely restrictive to be successful.   Recent research shows that taking a break from dieting can be a useful means to improve the success of your diet.  Cutting out your favorite foods altogether can increase your carving and make lapses more common so you can allow yourself to have small lapses without feeling guilty.  Treating yourself is not the enemy of weight loss as long as you control your portion size.   Intentionally building a couple of “cheats” meals or snacks into your eating plan can be beneficial.  The key is high-quality ingredients and avoiding as many empty calories as possible.  Stop depriving yourself, and you might be more successful at losing weight.  

The bottom line: Small “cheats” will not derail your path to a healthier lifestyle as long as you moderate your intake.  The key is budgeting your caloric consumption and not binging.  Each bite of the “cheat” is one that you will have to burn later so limiting is the key to success.  The moderated lapse might give you the moderation, and the break may help with keeping you motivated in the future if you use them as a reward for success.    

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About the Author

I am a family physician who has served in the US Army. In 2016, I found myself overweight, out of shape, and unhealthy, so I made a change to improve my health. This blog is the chronology of my path to better health and what I have learned along the way.

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