Weight loss diets are loathed for many reasons, but none more so than the fact they deprive us of foods we love. You can forget about sweets, salty foods and snacks. However, here’s some food for thought; instead of creating a laundry list of foods you can’t touch, create ways you can add the foods you love to your diet.
Of course, restricting calories is the key to an effective diet, however, you can still “cheat” and enjoy the foods you love while still losing weight. In fact, it might even help! Enjoying low-calorie snacks between meals will help those hunger pains from creeping up and will help prevent the chances of gorging later.
The key here is cheating properly. Here’s 4 ways to cheat on your diet and still lose weight!
Cheat 1: Add an appetizer
Before you jump in and start scarfing down your lunch or dinner, try adding a salad or broth based soup beforehand. Eating low-calorie, yet water and nutritionally dense foods will help fill you up faster, leaving you less likely to eat more of the calorie-dense main entrée.
Make sure your salad isn’t drowning in croutons, cheese and high fat salad dressing. You want your salad to consist mainly of lettuce, romaine (and other greens) with possibly carrots, cucumbers and a little cheese if desired. You can add low calorie dressing if you wish – but in moderation!
Cheat 2: Snack more
That’s right! Eat more snacks! And there’s a good reason. By eating low-calorie snacks between meals you will be less likely to develop an insatiable hunger and gorge later, which often times leads to poor food choices, as well.
The key here is snacking smart. Prepare a variety of healthy snacks ahead of time and take them to work with you. Broccoli, carrots, 100 calorie Orville Redenbacher’s Smart Pop Light popcorn are good choices to keep on hand. Remember to keep your snacks under 200 calories.
You can even try chewing sugar-free gum between meals. Studies have shown that chewing sugar-free gum can reduce your caloric intake and increase energy expenditure.
Cheat 3: Drink up
Yes, it is possible to have a drink or two and still stay within the confines of your low-calorie diet. But, beware of having a few drinks before you eat. Alcohol can lower your inhibitions and stimulate your appetite, creating the perfect environment for you to over eat on junk food. Try drinking water before your low calorie meal then enjoy an alcoholic drink or two after you have eaten.
Keep in mind that calories in alcoholic drinks can add up quickly, even if you only have a few. Opt for light beers or wines and don’t order mixed drinks with high calorie sodas or fruit juices.
Cheat 4: Have Dessert
There’s nothing wrong with enjoying dessert from time to time. In fact, it may even help you stay on your diet if you are allowed to splurge every now and then. Just keep it limited to once or twice per week and keep the portion sizes under control. You’re setting yourself up for failure if you plop down in front of the TV with a gallon of ice cream and a spoon. Instead, limit yourself to a couple scoops in a bowl.