You may have heard that diets that forbid the occasional splurge are destined to fail. Well research shows that this is totally true! As you enter the upcoming holiday season, don’t deprive yourself of sweets and treats.
Chew on this: A recent Spanish study found that women who included favorite foods as part of their weight-loss plan still lost weight and felt more satisfied than the women who cut out “forbidden foods” altogether. The thinking behind it is that the “all or nothing” approach makes you more likely to give into cravings and binge. Whereas, allowing small treats that fit into your low-calorie plan can keep you from feeling deprived and make you happier overall. Now that’s good news!
According to the Mayo Clinic, small treats can and should be included as part of a healthy eating plan. Nutritionists warn, though, that most treats are loaded with empty calories from sugar and fat, are not very filling and tend to add little or no nutritional value to your diet. But, if you’re smart about your choices and eat within reason (being mindful of calories), most health professionals agree that in fact you can have your cake and eat it too!
These are the three rules to follow:
Know your daily calorie budget.
Use these tasty and creative ideas to stay within your budget.
Enjoy every bite!
2 donut holes – pick your favorite variety and savor each bite. Pair with black coffee or tea. Try these favorites: hot peppermint tea and chocolate glazed donut holes for a mint-chocolate pairing or pumpkin spice-flavored coffee with cinnamon donut holes for a tasty autumn duo!
1 cup of sugar-free instant hot chocolate made with skim milk – add a smidge of cayenne or a pinch of cinnamon to taste.
Photo credit: cisstrading.com
Flavored yogurt – try cheesecake or key-lime pie varieties – just be sure to read the label for the exact calorie count.
One gooey s’more! Indulge your inner child with 2 graham cracker squares, 1 large marshmallow (pop in microwave for 10 seconds to soften) and one small chocolate square (or 1 Hershey kiss).
One whole graham cracker smeared with 1 tablespoon peanut butter and sprinkled with cinnamon.
Combine 1/3 cup honey nut “O” cereal and 1 tablespoon chocolate chip morsels.
Through the upcoming sweets and treats season, remember these two keys: PLANNING and MODERATION. If you plan for a treat and are moderate in the portion and frequency of that indulgence, weight-loss success will be yours! Happy Trick-or-Treating!
Author: Kristen Ciuba
Kristen is a Nutritionist at Diet-to-Go, based in Lorton, VA. She tries to “practice what she preaches” by fitting in healthy foods and cooking, challenging exercise, and quality time with family and friends every day!