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If you are eating a healthy diet 80-90% of the time during an average week, then you should be able to splurge on whatever you want during your "cheat" days. In this video, fitness expert Bob Harper shares his philosophy on splurging.
Pick specific days during which you are allowed to spoil yourself a little bit by eating unhealthy food. It's best if you have a good workout on the days you allow yourself a planned indulgence. On those days, go for the chocolate-peanut butter ice cream or the blueberry pie. Even then, plan ahead and splurge in a controlled fashion -- have a slice, not the whole pie! You'll often find that a smaller portion will satisfy your craving and only do half the damage.
Savor each morsel -- really experience the indulgence. If it isn't as delicious as you expected, remind yourself of this the next time you're tempted. As we grow older, our tastes and desires change. You might only desire your favorite sweet from childhood because of its link to another time, but now you no longer experience the same pleasure it once gave you. This is one reason why it seems as if no one can duplicate some of the delicacies you remember from your childhood. Don't worry; there will be many other pleasant experiences to add to those distant memories!
The other important part of a planned occasional indulgence is that it can't come too often. More than once a week is probably too often. The other point to remember is that alcohol can lower your control. We say this only to emphasize the importance of moderation. Many liquors and wines enhance both the taste of food and the dining experience, but drinking too much at one time will quickly add calories and lower resistance. A glass of red wine offers many health benefits, but drinking half the bottle will probably negate these benefits. This can be a disaster when you are trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Guilty pleasures are a part of every diet, but they should be enjoyed in moderation or every once in a while. In this video, registered dietitian Samantha Heller discusses how to limit these indulgences, so that you don't feel unhealthy or deprived.
Food is meant to be enjoyed; but the types of foods you splurge on, how you prepare it and the amount you eat should all fall in line with your diet and nutrition goals. Watch as nutritionist Heidi Skolnik discusses the keys to successful splurging.
Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.