Advertisement

Is it okay to splurge on food occasionally?

F. Michael Gloth, III
Geriatric Medicine
One of the reasons that the occasional indulgence is acceptable -- and doesn't cause much of a problem for maintaining your weight -- is that the absorption of any food is modified based on what you usually eat. This means that some of the foods you have avoided for a long time will not be absorbed as well as they would be if they were eaten regularly.

For example, if you have not been eating much fat, and then eat a meal with a high fat content (and calories), your body will not be used to absorbing the higher amount of fat. This occurs because the cells lining your digestive tract have adapted to allow the positioning of certain molecules and receptors that absorb fat. This won't happen if you simply have an occasional meal high in fat. However, once the body adjusts to a higher fat level, it will be better prepared to absorb fat. This is also why you shouldn't repeat splurges too close together. Planning a splurge also gives you the opportunity to do a bit extra in anticipation. This might mean exercising for a bit longer or eating a bit less. All of this will allow you to enjoy your splurge and assuage any guilt that you might otherwise experience.
Fit at Fifty and Beyond: A Balanced Exercise and Nutrition Program (A DiaMedica Guide to Optimum Wellness)

More About this Book

Fit at Fifty and Beyond: A Balanced Exercise and Nutrition Program (A DiaMedica Guide to Optimum Wellness)

As people reach their fifties, the body’s metabolism slows. Without a change in eating or exercise habits, it’s common to put on weight and become less able to perform routine physical...
Margaret Floyd
Nutrition & Dietetics
Now here's the only rule I will ever strictly enforce with myself and with others. If you are going to have that treat, if you're going to indulge in some guilty pleasure, then the absolute most important thing is that you truly, fully enjoy it. Eating something you think you shouldn't and beating yourself up about it the whole time -- something that I see people do every single day -- is far, far more damaging to your body than eating that very same food and delighting in it.

How you feel when you eat your dinner has about as much impact on how your body uses that food as what it is you're eating. Stress compromises digestion, and guilt is most definitely stress inducing.

I was once asked at a workshop about what on earth I order from a restaurant menu. My response: "Whatever I want, and I enjoy it." And that's exactly what I do. I check in with myself and see what I feel like eating. I don't overthink it, and I don't analyze the nutritional pros and cons of the various options. I just eat what I feel like eating. And, most importantly, I enjoy every little mouthful of it.

So, when I do eat the mac and cheese, or I pick something off a menu that's clearly not healthy, I eat it with delight, not guilt. And I encourage you to do the same.
Eat Naked: Unprocessed, Unpolluted, and Undressed Eating for a Healthier, Sexier You

More About this Book

Eat Naked: Unprocessed, Unpolluted, and Undressed Eating for a Healthier, Sexier You

Eat Naked with Margaret Floyd for a Sexier You Are you fed up with counting calories? Confused by all the diet hype? Want to eat delicious, real food and look and feel great? Leading...

Continue Learning about Eating Habits and Nutrition

Healthy Restaurant Eating
Healthy Restaurant Eating
The latest survey of restaurant meals in America reveals how easy it is to set off a nutrition bomb when you eat out. The Big Hook Up platter from Joe...
Read More
What should I do if junk food is all that's available?
Marisa MooreMarisa Moore
Even if junk food or fast food is all that's available, there are often healthier options to choose ...
More Answers
6 Mealtime Mistakes You're Probably Making
6 Mealtime Mistakes You're Probably Making6 Mealtime Mistakes You're Probably Making6 Mealtime Mistakes You're Probably Making6 Mealtime Mistakes You're Probably Making
Do you clean your plate, pick the wrong sides and skimp on treats?
Start Slideshow
Is There a New Generation of Physicians Pushing a More Healthy Diet?
Is There a New Generation of Physicians Pushing a More Healthy Diet?

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.