Wouldn’t it be great if the cravings disappeared right along with the pounds? Unfortunately, that’s not usually the case. For many people struggling to get healthy, one of their biggest weight loss challenges is sticking to their diet plans and steering clear of the inevitable temptations. Not deprivation-is integral in finding success, balance and, ultimately, happiness. Treating yourself to the occasional splurge can actually make it easier to stick to a healthy eating plan the rest of the time. The key is choosing smart indulgences that satisfy your sweet tooth without being unfaithful to your diet.  When indulging in a splurge, follow these guidelines to make the most of the experience:

  1. Make it last. If you’re allowing yourself a slice of your favorite lemon meringue pie, take small bites and savor them. Chew slowly and pause between forkfuls to prolong the enjoyment. Try to recreate a healthier recipe!
  2. Plan your portions. If caramel popcorn is your treat of choice, don’t eat from the bag. Measure out individual servings into baggies to prevent over-indulging. And if you know from experience that you’re likely to go overboard with a certain “trigger food,” don’t add it to your cheat list or your grocery list.
  3. Cheat without distractions. Enjoy your treat in a quiet place where you can focus on the experience. When you mindlessly snack while on your laptop, watching TV or driving, you’re more likely to overindulge.
  4. Make it real. When choosing your cheat treat, go for the real thing and not the sugar substitute. If you’re craving ice cream, don’t choose a low-fat, sugar-free version. The artificial sweeteners will only provide temporary satisfaction. Instead, splurge on a small cup of real ice cream made with whole ingredients.
  5. Shake off mistakes. If you slip up and overindulge, don’t beat yourself up. Recognize the mistake, get back on track and don’t look back.


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