Eating healthy foods and reasonable portions doesn't mean you have to swear off your favorite foods altogether. Once you stop enjoying your meals, you'll start hating weight loss and return whole hog (pardon the expression) to your old ways.
We're not big fans any specific diet or food plan because denying yourself the pleasure of your favorite goodies inevitably leads to bingeing and quitting. And what's the good of that? We recommend keeping a few guilty pleasures on your weekly food menu to keep you happy and sane while you attempt to eat healthy, wholesome foods the majority of the time.
One way to enjoy your favorite fattening foods is to practice strict portion control. For example, if you've got a sweet tooth and absolutely must have chocolate a few nights a week, resist the urge to purchase a bag of candy and graze from it after dinner. You'll most likely eat more than you should. Instead, buy eight or 10 chocolate-covered almonds at the mix-your-own-candy section of the grocery store or candy store. You'll have a reasonable portion on hand, but won't be able to overdo it once you start snacking.
If Doritos are your weakness, don't buy a family-size bag. Get the 100-calorie snack pack and enjoy your salty treat a couple of times a week.
If you're eating out, avoid the so-called small sized treats, because what's labeled as "small" in the United States would be considered super-sized in other, thinner countries that don't suffer from our American obesity epidemic. Order the child-size portion instead.
Another way to safely give in to your cravings is to find a healthy substitute for your favorite calorie-dense food. Instead of buying that gallon of ice cream or frozen yogurt (which really isn't all that much better), pick up a box of Low Fat Fudgesicles. Each one provides 10 minutes of ice cream eating pleasure with only 60 calories. That's 420 calories less than a typical bowl of ice cream.
If you simply cannot live without mashed potatoes, try a Weight Watchers recipe like this one:
- 8 small red potatoes, peeled and cut into 2-inch chunks
- 4 peeled cloves of garlic
- 2 tablespoons minced chives
- 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
Boil potatoes and garlic for eight minutes. Drain. Add rest of ingredients, mash together, and enjoy!
You can find all sorts of low-fat, low-calorie recipes on the Internet to substitute for the foods that you love to eat, like this recipe for fetuccine Alfredo, so give it a shot. If you can identify two to three guilty pleasures in your diet and replace them with healthy substitutes, your taste buds and your waistline will thank you!