Diet Doesn’t Mean Deprivation

Photo Credit: Public Domain

Being on a diet and counting calories can sometimes leave you feeling deprived. Counting calories, cutting back on sugar, exercising and avoiding fatty foods is hard work. It can be difficult to decline a piece of birthday cake or a sweet snack at an office party. The good news is a small slice of cake or a sweet snack from time to time won’t destroy your diet. It’s okay to indulge a little bit for special occasions or to reward yourself for achieving an important fitness milestone. Choose low-fat, low-calorie deserts to reward yourself, but if you have a piece of cake, don’t beat yourself up. The important thing to remember is not to over-indulge. 
When you are counting calories, you don’t have to measure every meal. Common sense and nutritious foods can  help you avoid consuming too many calories. Keep a lot of low-calorie vegetables on hand. You can munch on lettuce, bell peppers, tomatoes, carrots, broccoli, celery and cucumbers without worrying too much about calories. These vegetables contain essential nutrients and fiber that your body needs. Keep some low-calorie salad dressing in the refrigerator to use as a dip if you want to add extra flavor to your veggie snack. 
Sometimes we just crave a particular food that we love. It’s okay to have a small slice of cheesecake, a piece of fried chicken or a banana nut muffin occasionally. Limit yourself to eating  high-calorie foods no more than once a week. Cutting out your favorite foods completely can leave you feeling deprived and unhappy, which may lead to an eating binge and will undermine all of your hard work. Give yourself a little treat once each week, then exercise an extra 5 minutes each day. Stock up on some low-calorie, low-fat versions of your favorite foods and reward  yourself with a treat that won’t leave you feeling guilty. Snack frequently and eat 5 small meals instead of 3 large meals each day. Choose tasty and healthy snacks like walnuts, whole grain crackers, grapes, orange slices and bananas. Fruit can satisfy your sweet tooth without undermining your weight-loss goal. 

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