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There’s almost nothing that can derail your diet-and-exercise plan faster than a slip-up. If you fall off the wagon, you may feel frustrated and defeated. But rather than wallowing in self-pity (or eating another chocolate chip cookie), take steps to get back on track.
There are a variety of ways to cheat on diets. The most common way is by eating the more calorically dense foods that are not on your diet plan or overeating at different times of the day.
Maybe you’ve tried everything — exercising, eating fewer carbs, counting calories – but no matter what you do, you can’t seem to stop cheating.
What if there was a way to cheat on your diet without actually cheating? What if there was a kinder, gentler way of keeping your weight loss goals?
So for those who feel like they can’t do it, we’ve put together this handy guide on how to follow your diet without cheating!
How To Follow a Diet Without Cheating
1. Eat the right foods
The first step in not cheating on a diet is to make sure you are eating the right foods to begin with. It is crucial that even while dieting, you do not neglect the foods that offer great nutritional value.
Some people go on diets and eliminate all of the food groups from their diet, which is really unhealthy and detrimental for your body. Always make sure that you get enough of all kinds of food groups in order to be healthy.
2. Avoid overeating during certain meals of the day
People cheat on diets by overeating during certain meals of the day, especially later in the day. If you want to ensure that you are sticking to your diet plan without cheating, it is important to keep track of the amount of food you are consuming at certain times.
For example, if you usually eat more during dinner, try not to have a large meal during this time, but instead, eat a smaller dinner and a larger breakfast and lunch.
It is always easier to make healthier choices when you plan ahead and bring healthy options with you. You don’t have to eat fast food just because it is convenient; instead, pack a nutritious lunch or dinner so that you will not feel tempted later in the day by vending machines or fast-food restaurants.
Meal prepping and planning out your diet will allow you to avoid eating foods that you are not supposed to be eating while also ensuring that you consume the right amount of food for energy.
4. Do not use food as a reward for good behavior
A lot of people attempt to diet because they want to lose weight or get healthier. However, sometimes they will turn eating into a reward system for good behavior.
This is one way that people can cheat on their diets without even realizing it. For example, if you go to the gym for a couple of hours and burn a few hundred calories, it might be tempting to reward yourself with a cheat meal. However, it is better to avoid eating too much at any one time to keep yourself from cheating.
Your reward should be more than food. Can’t get that last 5 pounds off? Join a gym or sign up for a class that you like, so you’ll have more to look forward to than just shedding the pounds and some new activities to help keep your weight under control and give you a more exciting life.
5. Make sure you are eating enough food
One of the main reasons people cheat on their diets is because they believe that they are not eating enough food. This can lead people to eat too much food at one time or cause them to eat more than they are supposed to during certain meals of the day.
To avoid this, it is important to make sure you are eating enough food during the day. It is better to eat small meals throughout the day than to eat a few large meals, which will help you improve your metabolism and help keep you from cheating.
6. Do not rely on too much of any one food
Many people trying to follow a diet fail in the first few days because they believe that they can eat more of their favorite foods without punishing themselves with extra exercise or extra calories.
While it is okay to enjoy your favorite food, you should not make it the main component of your diet. It is best to eat various healthy foods as this will ensure you are getting the right amount of nutrients and vitamins that your body needs. This will also help you avoid cheating on your weight loss plan because if you are only eating one or two foods, it becomes easy for you to cheat.
7.Get support from family and friends
They can help distract you and offer encouragement to stay on track. Having a support person is particularly helpful when eating out with friends.
You can share information about how different foods affect your body, avoid the temptation of foods that aren’t on your diet program, and enjoy snacks that are okay to eat together!
8.Think before you eat
Do you really need the second cookie? Or can you save it for later? One study found that in overweight women, the tendency to overeat decreased by 33 percent when they decided on exactly how much to consume before eating their first bite, decreasing the likelihood of consuming too many calories overall.
This approach may work with other foods as well: next time you take a handful of chips from a bag, ask yourself if there’s another way to feel satisfied and cut down on calories at the same time.
9.Enjoy every bite. Your body will thank you later
Instead of eating fast, try eating slowly. It doesn’t mean that you can’t gobble up your food quickly, but just don’t eat as fast as possible. By eating slowly, you will end up eating less because your body gets enough time to let you know that it’s full.
The trick is to eat more slowly. Your stomach has the same capacity whether you eat fast or slow, but you get pack on more pounds when you eat fast. Eating slowly is a good practice to be in if you want to lose weight.
You should still have three meals a day, but every meal should last at least 20 minutes, not just for your body’s physical health but mental health as well. This will help reduce binge eating later since your body and mind are full right now.
10.Practice mindful eating
When you eat, really attend to the tastes, aromas, textures, and colors and ask yourself if you’re really hungry or just craving an experience (like comfort or pleasure).
You’ll get better at choosing when you’re actually hungry and when your cravings are just distracting you from what’s really important in your life.
11.Eat proper meals and snacks at regular intervals throughout the day
It sounds obvious, but it’s common for people to skip meals as they don’t think they have time to eat. If you leave it too long between meals, you are more likely to be tempted to nibble on unhealthy snacks.
12.Take a time out
If cravings are getting you down, go for a walk, do some deep breathing, call a friend–just get away from the food for a little while and distract yourself with something else.
Exercise boosts mood and helps you concentrate and nurture positive relationships at the same time, all great antidotes to stress and overeating.
Many studies have shown that walking can speed up the digestion process. This will most likely cause satiety sooner. This type of faster digestion can lead to less reflux and heartburn.
13.Drink plenty of water and avoid sweetened drinks with calories
Drinking water fills your stomach and keeps you feeling full so that you don’t reach for less healthy options like alcohol or sugary drinks. This will help keep your appetite at bay so you’re not constantly seeking out something to drink! Water has no calories. Why would you drink sweetened drinks when you can have water instead?
Also, your body needs the excess water to flush out toxins and excrete them in the form of sweat; therefore it will actually help speed up the weight loss process.
Consistency is key when it comes to achieving your weight loss goals. Diets fail because people are not consistent, so do your best to follow the diet consistently and see results.
The key to successful weight loss is persistence. Don’t give up on yourself, and don’t let one misstep deter you from losing weight. When one cheat meal becomes a cheat day, then it’s time to stop giving excuses for failures and just start again fresh the following week.
15.Be your own friend
Positive self-talk like “I’m doing really well” or “I feel great” can help people resist unhealthy foods, whereas words like “diet,” “failure,” or “binge” tend to be associated with indulging in unhealthy food.
16.Remember that you’re not giving anything up
Just because you’re following a diet or lifestyle change doesn’t mean that you can’t eat some of the foods you used to love. Just be sure to balance indulging with healthy eating and activity choices most of the time!
Dieting is a long-term process, and it can take weeks, months, or even years before you actually lose enough weight to see any results. You must remain patient throughout the process to avoid cheating on your diet and potentially gaining back all the weight you lost.
The bottom line is this: how to follow a diet without cheating is knowing that failure isn’t the end of the road; it’s just an opportunity to start again. Don’t stress over the past or beat yourself up for failures: instead, remind yourself that starting over is part of the process.
If you have any tips that we did not include in this article, feel free to leave them in the comments section below!