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How to stop cheating on your diet?

How to stop cheating on your diet?

When you are dieting your conscience will scream “stop!” when you steal a handful of mini candies from your friends or co-workers. If no one saw you take them then the calories don’t count, right?! We call it cheating, closet eating or sneaking. One of the reasons dieters cheat is because they are too strict on themselves and they end up feeling deprived.

Healthy eating means having the good choices with a few naughty ones as well. Planning some strategies to enjoy treats rather than cheating will help you stay on your diet. Here are some suggestions for you to try:

1. Put your pantry on a diet. If your kitchen is filled with healthy foods, then you are already halfway there. If you have a special occasion and you need to have tempting foods around, keep them out of sight or buy them at the last minute. On the big day, enjoy your favorite foods in moderation and send the leftovers home with your guests.

2. Plan for treats. Getting to enjoy your favorite treats once in a while will decrease the feeling of deprivation that you have. Pick a day each week when you can indulge in something deprived like a piece of chocolate cake. Give yourself the permission to truly enjoy your dessert! Taking time to enjoy a treat is more satisfying than having feelings of shame or guilt.

3. Choose your friends wisely. Be aware of any friend who constantly tries to force you into “just a coffee” which you know really means a coffee and a slice of sponge cake with frosting on it. Put these friends on hold until you know you are strong enough to say “no.” Or suggest a different kind of plans such as an afternoon at the movies or walk in the park.

4. Count the cost as well as the calories. Allocate a certain amount of dollars per kg you plan to lose and save the money in a different account; Or “pay” yourself every day when you stick to your weight-loss diet. Then reward yourself to something fabulous like a new pair of jeans or a day at a beauty center.

5. Check up on yourself. Write down what you eat. If you often eat when you’re stressed, try to write that one too. If you ate a candy bar after arguing with your partner, you probably need to find alternative ways to deal with your moods. Next time try calling a friend or going for a stress-relieving walk.

6. Surround yourself with witnesses. Inform everyone that you are changing your eating habits and allow them to remind you of your dedication to better health if they catch you cheating. But make sure that you choose friends who will support and encourage you not trip you up.

7. Picture yourself. Find some not so flattering photos of yourself and put them at the main temptation spots like the fridge, the cookie jar, or in your drawer to be reminded of the positive changes you’re trying to make whenever you’re tempted to overeat.

8. Keep a sense of proportion. We all forget our best resolutions and break the rules and slip up from time to time. It is not the end of the world. The worst thing you can do is give in and say “Well, I blew it. Let’s forget it. I’m never going to succeed” and stop doing the positive changes that you were trying to do.
Now, that would really be cheating. Not just cheating on your diet, but cheating on yourself and your health as well.

Christelle Bedrossian
Beirut, Lebanon

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Dietitian Christelle Bedrossian