It’s not fair that you can’t celebrate a diet victory in the way you want to. But you’re a responsible adult, and you recognize the consequences of breaking good habits you’ve worked so hard to adopt. The good news is, you can always treat yourself! Here are some foods you can use to satisfy your urges, no matter the kinds of cravings you have (and deserve to fulfill!).
You may just want to shove your face in a bowl of potato chips, but there are much more useful ways to get some sodium. Pretzels are a great alternative, as well as low-fat popcorn. Roasted seeds are great for a salty snack, and can be added to a lot of dishes as well (soups, salads, etc.). Pickles are also a great source of sodium. However salt-crazy you may be, you might want to vie for the low-sodium variety of your snacks, as too much sodium can cause you to bloat.
Sometimes, chocolate cravings can be pretty intense. And if you’ve done well in your diet, some well-deserved chocolate will help your mood to keep soaring! I’ve found that chocolate soy milk is surprisingly delicious and plenty chocolatey for any fan. There are plenty of fat-free chocolate pudding cups at your local grocery store, as well as fat-free chocolate yogurt treats. You can make your own chocolate-covered raisins by melting down a chocolate bar in the microwave, dipping the raisins, and allowing to cool. However you do it, make sure you read the ingredients so you aren’t getting an unnecessary amount of fat. Dark chocolate is always better.
Whether savory or sweet, there are some creamy dairy options for you. A great companion to raw vegetables is dip made out of fat-free sour cream and simple onion soup mix. For ice cream, check the frozen aisle for their diet-friendly and fat-free ice cream options. If you’re on a diet that forbids you from dairy, there are plenty of milk substitutes (soy, coconut, and almond) that provide a perfectly fluffy and creamy solution to any milk-based recipe you’d like to indulge in.
Cheese is a tough one to justify while on a diet. Fat-free cheeses tend to have a strange texture and don’t melt very well. They are perfectly fine grated and put on a salad for taste, but many crave cheese for its gooey and greasy properties. You can indulge in some low-fat cheese, but be cautious. While cheese has many good nutrients, it can also be a terrible setback for you and your diet progress if abused. Fat-free cream cheese is perfectly fine and tasty.
If you’re celebrating a diet victory, chances are you’ve been hungry a lot recently. There’s no other way you’d like to repay yourself than to just allow your body to feel stuffed for once. While this might not necessarily a bad thing, most think about red meats, greasy pizza, and lots of thick brown gravy on something (anything).
Prepare yourself a meal with lots of whole grains and beans, and load up on as many vegetables as you can stand. Use a tilted grill to cook some chicken, letting the grease run out and away from your meat. This will be a fulfilling meal, without hindering your progress or undoing what you’ve accomplished.
You’ve been doing your body a generous thing by choosing to eat healthily, but don’t be too hard on it in the process. Your cravings always mean something, and your body might be trying to tell you what it needs. If you just can’t justify splurging with food, do something else for yourself. Take a shopping trip, get a massage, or treat yourself to a facial with an affordable microdermabrasion machine. Never avoid rewarding yourself for a job well done, or you just might lose the motivation to keep trying.
Fat Loss Exercise is Nothing to Fear
Many people attempt to lose weight by cutting back on calories and changing the quality of their diets. While this is a vital part of the process of weight loss, it is only one half of the picture. Beginning an exercise program completes this picture and not only helps you to get where you want to be quicker but is a necessary requirement to live a healthy life, so avoiding it could end up being a costly mistake.
While changing your diet and making a certain reduction in the calories that you eat will help you to lose weight, there are many things a reduction in calories will not do. It will not increase lung capacity, it will not strengthen your heart muscles, it will not increase endurance or strength, it will not give you that fabulous six-pack, and it will not give your body that healthy toned look. Eventually, weight loss will grind to a halt through calorie reduction alone. Simply because you can only reduce calories so far before it begins to have a negative impact on your health.
Believe it or not but your body is actually designed for movement and exercise. This is what you were born for and your body thrives on it because it is natural for it to do so. Yet so many people are fearful of exercising. Many people find it very difficult to raise the motivation and determination required to exercise. The fact remains that you will be sabotaging your attempts at weight loss without exercising. One of the myths about exercising is that people believe that they will have to grunt and groan in a gym for long periods in the gym to reach their goals. However, this does not have to be the case. Try to push yourself beyond what you are capable of and you will in all likelihood give up anyway.
The people that do incorporate an exercise program into their weight loss goals, do so by rushing into doing too much too soon. This is what makes exercise so difficult to keep up. This is where the lack of motivation and fear will eventually stem from. Because people are under the impression that exercise is difficult, they will be wary of doing any.
It is well documented by fitness and exercise experts that exercise should be undertaken 3-4 times a week with each session lasting anything from 30 minutes to an hour. Because this is the advice people get, just the thought of it sends them into a mild form of shock and deters them from doing any. Now pay careful attention to the following statement.
EXERCISE CAN BE AS EASY OR HARD AS YOU WANT IT TO BE.
This is the answer to anybody’s problems with exercise.
If you are the type of person who has led a pretty inactive life for a number of years, clearly your fitness levels are going to be pretty low. So when you are told that you must exercise following conventional guidelines, you will obviously be concerned about your ability to follow such a program. This, in turn, will lead to certain levels of anxiety regarding exercise. Any motivation will vanish fairly quickly. Let’s face it; if you are not motivated to do something, you are not going to do it.
One of the human body’s greatest strength is its ability to adapt. Meaning that if you impose something on your body which it is just capable of handling, then it will adapt to do this until it becomes easy for it. If you begin an exercise program which is just enough to push you beyond what you are used to, your body will adapt to that. Then you push it a little more and your body will continue to adapt. You just continue doing it in this way and bit by bit you will get stronger and fitter. Your body will keep changing to cater to what you are doing.
Stop thinking about 1-hour sessions of exercise when you first start. Just start doing something which is going to stretch you beyond what you are used to. Start small, it does not matter where you start, even if it is only 5 minutes, it does not matter. The most important thing is that you do start somewhere. Once you have started adding a minute or two the next time you do it. Add whatever you are comfortable with but always make sure you add something, as this will push your body a little more. This will be so much easier for your body and you. It is far better to reach a 30-minute workout after a month or so, rather than trying to do it all in the first week. Which may be too difficult for you and will lead you to give up.
Finally, keep an exercise diary and write everything you do into it. How many, how long, and how often. This is really important because it gives you a visual record of where you began and how much improvement you have made. Regardless of whatever little exercise you start doing today, remember it is still more than what you were doing yesterday.