Through the holidays, you may have let loose a little. After all, no one wants to be the scrooge of Christmas, saying no to every morsel of food that doesn’t fit within your diet. But by taking a cheat day — or two or three — you may not be doing your waistline any favors.
My clients often ask if I have a cheat day (likely trying to give themselves the go-ahead). Much to their dismay, I don’t. I’m not just saying that to set an example. Cheat days can create a very slippery slope. What I do, instead, is have an occasional cheat bite. If I see something that I’m really, really craving, I’ll enjoy a few bites to satisfy me without throwing me completely off track.
The good news is there are plenty of healthy substitutes for nearly any temptation. Next time you’re feeling weak and wary, dig into one of these diet-friendly alternatives:
I’m screaming for ice cream!
Chill out and spoon up a serving of low-fat or fat-free yogurt. Pretend you’re at your favorite ice cream parlor and pile on (healthy) toppings. Pick add-ons that will provide a blend of flavors and textures, so you don’t need as many to satisfy. Think blueberries, dark chocolate chips and pecans.
I’m flipping for French fries!
What you really want is something crunchy and salty. No problem. Grab a bag of CrispRoot Cassava Root Chips sprinkled with sea salt. A tummy-taming 23 chips only sets you back 150 calories. Plus, they’re gluten- and guilt-free with one-third the fat of those fast-food fries.
I’m dizzy for donuts!
Ener-G Gluten-Free Donut Holes may stop the spinning. You’ll sacrifice a mere 50 calories for five bite-sized holes. Dip them in a cuppa Joe like you would the real deal, or get a helping of protein by smothering these holes in your favorite peanut butter — like dessert for breakfast!
Jennifer Nicole Lee is an International fitness model, best-selling author and motivational speaker who has appeared on Oprah, CBS The Early Show, Inside Edition, E! Entertainment and Fox and Friends. She is the author of the The Fun Fit Foodie Cookbook and was named one of the “Three Top Females in the Fitness Industry” of 2011 by Yahoo Sports. Check out her health and fitness tips and videos exclusively on the Vitacost Blog.