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Indulge With Food The Smart Way

How to Indulge With Food and Still Lose Weight

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Wouldn't it be nice if calories didn't count? But since they do, turns out we can't all just eat what we want all the time if we want to live a healthy life. But since I'm decidedly in the "live to eat" camp, I know it's no fun to never indulge every once in awhile. But that doesn't have to mean that all rules go out the window. Here are a few tips on how to indulge the right way — don't worry, they don't take the fun out of it!

The (Slightly) Smarter Decision

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Just because it's an "indulgence" doesn't mean you have to eat the fattiest, greasiest thing you can find. Satisfy the smart way by making a few smarter choices when you know you want to go for something that is decidedly not a salad. So instead of ordering a large order of fries to yourself, split a smaller portion with a friend. Here are a few more tips on saving calories the next time you're at a restaurant.

Have a Cheat Day

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If you're craving those favorite foods, don't just give in all the time. Pick a day where you can relax any normal restrictions you follow the rest of the week. It'll keep you motivated to not "cheat" all the time.

Bank Those Calories

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Plan ahead; you'll be more apt to "spend" calories more wisely. Going out for dinner later? Choose a lunch that isn't laden with calories and fat and get excited for the indulgent meal you'll be having later.

Reach For an Occasional Treat

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And don't feel guilty about it. In an otherwise healthy diet, eating a piece of chocolate cake isn't going to ruin your whole weight-loss plan. A study found that you don't have to feel like you should be increasing your workout intensity the day after a piece of cake — a daily variance of as much as 600 calories won't reflect on your waistline, as long as you maintain a healthy diet in the long run.

Eat the Real Stuff

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It doesn't always pay to go for the lighter version of something. Many supposedly diet-friendly lighter indulgences, like fat-free ice cream, are loaded with sugar, artificial sweeteners, or other substitutes that end up making your brain wish it just had the real thing. To compensate, you may find yourself eating far more of those light foods than you would be if you just ate the real deal.

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