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Nutritionists Share Their Cheat Foods

chocolate bar in wrapper

March 29, 2018 | Categories:

If you think the life of a nutritionist is all quinoa and kale, you would be wrong. As it turns out, they’re human, and they have sweet and salty cravings just like the rest of us. In fact, many nutritionists build indulgences into their daily meal plans, proof that it’s okay to give into our cravings a little here and there. Many nutritionists believe it’s an important practice to incorporate if you want to stick to a healthy eating plan for the long haul.

“If we deny ourselves our favorite items, our bodies will crave them even more, and it will become a distraction and a focus on missing that food that brings you so much comfort and joy,” said Wesley Delbridge, R.D., spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. “You end up resenting the diet that you are on and then splurging, which then leads to shame or guilt.”

Delbridge recommends finding a way to work in the foods you love in proper portions. “In order to control my chocolate cravings, I allow myself two mini chocolate pieces at night. I don’t have big bars in the house, and the small portions help me stay on track,” he says.

Here’s why chocolate is one of the eight best foods to eat before a date.

Enjoy Your Favorites in Moderation

It’s important not to judge yourself for having cravings or compare your favorite indulgences to those of a friend. “I’m a dietitian, but I am also a human being and we all have our favorite indulgences,” says Delbridge. “Appreciate that you have these foods in your life that you enjoy, [and] use moderation and a healthy lifestyle to continue to enjoy them,” he advises.

Practicing eating foods that please the palate might feel like cheating, but you’re actually setting yourself up for long-term success. According to various news sources, research has shown that the best diet is one that is sustainable—meaning if you can’t picture your life without ever eating a fettuccine again, low-carb probably isn’t a great fit for you. Any diet plan that is going to make you feel guilty if you reach for your craving also threatens to disrupt your momentum and progress entirely.

The key is defining what “moderation” means. It can mean different things to different people: My “moderation” rule might mean I can have two slices of pizza three days a week and your “moderation rule” might be one slice of pizza a month. If you think you’re practicing moderation now, but you’re still not losing weight, you likely need to reevaluate your food intake and be stricter with your diet, research says. Tracking your food is a great way to pinpoint when and if you’re going overboard on any indulgences.

Knowing how to work your favorites into your meal plan and still lose weight is something you’ll need to learn with the help of a professional, or through trial and error. It may take some time, but know that it will all be worth it in the end when you can have your cake and lose weight, too.

How Nutritionists Let Loose

“I have a major sweet tooth and cannot live without having a small bite of something sweet each day,” said Erin Palinski-Wade, R.D., author of “Belly Fat Diet for Dummies. “Dark chocolate is rich in antioxidants and may even promote healthy blood pressure, so enjoying it daily won’t have a negative impact on health. I just work to keep the portion in check! I either add a teaspoon of dark chocolate chips into a homemade trail mix or drizzle melted chocolate over air-popped popcorn or nuts.”

Integrative and Functional Nutrition Academy co-founder, Kathie Swift, M.S., R.D.N. agrees, saying she loves the taste and mouthfeel of dark chocolate. “In the winter months here in the Berkshires, I make my own dark chocolate cocoa with coconut or almond milk and a dusting of cinnamon!”

Read the rest of the article on SparkPeople.com.

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