What if we told you that you could eat your favorite junk foods on a weight-loss diet and still be able to shed pounds – would you believe us?
Well, you don’t need to take our word for it since the question comes directly from a certified dietitian who revealed that the secret to succeeding on a weight loss diet comes down to one golden rule: eat two of your favorite treats (in moderation, of course) once a week.
Why Dieting is Hard
Before you head off to the nearest Krispy Kreme to get a box of your favorite glazed donuts, let’s understand the rules first. Now, the dietitian says that it may be possible to fit in a donut or two into your diet once a week, but that means that you’ll need to follow the diet strictly throughout the rest of the week to reap the weight-loss benefits.
Registered dietician named Amanda Baker Lemein says that you don’t really have to banish your favorite foods from your life in the name of shedding pounds. In fact, if you really want to lose weight, you need to give in to your temptations every-once-in-a- while and bow down to the junk food gods.
The ‘Two-Treat Rule’
To help her clients lose weight without feeling miserable on a diet, Amanda has devised a clever ‘two-treat rule’ which she swears by for keeping your cravings in check while being in an overall calorie deficit required for weight-loss.
Amanda says that she has talked with a number of people who tried cutting junk food from their life completely but going cold turkey all of a sudden can trigger a relapse and binge-eating which is ultimately bad for your health and your weight-loss goals.
Moreover, it is much easier to sustain a diet when you’re allowing yourself a cheat meal once a week. This isn’t only good for keeping the cravings at bay but also teaches dieters the importance of balance and moderation.
Better to Eat in Moderation than Not at All
According to Amanda, it is highly unrealistic for someone to say that they’ll never have a certain food that is bad for their health ever again. The society that we live in has made it hard to completely avoid junk food. You see it no matter where you go from affordable fast food chains popping up everywhere to grocery store isles filled with all sorts of hard-to-resist junk foods – you can run, but you can’t hide.
The dietician says that it is much better for your physical and mental health to have a cupcake or two once a week rather than risk binge-eating when you do finally eat them. Amanda says that it is written in our psychology that when we try to stay away from something, it becomes all the more enticing to us – so, why not just eat what you want for a day and stick to your diet for the rest for the week?
The Limitations of ‘Two-Treat Rule’
If you’re craving ice cream and have been good with following through with your diet, go ahead and reward yourself with a scoop of ice cream or a slice of pizza. Although just a serving of these high-calorie junk foods may not seem enough, they are definitely better than having nothing.
It is crucial that you’re eating healthy the rest of the week in order to minimize the effects of cheating on your weight-loss diet. Amanda recommends plant-based diet rich in fruits, vegetables, legumes, beans, and whole grains for living a healthy and fulfilling life.
Another great tip for achieving your weight-loss goal is by banning any junk food from your house while you’re on a strict diet. Having too many temptations in the pantry or the refrigerator can throw you off-track. If you want some ice cream, go out and get a single serving of it instead of getting an entire pint and storing it in the freezer.