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Dieting – how to cheat and win!

"Susanna Crump" (2019-03-07)

Take away a person's favorite food and you take away their right arm. So, when the diet forbids chips or chocolate can you simply tell your body you'll never eat it again?

No, of course not! It's just not that simple, is it? We all know that the taste for the food we have enjoyed and loved for most of our life is not simply going to go away just like that. And for those of us who have dieted unsuccessfully in the past, we know that the desire for this forbidden food intensifies as time goes on, usually to the point where our diet breaks down.

It is this single fact that is often at the heart of the decision that we make to break our diet, even if it is only for one meal and it is this driving force that may be behind many decisions to stop a diet and go back to our old way of eating. So, if that is the case, is it ever going to be possible to diet?

One thing that is guaranteed not to work (and this seems not to be understood by so many diet advisors) is that you can't just tell yourself that such and such a food is no longer on the menu. This is the language of logic and a language that your mind may understand but one which your body most definitely does not speak. The craving for a food that you enjoy eating is a basic drive and one that intensifies with time. Any dieter who had been forbidden chocolate knows exactly what I mean!

So, can you turn this craving into something that you can manage and then use it to help you with your diet? This is the 'cheat idnpoker and Win' strategy; you accept that you are human and you will have cravings that need to be satisfied and you make arrangements to see that they are satisfied. That way, your body will be silent and allow you to continue with the diet untroubled.

So, it is now time to take a long, hard look at the way you eat and make some decisions. First you need to know what food will be the food that will trouble you the most. If you have dieted before then you will probably know that already, if not then you will have to make a guess. Usually, it is sweet things like chocolate or sugar based desserts.

Alternatively, go on the diet for a week or perhaps two and see which foods you long for.

Now, have a think about your intended or current diet and see if it is possible to fit in some days when these foods can be eaten. Does your diet allow a 'free' day on a Sunday or something like that? Is your diet calorie controlled so that you can have a day when you can eat the food you like and fit it in with the available calories. Or, perhaps, you can 'save' points or similar so that one day you can eat more?

If this fails, simply set aside one day a week when you can eat other food. You will not lose weight as quickly but, if you are careful, you can fit this in with your diet and still manage a pound or two a week of weight loss.

So, when your free day comes, use the tricks below to help ensure that you enjoy your favorite food and get the most satisfaction from it.

Firstly, make sure that you set aside time to eat and enjoy it. Don't sit and eat it quickly while watching TV, try to make it an occasion, that way you will enjoy it to the full and be fully aware that you are eating it.

Secondly, eat small amounts slowly, savoring each mouthful and stop as soon as you can. Generally, your body only needs small amounts of food to feel satisfied. Remember that usually you are not eating to satisfy hunger but to satisfy a craving and so small is often more than sufficient. The trick is to put the food in your mouth and let it rest there a moment so that your body experiences the full taste. Remember, this is all your body wants, the taste and enjoyment of the food.

Finally, do not under circumstances, think of yourself as 'being wicked' or 'eating forbidden food'. What you are doing is a perfectly natural way to satisfy the needs of your body. Think of it as 'breaking the rules' or 'bending them' if you like. This way your natural feeling of guilt limits the damage done to your diet.

Now you will find that you look forward to the special day and don't crave the food in between since your body knows that you will be eating it in a few days time. You might also find that you need less and less of it to satisfy you and so the effect on your diet is reduced as time goes on.

One last thought is that you should not 'water the food down' to make the flavor less intense or less sweet. Your body will know and you will crave more, if anything eat the most intense and flavorsome food that you can find and allow small quantities of it to rest on your tongue.

Remember, craving foods is natural and satisfying those cravings is a part of being human. Eat the food that you want but eat it in a structured and careful way and you will feel satisfied and stay on that diet longer.