The Health Advocate

 
by Hannah Whittenly, The Health Advocate

 
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Dieting doesn’t have to be a dreary walk through tasteless veggies and chalky nutrition bars. In fact, most dieters plan their meals so that they can still enjoy the sweeter things in life. For you, this means learning how to build and modify a food plan as well as understand a bit more of the math involved in planning a diet.

What is a Cheat Food?


In the broadest sense, cheat foods are foods that are unhealthy. Sugary drinks, candies, cakes, cookies, hot dogs, fried foods and anything else that fills you up without giving your body what it needs to function are considered cheats. Calorically, these foods are dense. Nutritionally, they are lacking. Even so, that doesn’t mean you should ban them from your life.

What Won’t You Give Up?


You know what your vices are. Chocolate cake can be tempting, but is it as tempting as a soda on a hot day? Pretzel rolls are delicious but can you really deny the joy of fresh Kaiser rolls? While you should never give up everything that brings your tongue tingles, identify the unhealthy things you can live without. This will make it less of a battle when trying to decide between the cake and the soda. The first is easier to say no to when there’s a soda on the horizon.

Calculate Your Calories


First, you need to figure out your daily caloric needs for your goal weight. If you are a moderately average 125 pound female, hit 2000 calories a day. A similar male will need 2800. Adjust these based on your own needs. There are also calorie calculators across the internet available to help you figure out what your specific requirements are.

Count and Plan


Figuring out if you can have that cheat food is simple math at this point. Look at the total number of calories you have each day. How many have you eaten so far? Will eating the cheat food put you over the remaining calories? If so, skip it for now. If not, enjoy!

Diets are meant to be malleable and fun. They should never be a punishment, merely a tool to help you reach your goals. By approaching it with a healthy attitude that’s ready to enjoy a snack from time to time, you can build a better rapport with food, leading to a healthier and happier life that still enjoys the occasional indulgence.




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