How to Cheat on Your Diet (With No Guilt!)
Many nutrition experts purport that to optimize your chances for dietary success you should follow the 80/20 rule whereby 80% of the time you eat clean, healthy foods and 20% of the time you indulge in your gastronomic vices. This not only helps instill moderation skills, but you’re more likely to see sustainable weight loss, because the focus is on maintaining a healthy but realistic lifestyle that still allows you to go out socially and enjoy the foods (and cocktails…) you love most.
In addition to the positive psychological effects, there’s also a metabolic reason for penciling in a day to eat the foods you otherwise make a conscious decision to avoid. Cheat days boost metabolism by upping leptin production, a hormone responsible for maintaining energy balance and causing weight loss.
Leptin production typically takes a dip when calories are being restricted, as is the case in most diets. Leptin also contributes to increased motivation, which is key for getting back to clean eating after a period of indulging. This concept was thrust into the spotlight by Tim Ferris in The 4-Hour Body, a worthy read for anyone looking to get into the nitty-gritty of weight loss.
All that said, moderation, even on your off days is imperative to avoid a massive blood sugar and insulin spike. We’ve rounded up some uniquely indulgent finds, all of which come in portion-controlled packaging, to consider peppering into your diet in between your green juice and avocado toasts.
Hit two sugar cravings with one stone thanks to these stuffed, sweet treats. Among the brand’s offerings are a sugar cookie stuffed with a lemon bar, a fudge brownie cookie stuffed with peanut butter, a chocolate chip cookie stuffed with fudge brownie, and arguably the standout, a confetti cookie stuffed with birthday cake. All come individually packaged and are easy to freeze.
Gotta Have S’more
When you can’t find time to pencil in that camping trip, this brand makes s’mores-inspired cupcakes. They have a few different iterations (including a wedding pack), but all come with a graham cracker crust and marshmallow top.
A spin-off of the successful Momofuku empire, Milk Bar makes countless unique treats, but the name of their oft-singled out favorite, Crack Pie, says it all. Though you can buy the whole pie, bear in mind the pie’s name and opt for a single slice.
If there’s one cookie worth six days of clean eating for, it’s a Levain cookie. For proof just look at the line that snakes out of their New York City-based basement flagship location. Luckily, they ship nationwide.
Milk + Brookies
These brownie-cookie hybrids come in a slew of flavors including Red Velvet, Blondie, Turtle, Peanut Butter, Snickerdoodle, and Sugar.
When you’re craving something salty, reach for Simply 7. The brand makes kale, quinoa, lentil, or hummus-based salty snacks, all of which are made only with all-natural, simple, easy-to-understand ingredients. They are also non-GMO and gluten-free.
Jif has turned America’s go-to spread into a recently-launched granola bar. Available in Creamy Peanut Butter, Crunchy Peanut Butter, and Peanut Butter Chocolate, these are the perfect options for peanut butter addicts who don’t have self control when left to their own devices with a jar of peanut butter.