Dating Your Diet

The key to any long term relationship is compromise. We all need a little give or take. If there's no flexibility, you won't get much farther than a one night stand. When it comes to food, that could mean a quick fling with a number of diet fads and possibly leave you with a craving so strong you’ll end up with a binge. Which is why I’ve never dated a diet I couldn’t make a lifetime commitment to.

Your relationship to food impacts your ability to hold onto your ideal weight. Feeling fulfilled in your commitment depends on making lifestyle choices that are not only health conscious, but sustainable over the long term. If you want to make the change from someone who has short term flings with weight loss, to someone who is in a committed relationship with your ideal weight -- believe it or not, it’s necessary to become a cheater!

Don’t worry, betraying your diet doesn’t necessarily mean indulging in whatever catches your eye. You can become a strategic cheater, finding ways to satisfy cravings, instilling a sense of freedom and compromise, while still remaining loyal to your weight goals.

When you want something sweet and chocolaty, a little nibble of dark chocolate is only going to leave you wanting more. Instead, stray with a steamy cup of hot cocoa. The heat requires you to savor slowly rather than going for a quickie. The combination of skim milk, unsweetened cocoa powder, and a teaspoon of sugar only totals 115 calories and 1.1 grams of fat.

If the salty crunch of potato chips is tempting you, don’t completely deny yourself and end up feeling trapped. There are ways to indulge tactically. The same amount of black bean chips will add some variety to your involvement with carbs while costing you fewer calories, half the fat, and an added bonus of 4 grams of muscle building protein. Pretzels are another reasonable liaison with the minimal price of only 100 calories and 1.5 grams of fat.

It’s Friday night and you’re out with friends at the local Tex-Mex. Everyone is flirting with an oversized margarita, but you’re in a faithful relationship to weight loss.You don’t have to settle. There are options beyond a glass of water. Step out with shot of tequila on ice, soda water and a splash of lime juice. The 65 calories are fewer than those in a Granny Smith apple, well below the calories in glass of white wine, and you get to go home without the guilt.

All in all, treat your body well. If you listen and make thoughtful choices when you indulge, your long term diet relationship should be a healthy one.

pictured is Sarma Melngailis of One Lucky Duck

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