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How to Indulge in a Healthy Manner

By Sara Butler

Even the healthiest eater doesn’t just eat kale and quinoa. Everyone has cravings for sweet or salty from time to time and it’s OK to indulge -- within reason. Here are a few tips to help you stick to your healthy eating habits without depriving yourself.

It’s About Moderation

Don’t judge yourself too harshly for craving a hot fudge sundae -- you’re human! If enjoyed in moderation, then any type of food can be a part of a healthy lifestyle. In fact, letting yourself enjoy the foods you want sets you up for success in the long run. Research has shown that people have the most success maintaining a healthy diet if they have a plan that is sustainable. If you deprive yourself of things you want, then the craving won’t really go away and your momentum can be disrupted.

It’s worth it to learn how to work your favorites into a plan for your meals. You should eventually be able to find a good balance between enjoying your favorite foods and still meeting your health and wellness goals.

Don’t Get Too Crazy

Some people work “cheat days” into their healthy lifestyle. If that works for you, then go for it. But it’s important to recognize that if you don’t do them reasonably, then it can derail your healthy efforts. On the plus side, research supports the idea of cheat days as a method to reach your long-term goals. But you must plan ahead and cap it at just one day.

In other words, you can go out to pizza with your friends as long as you don’t have a whole pizza pie just for yourself!

Let Loose -- In a Healthy Way!

If you want to have chocolate, ice cream, or your grandma’s favorite oatmeal cookies, then set parameters for yourself. Make sure you’ve met your exercise and nutrition goals for the week first, then indulge in a treat slowly. As long as you’re eating well most of the time, having a treat once in a while is a perfectly healthy thing. And if you’re going to go for it, make sure to get the real thing, not a treat with a ton of additives and artificial flavorings. Go for an all-natural alternative that’s high quality!

You can and should indulge from time to time to help yourself stay on a healthy track. As long as you do it with boundaries in mind, you should be good to go!

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Northbrook, Ill.

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