5 Ways to Indulge Mindfully & Enjoy Your Favorite Treats

Eating clean can also mean enjoying your favorite "cheat meals." Just as long as you do so mindfully.

December 22, 2016
woman enjoying hot chocolate

Adapted from Eat Clean Stay Lean: The Diet

Eating clean means that you could still enjoy the treats you love—we mean it. Once you've jump-started your weight loss, you're ready to reincorporate some of your old favorites.

More: 9 Must-Know Lessons for Weight Loss Success

Here's how to do treats without overdoing them.

eating cheesecake
Make them occasional, not everyday

Whether your indulgence of choice is a mint chocolate chip ice cream cone, a plate of cheesy nachos, or a glorious glass of wine, you can have it. Just remember that these are once-in-a-while foods and drinks, not everyday ones. Go ahead and enjoy up to two of your favorite treats in reasonable portions every week. That's often enough to leave you feeling satisfied and like you're not missing out—but not so often that eating them becomes a habit or you end up regaining lost weight.

enjoying wine
Look forward to them

Sure, it's fine for your treats to sometimes be spontaneous—like when your neighbor stops by with a fresh batch of your favorite cookies or your family makes an executive decision that tonight needs to be fried chicken night. But in general, make an effort to plan your treats when you plan your weekly menu.

More: Your 5-Step Plan to Stop Emotional Eating

Having that homemade chocolate cake or margarita to look forward to all week will make your treat that much more enjoyable. Anticipation is part of the fun, and more importantly, deciding on your splurge beforehand means that you're less likely to feel guilty after you indulge.

taking cookie
Have one helping

If you've decided that you're going to have one slice of pie or a cookie, have one slice of pie or a cookie. We know—easier said than done! If you struggle with knowing when it's time to stop, make it harder to keep on munching.

Buy a single pastry from the best bakery in town instead of an entire box from the grocery store. If you make something yourself, bring the extras to a friend or neighbor. When you order an indulgent meal, pass on bringing home that doggie bag, or give it to someone else. If it's not around, you can't keep eating it.

couple having breakfast
Be social

Make it a point to have your treats in the company of others instead of eating them alone. Eating socially can help you stick with your intentions regarding how much and how often you have dessert. And anyway, food is just more fun when the experience of eating it is shared.

More: 7 Hacks That'll Help You Stay Lean & Healthy

eating brownie
Enjoy it—and move on

Put your treat on a plate or in a glass. Sit down at the table. Savor every bite or sip. And when you're finished? Close your eyes, smile, and say to yourself, That was wonderful. Sure, it sounds a little cheesy. But taking the time to acknowledge how much you enjoyed something makes you feel good and appreciative—not guilty or like you need to have more.

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