When people think healthy eating, they often picture bland chicken breast, steamed veggies and a large dose of deprivation, but healthy eating is so much more than that. In fact, it’s the opposite.
Following a healthy lifestyle is a chance to get creative, have fun, establish healthy relationships with food and give your mind and body a boost. It may come as a surprise that treats play a huge role in maintaining this healthy relationship with food.
Although it’s true that following a healthy lifestyle, or trying to lose weight often means that we have to have less of some of the foods we love, it’s not necessary to leave them behind forever. It’s all about moderation, not deprivation.
Treats are so GOOD! Here’s why:
They stop you from feeling deprived.
Denying yourself the foods you enjoy can crush your spirit and kill your motivation. It’s important to know you can still enjoy food while you eat healthy.
Treats help to prevent binging or giving up healthy eating altogether.
Allowing yourself a couple of treats each week can decrease your risk of quitting. If you’re constantly feeling deprived then one day, temptation will find you and you might give in. Unfortunately, some people never try again. The good news is that this is preventable. Let yourself have a portion-controlled treat, even make an appointment in your weekly plan for it!
They help develop healthy and realistic eating habits.
By including an occasional indulgence, you are teaching your body that it is ok to have these foods in moderation. This is a skill that will be useful later throughout your healthy living journey.
Treating yourself gives you something to look forward to.
Knowing that there’s a treat in store gives you something to look forward to, so you can easily say no to other temptations along the way. Spread your treats throughout the week. For example, set Wednesday and Saturday as treat days, so you will know something yummy is always just around the corner.
When we eat food that isn’t so good for us or isn’t part of our plan, it often leads to feelings of guilt and an unhealthy relationship with food and eating. If treats are a part of your routine, guilt doesn’t have to be a part of eating.
Tricks for Treats.
Sometimes we’re afraid to allow ourselves a treat, thinking it might open the floodgates. Here are a few things you can do to stop yourself from overindulging:
Have your treats with your other foods.
Having your treat along with your other foods will make it go further and can also be a chance for some great creations like our Chocolate Dipped Strawberries.
Take the time to enjoy it!
We’ve all been there – you sit down in front of the T.V. with a bag of chips watching your favourite show and before you know it all the chips are gone and you can’t even remember eating them. Instead, take time to eat your treat, savour it and enjoy every mouthful!
Brush your teeth.
If you’re still craving after finishing your treat, try either brushing your teeth or chewing some sugar-free gum afterwards. This will help prevent you from going for more.
Limit Treat availability.
If you are really worried, only have one treat in your house. You can’t eat what’s not there!
How can I fit treats into my Tony Ferguson eating plan?
The Tony Ferguson Classic eating plan includes two indulgences to enjoy each week. There’s an extensive list of ‘Treat Guidelines’ including foods like chocolate, wafers, yogurt, biltong, pudding and even alcohol. You should be able to find what you’re looking for whether you have a sweet tooth or enjoy a nice glass of wine. Even if you’re not following a Tony Ferguson eating plan, this is a handy guideline for what you can have on your treat days, check it out here.