So you want to know more about “cheat” foods you can eat without ruining your diet. Before we get off on listing my favorite diet friendly cheat foods, we have to talk a bout a few things. First, we’re going to talk about the big “D”. No, not that big “D”, the other one… Diet. If you have ever been on a hard-core diet or many hard-core diets, then at some point you’ll start to notice a pattern in how you feel at different stages of your plan. There’s always the excitement (or dread) phase, when you’re about to start your new plan or when you first begin your diet. This is the phase where we’re made of steel.. our will is steadfast and no one, I mean NO ONE is going to lead us off course (God, I love that part…). This is the part where we stick to our guns… we’re on point with our eating and our exercise, we’re losing some poundage on the scale.. We are in the flow and it feels so good…
Then, if you’re human, like me, there is the next phase, where the scale might not move as fast. The scale might get stuck at a certain weight (I feel your pain with this one… TRUST ME!) OR…. it might even (gasp) uptick a bit (Yep, I feel your pain here, too…). This is where we see just how much grit we have, right? Well, yes… we’ll see just how much grit we have and sometimes, we’ll get through this phase unscathed. Sometimes, we can weather the “stuck scale storm” long enough for our whoosh to happen, where the scale will start moving in the right direction again. Then, there’s those other times (Yes, I have those other times too…), where we’re in this phase and life happens. We’re invited out for dinner with friends or someone has a birthday. Suddenly, we have cake in front of us and cake is our Kryptonite. The scale’s not moving anyway, right? It’s just cake, for the love of God, right? STOP RIGHT THERE… This is the point where we quit just before the miracle occurs. DON’T DO IT! You will only feel like crap later, because you’ve broken a promise you made to yourself. Don’t get me wrong, here. If you have planned to cheat and know you can get right back on track, go for it. You’ve already made that deal… But, if you have not planned it and you’re doing this as some kind of retaliation against the scale not moving or uptickinyg… or if you just need that instant gratification, then DON’T DO IT!
In the case that you’re human, that second phase is where we’ll start having food cravings. It’s a well known scientific fact that for many of us, food cravings start kicking into high gear when we’re stressed or anxious. According to Drewnowski, a well-known researcher on taste and food preferences, “Food cravings arise to satisfy emotional needs, such as calming stress or reducing anxieties.” Research shows that eating carbohydrates boosts our levels of the hormone serotonin, which has a calming effect. It’s also been shown that sugar, when combined with fat, may also have a calming effect. It’s no wonder that we’d get in a street fight over a piece of cake, when we’re in that second phase… We’re stressed, we’re discouraged, and dang it, we just want a freakin piece of cake, NOW!
So, what if we trick the brain a little? Not, really trick, but trade something out that satisfies the craving AND won’t throw you off course? So, really… in this case, you CAN have your cake and eat it too! Enter the Diet Hacks below. I have personally tasted each of these items and use each of these items in times where I’d get in a street fight for a piece of cake. Every single thing below is delicious AND will kill off that craving. Plus, you won’t feel like crap after eating it… a little smug, yes… crap.. no. Please, note that I am NOT a doctor. I am just a regular person like you, trying to live a healthy lifestyle and meeting my fitness goals. 🙂 Also, please note that in order for me to make it easier for you to find these lifesaver products, I have included affiliate links to them, below. You’ll notice that there’s not a ton of products that I’m recommending. That’s because if I don’t use them myself and love them, I’m not listing them.
Cinnamon SmartCakes –
Holy, moly… This is the Holy Grail of deliciousness, right here…. If you are craving something light, airy, and sweet, reminiscent of a Snickerdoodle Cookie in cake form, these babies are not going to disappoint AT ALL! I can’t even express how delicious these are!
Justin’s Maple Almond Butter Packets –
These seemingly satisfy both my sugary and salty cravings at the same time. I love this for an on-the-go snack. It’s great for those times when you’re needing just a little something to satiate both your hunger and a little craving. I personally love the Maple because it doesn’t have a high sugar content, yet gives me just what I need to keep me on track.
Quest Peanut Butter Protein Powder –
I love, love, love this protein powder for so many reasons. The first of which is that it actually, honest to God, tastes like a Peanut Butter Cookie. I adore these shakes because they allow me to feel like I’m cheating, when in reality, I’m still right on point, with my eating. Should I mention that you can actually make Peanut Butter Cookies with this powder too? Nom!
Quest Multi-Purpose Baking Mix –
If you miss making pancakes and waffles in the morning, because they’re not on plan… Here’s your solution, right here! These make delicious pancakes and waffles… Throw some sugar-free maple syrup on them and you won’t even feel like you’re dieting at all :)!
Caulipower Pizza –
I know it sounds weird to make a pizza crust out of cauliflower, but I swear you won’t even feel like you’re eating healthy pizza. Let’s put it this way, my boyfriend actually liked them and he’s a hard core pizza guy! They’re sooooo good!