If you've been tracking calories for weight loss, then you may be frustrated by what you are limited to eating during a day. You may even keep your favorite indulgence foods off-limits for fear of going over your total daily calorie allotment. Turns out, this may not help with your weight-loss progress. You could end up feeling super deprived, which will only lead to a binge later on and possible feelings of guilt for falling off your plan.
Whether you're dealing with intense cravings, want to ward off a binge, or just want to mix up your boring, everyday meal plan, registered dietitian and trainer Jim White, ACSM, owner of Jim White Fitness and Nutrition Studios, recommends you indulge in a treat before bed.
"It's a good idea on some days of the week to have a certain set amount of discretionary calories before bed to ward off any cravings," he told POPSUGAR. "The key is to keep it calorie controlled." He recommends sticking to 150 calories, which can be about one ounce of chocolate, a glass of wine, a small bag of popcorn, or one ounce of potato chips. That way, you can enjoy your favorite foods without feeling deprived or just mindlessly eating them and overconsuming calories.
If you are sticking to a set daily calorie target, then you can obviously fit this in within your daily allotment. But if you already hit your target for the day and still are craving a treat, Jim said there's usually no harm in going over 150 calories two to three days a week. You can still make weight-loss progress and indulge in your favorite foods — it's all about balance.