Skip Nav
Calorie Breakdowns
The Beer Brands to Reach For When You're Watching Your Weight
Personal Essay
I May Never Be Skinny, but Weight Watchers Keeps Me Healthy
Fitness Gear
Set Your Alarms! It's T-Minus 2 Days to a Highly Anticipated Nike Release

Eating High-Calorie Foods Won't Harm Healthy Diet, Study Says

Why Chocolate Cake Won't Ruin Your Diet

Earlier this week, many of you said that you increase the intensity of your workouts after indulging in heavy foods. It seems like a logical approach: the more calories you put in, the more you need to burn off. Not so, says a new study. Findings show that having a healthy diet is enough to compensate for the occasional indulgence.

Researchers created a mathematical model of human metabolism, playing around with different formulas to see what dietary changes need to happen before weight gain occurs. What they discovered is that the body doesn't tally calories precisely as once believed. As long as an individual's long-term calorie intake remains constant, diets can vary by 600 calories (plus or minus) on a daily basis. In the study, small fluctuations of 600 calories led to "negligible weight gain" over a 10-year period.

Researchers believe that little to no weight gain occurs because healthy individuals usually "undereat" one day and "overeat" on another. So in the end, it all evens out. As long as you're eating healthy most of the time, having an occasional treat won't wreck your diet.

Image Source: Thinkstock
Around The Web
Join The Conversation
dunnonuttin dunnonuttin 6 years
Girl Overboard... that's exactly what I said; "It's the habit that leads to a poor diet that does." I think it's important for those who ARE struggling to understand that it's ok to have ONE piece of cake ... or whatever... on occasion. Rather than deprive themselves to the point that they crave it SO BAD that they eat a whole cake or box of donuts.
GirlOverboard GirlOverboard 6 years
It might seem like common sense to a lot of people, but for those still struggling to get on the right track, caving to a major sweet tooth can feel like serious disappointment. If you've been eating healthy long enough that it almost comes naturally to you and/or you're active on a very regular basis, of course occasionally indulging isn't going to suddenly make you fat. You don't balloon up after one slice of cake. However, for those of us still struggling to shed a few pounds (vs maintaining weight) and not consistently overeat/otherwise make wrong choices, indulging (especially if you've done it more than once in a week) can really cause a person to carry guilt and concern. Especially because (and dunnonuttin, this is RE: to your post) sometimes that one piece of cake, one cookie, one large fatty meal reignites that HABIT. It undoes our hard work and puts us BACK on the wrong track. So just because it may seem like common sense, doesn't mean it's not a good message to get out there. Don't beat yourself up over it - instead, enjoy the occasional indulgence - especially if it means you're not going to end up coming completely undone because you've completely cut yourself off from all of your favorite treats.
sonnic34 sonnic34 6 years
It seems like common sense to me, one slice of cake or a doughnut is not going to ruin your "diet" - I hate calling it that. You can enjoy a treat once in a while, that is what life is all about. Everything in moderation!
100lbsandcountin 100lbsandcountin 6 years
O thank heavens!
dunnonuttin dunnonuttin 6 years
I'm with you zeze... one donut... or cookie... or piece of cake... etc... does not make one fat. It's the habit that leads to a poor diet that does.
zeze zeze 6 years
Is this really new? A cookie in an otherwise healthy diet doesn't lead to weight gain requires a study? Ya I figured that one out with commonsense.
Angelica Angelica 6 years
Angelica Angelica 6 years
Spectra Spectra 6 years
Hmm. That's really interesting stuff. I eat mostly the same foods every day, but it's nice to know that you can vary your calories by up to 600 a day before you gain appreciable weight. I think it makes sense...I didn't gain a lot of weight until I went to college and went hogwild CRAZY for 3 months. I was probably upping my calories by 1000 a day or so from what I had been wonder I put on over 30 lbs in 3 months!
GirlOverboard GirlOverboard 6 years
Ah, this couldn't have come at a better time. I totally ate a cookie today that almost had as much fat/calories as a meal. I am working out later, but I still feel a little better than I did about two minutes ago lol.
Study Says Moms Get Less Sleep Than Dads
Classes For Moms
How to Save Sandwich Calories
Bikram Yoga Harassment Lawsuit
Calories Burned While Doing Activities
Dad Weight Gain During Pregnancy
What Does a Professional Mountain Climber Eat?
Sasha and Malia Obama Through the Years
Pretty Girl Names
What It's Like to Be the Child of an Undocumented Immigrant

POPSUGAR, the #1 independent media and technology company for women. Where more than 75 million women go for original, inspirational content that feeds their passions and interests.

From Our Partners
Latest Fitness
All the Latest From Ryan Reynolds