For the majority of your meals, you are the veritable poster child for healthy eating: You easily get in your veggie quota for the day, you always eat breakfast and you exercise on most days of the week. But when it comes to certain foods, all willpower seems to go down the drain. Take for instance McDonald’s new line of Angus Burgers. There is no disputing that these three burgers contain some pretty dismal nutrition facts.
But every now and then, even the most healthy of nutrition experts believe in the benefits of indulging in your favorite eats in order to keep feelings of deprivation at bay.
Here are five ways to indulge without letting it completely sideline your health and diet goals.
Just keep in mind that you’ll need to keep yourself on a pretty tightrope before and after you hit your favorite drive-through or ice cream parlor so as to not do too much damage. Here are a few pointers:
1) Let your indulgent meal be not only your largest meal of the day, but eat it early, such as for lunch or an early dinner.
2) Don’t completely overdo it and order a large french fry (500 calories) and a large sugary soda (300+ calories) to wash down your burger, or skip the buttery breadsticks before forking into a plate of fettucine alfredo. Instead, opt for calorie-free beverages, low-fat sides like green salads or grilled veggies.
3) Save up. Eat a light breakfast and an even lighter third meal, whether it’s lunch or dinner, to keep your daily calorie equation balanced.
4) Exercise. You might be too full to hit the treadmill after you eat your indulgent meal so make sure you get moving for at least 30 minutes of cardio and 15-20 minutes of strength training beforehand to get your metabolism stoked.
5) Take some time to enjoy your meal. If you’re taking your favorite cheeseburger to go, place the burger on a plate, pour your beverage in a glass and sit down to eat it. You’ll appreciate your indulgence.