A good diet is important. By watching how much food you eat and how many calories you burn, you can maintain a healthy weight and a good-looking figure. It’s just as important to stick with your diet consistently. If you go back to your old overeating habits, your weight will come back. A choosy diet can also improve your health and make you feel better by avoiding meat and not exploiting animals.
However, there are times when you can afford to forget about your diet for a meal or two and indulge yourself. After all, even some professional nutritionists think a “cheat day” or “cheat meal” can help you stick with a long-term diet. You still shouldn’t eat too much, but going off-script once in a while can be good for your morale and help you enjoy yourself.
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When the whole family gets together for Thanksgiving or Christmas, it’s traditional to cook up a whole feast of meat, potatoes, vegetables, stuffing, and everything else your family likes. On occasions like these, times when you won’t have a chance to eat the same foods until next year, it’s a shame not to try a little of everything. You can always control your portions, so if you’re avoiding certain foods for dietary reasons then holidays are a good time to ignore those restrictions.
When You’re on Vacation
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Every region has its own specialties and its own list of local restaurants that make unique versions of classic foods. Chicago has the deep-dish pizza, Virginia Beach has oysters, and New Mexico has its own version of Mexican food. Go abroad and you’ll see even more variety, such as sourdough pizza in Naples, crepes in France, and sausages in Germany. Just like holidays, so long as you can avoid eating too much all at once, it’s worth setting your diet aside to try the local flavors.
When You’re With an Old Friend
When you reunite with an old friend, your priority should be catching up, not counting the calories of the meals you eat together. If your friend is from out of town, you should show them the best restaurants around. If you’re the one making the trip, you should let them lead the way and not worry about the plate size of the place they pick out. You can always bring the leftovers back home with you, after all.
When You’ve Hit Your Target Weight
Undereating can be just as dangerous as the reverse, especially if you hit a healthy weight and keep going down. Low-calorie diets are a bad idea in general — your goal should be to eat the right number of calories for your weight and your activity level. Slow and steady wins this race.
Eating healthy is always a good goal, and you can have other reasons to restrict your diet, but there are times when you’re better off setting your calorie counter aside and enjoying the food in front of you. After all, food is one of the great joys that everyone shares.