If you’re trying to lose weight, depriving yourself of the foods you love may seem virtuous, but could make you more likely to fail in the long run.
According to recent research, dieters that indulged in occasional unhealthy treats were more likely to reach their goal weight than those who didn’t.
Weight Watchers surveyed 2,600 of its members – half of whom have lost at least 10 percent of their body weight – and found that three quarters of them planned treats during the week to help them stay on track, while a third incorporated a daily treat into their diet plans.
The majority of respondents – 94 percent – thought that treats made them more likely to stay on track, which is likely true given that half of those who did not include treats reported that they gained weight.
“The common misconception is that you need to deprive yourself of the food you love in order to see weight loss success,” said Zoe Griffiths of Weight Watchers UK. “But the reality is, as soon as you tell yourself that you can’t have that glass of wine in the evening or a dessert after dinner, you start to want it even more.”
Instead, by allowing treats, dieters learn how to sustain a healthy diet for life, making them more likely to not only lose weight, but also keep it off, she said.