How to keep your motivation when you're on a diet
No matter what the weight-loss evangelists say, there are points in every dieter's life where dieting just seems like the worst idea in the world. It's so easy to give into temptation and then, once you've truly plummeted from the bandwagon, to just say “Well, that's it. Bring on the ice-cream sandwiches!”

This is not you being 'rebellious' or 'naughty.' This is you being a human being. No matter how much will-power we have, there is always, inevitably, a cracking point. We're not self-denial robots and the persistent feeling that you're missing out on some of the joys of life (lasagne! curry! hearty stews!) will inevitably leave you resentful and ready to 'rebel' at the slightest provocation.

The trick is: acknowledge that you're right. Give in. Every successful dieter knows that they've got to have a cheat day!
How to be an ethical cheater
Identify one day and concentrate all your yearnings on that one weekly occurrence. No 'cheat day swopsies' when you fancy eating a whole pizza. Consistency is key.

Choose a calorie count and keep it in mind as you eat the delicious non-diet foods. If you're a 5'6' woman who is exercising regularly and keeps to a calorie count of 1,500 kcal, then you can hit around 2000 calories once a week without any fallout. Indeed, there is evidence to suggest that having one high calorie day actually helps weight loss as it revs up and challenges your metabolism to keep up with an inconsistent calorie count.

Choose treats that make you happy and have some positive nutritional element. For instance, if you're a chocolate fiend, and if you haven't already, develop a taste for high quality dark chocolate (with a cocoa content of 70% or above) so that you can get your fix with the added benefits of flavonoids and antitoxins. Similarly, if your passion runs to cheese, get the strongest, most strident cheese around – you'll find a mere corner will provide enough intensity of flavour to satisfy your needs. If, however, you find yourself in a never-ending love affair with the cheap stuff, just make sure that you set yourself a limit. If you fall off the wago, don't beat yourself up, just make sure you start afresh. Beating yourself up will only intensify your emotional reactions to food.
Practice the art of augmentation
The biggest challenge of dieting is creating a lifestyle that is sustainable beyond the first few months. With this in mind, it's important to remember that to avoid feeling constantly deprived (which will only lead to a monumental binge the moment your particular cravings strike) you have to find the foods that work for you both nutritionally and emotionally. A good way to do this is to practice the ancient art of food swopping: changing the core ingredients of your favourite recipes to make them healthier but keep them satisfying. This is where turkey comes into its own – it's really easy to substitute turkey mince in a spaghetti bolognese, or replace pork and beef in a batch of meatballs. This meatball recipe is a great way to conserve calories and produce a deeply satisfying meal for four. Indeed, turkey melds beautifully with strong flavours and because it's lower in saturated fat and calories than the aforementioned red meats, it can be and excellent diet substitution that doesn't compromise on flavour. If you chop a mixture of fresh flat leaf parsley and basil and mix them into your wet meatball ingredients, you'll find that it gives them a summery zing against the heady intensity of the tomato sauce. Don't be afraid to experiment in the kitchen, particularly with fresh herbs, as they can add a depth of flavour you wouldn't expect without having to resort to unhealthier flavour enhancements like salt or tomato ketchup.
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How to keep your motivation when you're on a diet