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Byline: Rory Evans PHOTOGRAPHED BY REGAN CAMERON
Deprivation, starvation, temptation...you know how the story ends. Here, tips that let you have your cakeand lose weight, too.
N o sweets, no snacking, no salt, no butter, no oil, no fun whatsoeverdiets are associated with deprivation for a reason. Not surprisingly, they're also associated with a resolve that crumbles like a handful of potato chips in the face of temptation. Give in enough times, and you end up giving up altogether.
Here's the thing: According to the latest research on successful weight loss, we don't need to try harder to be faithful to our dietswe should be learning to cheat better. Forget drawing up elaborate, depressing lists of prohibited foods; isn't calculating exactly how often you can get away with indulging infinitely more appealing? "You can have it alljust not all in one day," says Susan Roberts, professor of nutrition and psychiatry at Tufts University and author of The Instinct Diet (Workman). And she's just one of many nutritionists who have come to believe that this modellet's call it the Cheater's Dietcould change the whole way we think about what we put in our mouths.
Of course, there's being indulgent, and then there's being delusionaland even on the Cheater's Diet, there's a big difference between savoring a scoop of low-fat ice cream and "accidentally" finishing off the whole carton. Portion control and its boring cousin, calorie restriction, are still the cornerstones of weight loss. "It's just a matter of learning what you can get away with," Roberts says. And yes, that might include a handful of chips.
The Cheat: SNACK SMART
The mantra of the successful dieter should be "Eat early and often" (specifically, in 100- to 200-calorie increments rich in protein and fiber). Frequent snacks are, in fact, a key to weight loss, "because if you become ravenous, you're compulsive, you make bad food choices, and you give in to cravings," says Stephen Gullo, a New York City health psychologist and author of The Thin Commandments Diet (Rodale). While there's no schedule that works for everyone, 100 or so calories every three to four hours should eliminate stomach …