Choosing The Right “Bad Foods”

No matter what healthy eating plan we’re on, there will be those times that we choose to go off of it. We may be tempted on a whim when a friend stops by your desk with a tray of cookies. Or it can be something more intentional on our part, like choosing to get in our car and drive to a Chick-Fil-A for some waffle fries.

Bad food choices are almost always a part of good eating plans. Hopefully not often, but they’re there nonetheless.

So is there a way that we can make good choices when we cheat?


I’m learning this the hard way. Take tonight for example. I took my daughter out for tacos. I’ve always loved flautas, and this restaurant had them. I decided to abandon my healthy choices for a meal and I ordered them. I couldn’t wait to bite into the crispy, warm rolls. But what I got were soggy bits of bean filled tortillas. So disappointing!

A similar situation happened recently with my mom. We were grocery shopping together and I felt like something sweet. We decided to split something. I told her to choose from something in the bakery and I’d buy it. She chose a mini blueberry pie. I was really thinking a slice of layer cake or a cannoli, but since I told her to choose, I bought the pie. It was disgusting! Very little blueberries. Too much crust. Very manufactured tasting. But I ate it because I was “cheating” and for some reason I felt I had to continue until the forbidden food was consumed.

Finishing food we don’t like is such a bad idea. I gain weight and don’t even enjoy it.

Intentional food cheating really should be something that we enjoy, not something we tolerate. But deciding what to do with those disappointing foods is something that only we can conclude for ourselves.

Looking back on the flautas, I could have easily given them to my hubby. He loves stuff like that and isn’t too picky. And the pie really belonged in the trash can.

Two tips I’ve learned from my disappointing choices. First, think carefully about what you choose. If you’re not sure how a restaurant prepares something, play it safe and get a tried and true meal that you know you’ll love. I should have gotten tacos. It’s hard to mess up a taco. Second, if you do choose something that you don’t like, toss it or pass it on to someone who will like it. It’s silly to eat something that you don’t like. Chances are, you already do a lot of then when we’re eating healthy. When we want to cheat with a bad food the least we should be able to do is enjoy it.

From now on I’m determined to make my cheats more enjoyable and worth every calorie.

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