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5 Totally acceptable reasons to eat a chocolate cupcake

Originally from Phoenix, Arizona, Mandy recently moved to Flagstaff to pursue a career in pediatric nursing. She attends Northern Arizona University and spends most of her free time with friends and family, hiking, running, and studying...

Indulgence is bliss

Find out why you really should enjoy that sweet chocolate cupcake.
Woman looking at cupcakes
Photo credit: Fuse/Getty Images

You just started a diet and you've been doing great. But suddently, you find yourself incredibly tempted by leftover cake and you start going back and forth in your head about indulging. Finally, you cave.

But not only do you have a small piece of that cake, you devour the whole thing. After just a bite, you already felt like you ruined the day, so why not keep eating?

This is the dieter's biggest pitfall. One of the best ways to prevent this is by scheduling cheat days; so yes, you can have your cake and eat it too sometimes, pun intended.

1

It's not a diet; it's a lifestyle change

If you're on a diet short-term, expect your results to be short-lived. David Garner, Ph. D., explains that diet programs tend to only be successful for a brief period; eventually, when you're off the diet, the weight will likely be regained. Thus, it is important to plan your diet realistically. Are you willing to eat this way for the rest of your life? I don't know about you, but there's no way I could commit to life without cupcakes, or whatever your guilty pleasure may be. By incorporating cheat days into your diet, you are more likely to keep it up in the long term.

So eat a cupcake.

2

It's just plain healthy, kind of

Eat a cupcake, and...

  • Decrease your risk for stroke. According to a Swedish study, women who consumed more than two chocolate bars per week demonstrated a 20 percent decrease in likelihood for a stroke.
  • Lower your blood pressure and decrease your risk for diabetes. That's right. Studies show that regular chocolate consumption increases your sensitivity to insulin.
  • Be happier. Chocolate stimulates the production of endorphins, automatically boosting your mood.

So eat a cupcake.

3

It has fewer calories than a muffin

At first glance, most people would choose the muffin for health and the cupcake for taste. Let's take a step back and look at the big picture, though. Your typical store-bought, healthy-seeming muffin is 511 calories. That's already more than one-quarter of your daily recommended caloric intake, and it's probably only part of your breakfast. Your average bakery-bought cupcake contains a mere 356 calories. Although it is likely that the cupcake was a bit smaller than the muffin, it tastes better and, if chocolate, contains fiber, which will keep you fuller longer.

So eat a cupcake.

4

It boosts your metabolism

After cutting calories, your body starts holding onto fat as a survival mechanism. This is because leptin, a hormone that controls hunger and body fat, drops along with those calories. By having cheat days here and there, these levels will rise again, thus boosting your metabolism and stopping that body fat accumulation. Basically, by eating a lot of calories every once in a while, you are telling your body that food is not scarce and it does not have to try to hold on to fat.

So eat a cupcake.

5

Because cheating is unavoidable

When it comes to cheating, remember the 80/20 rule. Dr. Douglas Kalman explains that people will only follow a very strict diet about 80 percent of the time. The other 20 percent of the time will inevitably be spent eating otherwise off-limits foods. Knowing that it is near impossible to follow a strict diet 100 percent of the time means we have to be smart about our cheating. If cheat days are planned, you are more likely to remain in control of your diet. If it is not planned but still happens, which Kalman believes is inevitable, you are more likely to quit your diet altogether.

So eat a cupcake.

More on weight loss

How cheating on your diet can help weight loss
How sleep can help women lose weight
Can you actually enjoy losing weight?

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