Research shows: indulging once in a while ain’t gonna kill you

Research shows: indulging once in a while ain’t gonna kill you

i know we’re all granola lovin’ health freaks who wouldn’t even dream about touching a piece of bread unless it was 100% wholegrain and certified organic (not that we actually eat bread, of course.) but hypothetically speaking, say you forgot your (Greek) yogurt at home one morning, and had to stop off at Starbucks for a quick breakfast. you meant to say Green Tea but somehow the girl behind the counter understood it as Venti Caramel Macchiato with a side of banana bread and so, well, you had to take it.

well i’m here to tell you do not panicexperts say the occasional indulgence ain’t gonna kill you. 

what really matters is your overall lifestyle. Kevin Hall, PhD, a physiologist at the National Institutes of Health, says healthy people tend not to gain weight from the occasional splurge because we compensate for it later on. we ”overeat” one day, and ”undereat” the next. we might have 2 pieces of lasagna one night, and only 1 piece the following. it ain’t no thang.  

”On a day to day basis, you can vary your food intake by plus or minus 600 calories a day and still have a stable body weight, as long as your long-term average [calorie intake] is not creeping up or down,” says Hall.

the team of researchers created a mathematical model to determine the body’s feedback in handling fluctuating caloric intake and activity level of the average person. they then asked, ”if we forced the mathematical model to eat what real people do, with fluctuations of about 30%, what would be be the expected change in body weight?”

not much, says Hall. “What we found was that the day-to-day fluctuations of about 600 calories a day led to only small variations of body weight of about 2%, or about three pounds over extended time period.”

naturally, this isn’t a license to go out and eat whatever you want, whenever you want it. the point is, as long as you keep your caloric intake around a general average, appropriate to maintain your weight, you shouldn’t worry about the occasional Häagen Daz too much. not that we’d ever eat that stuff, of course.

what kind of indulgences do you allow in your diet?

if you have a ‘splurge’, do you purposely make up for it afterwards, or does it naturally even out?

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