Five Diet Cheating Rules

Congratulations to my friend, S.H. (you know who you are!) for losing all of her weight through the rules I write about!  She has finally made goal due to determination and motivation to do it.  She didn’t half-ass it and she followed the rules.  Right on S.H.!

Then, I had another friend who lost a lot of weight, but was stuck.  When we dug into what she was doing, it was because she had TWO cheat days a week.  Well, my diet rules do NOT include cheat days, so why she decided that two cheat days was a good idea is beyond me, but in my mind it was her way of coming up with an excuse to CHEAT.  These cheating excuses is why we get fat in the first place.

What is a cheat?  A cheat meal is when you allow yourself something that you normally abstain from.

You should follow the rules about protein and vegetable and fruit portions at least 6 days a week, but once a week usually works for a cheat, if you must do it.  This is where you eat properly for all of  meals except  maybe a Friday dinner out. When you eat right for 6 days a week, one cheat meal on the 7th day will still allow you to reach your goals.  But there are rules!


1.  ONE cheat meal a week.

2.  Stick to a cheat meal, rather than a cheat day. An entire days worth of binging can create unhealthy patterns and actually lead to weight gain, spiked blood sugar levels and a generally unhealthy relationship with food. Reserve “cheat days” for 4 times a year – your birthday, Thanksgiving, and two holiday get-togethers, where you have little control over what’s put in front of you. If your cheat days number more than 4 a year, you are not in control.

3.  As for the cheat meal itself, your weekly cheat meal should still be within the confines of your daily calorie count or CARB count. Yes, even your cheating needs to be recorded in a food diary or you could undue an entire week’s work.  If you eat carbs, keep your count under 100, whatever the cheat is or you will not lose weight and you could actually undue a week of hard work all in one day.

4.  The easiest way to stay within your calorie or carb count is by limiting your portions. Say Chicken Parmesan is your cheat; have one small plateful, with a side of vegetables, and freeze any leftovers you may have for use on your next cheat meal.

5.  Whatever you do, exercise!  It helps burn the cheat away.


Some people need a cheat to give them the willpower to continue the diet.  I did not want to stray because I was so determined and on a mission to get to my goal, but I realize that not everyone can do it and need to have something to look forward to doing.  Just follow the rules on the cheat though!

The best part about cheat meals is that the longer you stick to your healthy diet, the less sinful the cheat meals will become. You’re going to find you’re no longer lusting after that greasy boston creme donut, that you’d rather save the calories. You’ll find you’d rather have fruit and yogurt than an ice cream cone. Trust me, your tastes start to change for the better, and so will your body.

My cheat (daily) that isn’t really a cheat at all is my 8 ounces of Carbolite at 13-17 grams of carbs per serving.  I use it as one of my six daily proteins, so it isn’t really a cheat, but tastes like one–thereby eliminating my “need” to cheat.  However, if you don’t have something like that, then I can see how a cheat would be desired.  My other fake cheats are Greek Yogurt and Strawberries.  YUM!  There are also chocolate type low carb items that I have that could be a fake cheat too, like my Nature Valley Peanut Butter Dark Chocolate protein bar at 11g of carbs and my Power Crunch bars at 10 g of carbs.  Because I eat those, my desire to cheat is less.

I also make a caulflower-based pizza and eat Skinny noodles with pasta sauce now and then.  And I also have the pancake mix as a “cheat”, even though it isn’t.

So, you get my point?  You can stay on the diet and still feel like you are cheating…so what is the point of cheating to the point of putting your hard work back on your body?

You have to be creative and do your research–or just read my blog!  I have the best suggestions!

Pictures below are my faux cheats.  My yogurt and strawberries at 16g of carbs, cauliflower-based pizza less than 10 g of carbs, and my low-carb chicken burrito with  9 g of carburritos2bs each.yogurtcauliflowerpizza



Bad Carbs (Refined) are Worse than Good Carbs. Why is that??


  • Refined carbs are considered unhealthy carbohydrates (bad carbs).  Good carbs that had the fiber stripped away so they act as simple carbohydrates do in the body as they are digested rapidly.  This in turn causes a spike in blood sugar followed by a crash. They are empty calories!




Table sugar and syrup other than natural maple syrup are refined carbs.

Natural maple syrup and honey are not refined carbs, but they are simple carbohydrates, and therefore, have an effect similar to refined carbs upon blood glucose.


Any beverage that contains sugar or refined syrup is a refined carb food.

  • sweetened fruit juice, beer, wine, soft drinks and sweet tea.

Although 100 percent fruit juice does not have refined carbs, it does contain a high amount of carbs per serving size, which is why whole foods are preferred over their juices.

Fruits and Vegetables

Raw fruits and vegetables are an excellent source of good carbs, however, when canned or frozen, sugar is often added,  which turns them into bad carbs.

  • Examples of refined carbs in fruits and vegetables include canned fruit pie filling, applesauce with added sugar, frozen fruit with sugar added and sweetened canned fruit. Some canned or frozen vegetable blends may have sugar included along with other seasonings.


White flour is a refined carb, and anything made from white flour should be limited in your diet.

  • This includes bagels, bread, muffins and most packaged cereals.
  • White flour combined with sugar adds even more refined carbs to foods like cookies, cakes, cupcakes and donuts.

YOU COULD BE TRICKED!  To be certain grain based foods are not made from refined grains, look for the words “whole wheat” or “whole grain” on the label.

  • Foods with these words on the label are probably made from refined grains: “wheat flour,” “stoned wheat,” “cracked wheat,” “100% wheat,” and “multigrain.”
  • Other refined carbs in this category include white rice and pasta.


Snacks are commonly high in refined carbs since they contain white flour or sugar.

  • This includes sweets like pie, candy, candy bars, fudge and jelly,pretzels and potato chips.

I personally keep ALL carbs down to between 50-100 daily to lose weight and higher near the 100 to maintain.  But, I try to just do the unrefined more natural carbs because they tend to put weight on you easier, regardless and the spike in my blood glucose and then the crash is an awful feeling, makes me tired, but then makes me want to eat more crap.  If you want to stay thin, then you have to give your body the ability to fight cravings.  Refined carbs cause cravings.  So, if you do carbs, stick with the good ones and keep grains to a minimum!  But, if you have them, count the carbs on them (Rice, cereal and bread has a lot!) and keep them whole grain or whole wheat.

How to Determine How Many Calories to Eat to Lose Weight and What Exercises Burn More Calories Overall

You burn most of your daily calories with little to no conscious effort.  The calories used to maintain basic bodily functions throughout your day add up to your basal metabolic rate, or BMR.

“These are couch-potato calories.  Your body uses amounts to 60 to 75 percent of the total calories you use daily, and there’s no physical activity required for this.  In other words, this is what you burn without lifting a finger. That’s why BMR is also is called the resting metabolic rate.

Knowing your BMR can help you create a more effective strategy for weight loss, allowing you to better keep your track of your calories and better understand the effect exercise will have on your waistline.

Calculating Your BMR  (get out the calculator)

The easiest way to measure your BMR is to use an online calculator, like the one at My Calorie Counter. This calculator factors in your height, weight, gender, and age, and activity level, then assesses how many calories you need to eat daily just to maintain your current weight.

You can do the math yourself, using the appropriate equation:• If you’re a man, your BMR is equal to: 66 + (6.23 x weight in pounds) + (12.7 x height in inches) – (6.8 x age in years). For example, if you’re 170 pounds, 5’11”, and 43, your BMR is 66 + (6.23 x 170) + (12.7 x 71) – (6.8 x 43) = 1734.4 calories.

• If you’re a woman, your BMR is equal to: 655 + (4.35 x weight in pounds) + (4.7 x height in inches) – (4.7 x age in years). For example, if you’re 130 pounds, 5’3”, and 36, your BMR is 665 + (4.35 x 130) + (4.7 x 63) – (4.7 x 36) = 1357.4 calories.Next figure out your total daily calorie requirement by multiplying your BMR by your level of activity: • If you rarely exercise, multiply your BMR by 1.2.
• If you exercise on 1 to 3 days per week, doing light activity, multiply your BMR by 1.375.
• If you exercise on 3 to 5 days per week, doing moderate activity, multiply your BMR by 1.55.
• If you exercise 6 to 7 days per week, doing vigorous activity, multiply your BMR by 1.725.
• If you exercise every day and have a physical job or if you often exercise twice a day, multiply your BMR by 1.9.z

This calculation gives you the number of calories you burn in one day at your current level of activity; in other words, this is the number of calories it takes to stay at the weight you are if you don’t change anything.

Applying Your BMR Calculation to Weight Loss

Once you know your BMR and the number of calories you burn for your activity level, you can improve your weight-loss efforts by setting a lower daily calorie-intake limit and crafting a plan for increasing your physical activity:

Set your daily calorie limit. To lose weight, you need to reduce your caloric intake below your total daily calorie requirement indicated by your BMR + activity level.

Putting yourself in a 500-calorie deficit every day should result in the loss of one pound per week (since there are 3,500 calories in a pound)

Adjust your exercise output. Our BMR calculator asks you for your level of physical activity for a very good reason. You can influence your BMR through exercise, spurring your body to burn more calories even after you’ve finished and are just lounging about.

• Aerobic exercise provides a temporary boost to your BMR, an effect sometimes referred to as after-burn or excess post-exercise oxygen consumption.  Your BMR will return back to its normal level anywhere between 15 minutes and 48 hours.

 Strength training provides a more-lasting boost to BMR by altering your body’s composition. Muscle at rest burns more calories than fat at rest. That’s why men enjoy a naturally higher BMR than women, as they tend to have more muscle mass.

• If you cut calories and increase your BMR by exercising, you’ll see results even faster. Increase the amount of calories you burn by 250 each day, and you’ll lose a half-pound more on top of the calorie cuts made in your diet. You could exercise longer or you could increase the intensity of your workouts to burn more calories — either way will increase the calorie deficit.

The advantage of knowing your BMR is that you can learn the number of calories you need to consume and expend to meet your personal goal for weight.

4 Reasons for Nighttime Cravings During a Diet and Resolutions!

Sometimes people crave food at night.  There are reasons for this.


1.  The most common is boredom.

Answer:  Combat boredom with evening exercise, walk the dog, find something physical to do. Or take a class, volunteer,  join a  group from a tennis club to a poker club.  Find a good book or movie and immerse yourself and keep food out of the area.     Make sure you have a non sugary drink to keep you busy throughout and make you feel less hungry.

2.  Hunger that was not satisfied during the day.

Answer:  Make sure you eat 6 proteins, spread out every 3-4 hours and get your two servings of salad, fruits and vegetables.  Don’t eat your last protein at 5 pm if you are planning to stay up late.  Plan your meal times.

3.  Depression and loneliness.

You might need an anti-depressant or therapy.  Talk to a doctor and/or a therapist.  Do not skip meals.  Make sure you eat breakfast, lunch and dinner–with three protein-based, low carb snacks after each, a few hours after each are consumed.

You might need to lock up all the goodies in the house and have someone else hide the key if you truly cannot have sweets available without eating them. Or better yet, don’t buy them in the first place.

4.  You are still coming off of a sugar high.

A lot of people eat way too many carbs and sugars and when you finally go on a new way of life (diet), your body will crave the sugar for a while until your body becomes accustomed to the change.  You have to hang in there and know it is temporary.  You have to ride it out like you would in withdrawal from any drug.  So, battle it with keeping busy and liquids.  Also, do not skip eating and follow the 6 low carb, high protein meals a day rule, as well as salad, fruit and veggies (twice a day on each).  You will be less hungry if you feed your body with good protein.  There are also protein supplements with low carbs available online and at  You have to be strong and remember:

 “A moment on the lips–a lifetime on the hips” and “nothing tastes as good as being skinny feels!”


If you absolutely must snack, have healthy protein based options handy so you’re not tempted to start foraging for junk. Cheese, meat, nuts, fresh fruit is an excellent choice, as is a cup of herbal tea.  I have low carb hot cocoa from Lindora if I am needing something late at night.  There are other choices for low carb drinks online.  There are appetite suppressants.  Talk to your doctor.  Coffee became a huge appetite controller for me…..but everyone is different.


Tell your spouse, friends, or other family members to help support your efforts by not snacking in front of you and by motivating you to stick with your plan.

Look at the SKIN of SKINNY!

There are foods that are not only bad for your waistline, but also for your SKIN!  The first three are not that bad for weight loss, but 4 through 7 are really bad!


1.  Salt.   It will leave you puffy around the eyes and keep water retention and a bloated look.  It also is terrible for hypertension.  Try to cut down on salt.

2.  Shellfish.    Shrimp, crab, lobster — and also certain leafy greens like seaweed and spinach — are naturally high in iodine, and a diet with too much of this element can lead to acne.   Ok, this one is not high in carbs and you can maintain weight loss, but you could get acne.

3.  Milk.  There is a correlation with Milk and acne and rosacea, specifically skimmed milk.  Now, milk is a protein and you must have it in small quantities over the day.  Not bad on carbs, but it can cause skin issues.

4.  High Glycemic Foods (starches like white breads, pastas and cakes, and even corn syrup) are best avoided for good skin and for weight loss.  Foods that are considered high glycemic can cause rapid spikes in blood sugar.  You also may find yourself breaking out after eating something like French fries, it may be due to the starchy insides of the fries.

5.  Sugar.  If starchy foods that break down quickly into sugar are an issue, it’s no surprise that straight sugar can be problematic for the skin in much the same way.  High blood sugar can , weaken the skin by affecting tissues like collagen,  and leave you more vulnerable to lines and wrinkles.  It also causes a surge of carbs in your diet.

6.  Alcohol.  Not only does it trigger rosacea, but Alcohol is a diuretic, which means the more you drink, the more dehydrated you become. It saps the natural moisture from your skin as well, which can make those wrinkles and fine lines look worse.  Plus, alcohol has carbs and is terrible for weight loss.  You also don’t burn fat when your body is busy burning off the alcohol.


Sick of Grilled Chicken? How About Easy Tandoori Chicken?

I have grilled chicken or turkey every day. I have to have 6 protein-based small meals a day to stay skinny, so sometimes things can get a little bland. There are things you can do to spice things up. I have done GRILLED chicken parmesan and other versions of chicken, but today I did easy Tandoori chicken to throw into a salad for my lunch. This took less than 10 minutes to do.

Chicken Tandoori made easy:

Get chicken breasts, Tandoori mix (I got this one from Target, in their Mediterranean food section) and Fage Greek Yogurt.

As the package instructed, I mixed the Tandoori mix with the yogurt, and covered all of the chicken breasts in it. Then, I llet them marinate in it overnight. But, you don’t have to wait that long. I have marinated for a short time and cooked them too.

So, today, I put them breasts (covered in yogurt and mix) on a pan and pan fried them in Pam. After a few minutes, I turned them over and did the same thing to the other side and POOF–you have Tandoori chicken in no time at all. I cut it up and put it in a salad. The following are some of my pictures in the order of how you do it. I recommend this highly. Tasty and low carb. Tastes really good with Tahini as salad dressing (also at Target). I love Target.








I always forget that a great protein snack or even breakfast, lunch or dinner (maybe not the healthiest), but the tastiest and LOW in carbs–like NONE….is TURKEY bacon or SAUSAGE.  Got the big packs at Costco, but you can get them at any store.  LOVE them!  So, don’t forget these if you want to spice up your food choices.bacon

Finding low carb goodies


Some low carb items are easy to find at regular stores.  However, it is hard to go to a store and find low carb pasta, sauces, hot chocolate, etc.  So, you have to go to either a specialty store like, a neighborhood one like the Sugar Free Market near my house (go where diabetics go), or other places online like, and even Amazon.  Type in what you are looking for, like “Low Carb Tea Crackers.”   Things will pop up.  Not all things are expensive and you can price compare.  You can go to Rite Aid or to buy some of their products.  Once you buy from, you get on their mailing list and they will send you emails on sales.  They do one almost every week.

So, you won’t have that much trouble finding things.  And don’t forget that for bread, the best options for LOW carb bread is one from, Sara Lee 45 Calorie Wheat Bread, Western Bagel Perfect 10 Bagel, or Low Carb Tortillas (shop accordingly).  You have to find new things and new places, but after a while, you will learn where to buy what and it will come very easy to you.

You have to start first!  Browse!  Send me your finds!

Mini Cauliflower Pizza Bites, Low Carb

My sister in law sent me this recipe for Mini Cauliflower Pizza Bites.  They sound delish and perhaps with the Deviled Egg Recipe, could be an addition to the snack items for parties!  When I make them, I will report it.  Just made my regular Cauliflower Based Pizza for my husband and I to eat for lunch and it was delish!

However:  Here is the Mini Cauliflower Pizza Bites:  Low in Carbs!!!!!!!!


Low Carb Vegetable and Fruit List to Print and Tape to your Refrigerator

Low-Carb Vegetable and Fruit Lists

Low-Carbohydrate Vegetable List

6.6 grams carbs or less in 3.5 weighed ounces:

Alfalfa sprouts, arugula, asparagus, bamboo shoots, basil, bean sprouts, beet greens, bok choy, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, celery, chive, cilantro, collard greens, cucumber, daikon, eggplant, endive, green bean, green onion top, kohlrabi, laver seaweed, lettuce, mint, mushroom, mustard greens, olive, parsley, pepper, pumpkin, radicchio, radish, scallion top,  spaghetti squash, spinach, string bean, summer squash, Swiss chard, tomato (raw), tomatillo, turnip, watercress, yellow squash, zucchini.

Vegetable Condiments

Use only 1 tablespoon of oil or butter per serving. Herbs are fine. Margarine, due to trans fats, should be avoided – read why.

For Comparison: High-Carbohydrate Vegetable List

So, these are ALL high carb!!!!  Try to avoid too much of these!  Acorn squash, artichoke, beet, burdock root, butternut squash, carrot, corn, ginger root, green peas, Jerusalem artichoke, leek, lotus root, onion, parsnip, peas, potatoes, shallot, spirulina, succotash, wasabi, water chestnut, yam.

Lowest-Carbohydrate Fruit List

12 grams carbs or less in 3.5 weighed ounces:

Apricot, blackberry, cantaloupe, casaba melon, cranberry (unsweetened), grapefruit, gooseberry, honeydew melon, lemon, lime, loquat, mulberry, nectarine, orange, papaya, peach, plum, pummelo, raspberry, rhubarb (unsweetened), strawberry, watermelon.

Within the kitchen, there are fruits that are thought of and treated as vegetables due to their lack of sweet flavor. Some of these “vegetables” are cucumber, olive, pepper, squash, and tomato.  I put these foods on the Low-Carbohydrate Vegetable List, where people may expect to find them.

Tape this to your refrigerator!

Taken from