Healthy Cheat Foods

by Joe Brammer

Enjoy these cheat foods without worrying about your diet


As you go about meeting your fitness goals, we all do our best to eat as clean as we can. You’re looking good and you’re feeling great. The question is: Can you squeeze in a cheat food? Of course, but keep in mind that just because you are going to indulge does not mean that you should go hog wild. Be smart and controlled with your cheat foods. Here is a list of old friends that won’t ruin your diet.


1.) Pizza

The king of cheat foods. Pizza tastes amazing while incorporating a number of food groups into the mix. Be wary though as pizza can also pack a nasty caloric punch. A specialty pizza can range from 400 to 600 calories per slice. If you’re going to splurge, be smart about it. Opt for a white base pizza instead of a red sauce. In place of bacon, sausage and pepperoni, ask for a loaded vegetable pizza. Most importantly, if you are going to have more than one slice of pizza, try to schedule it on the same day you are doing a rigorous workout.

2.) Popcorn

It’s simple, it’s convenient, and it’s tasty. Popcorn can be a great, low calorie cheat food that satisfies your cravings while helping you to enjoy movie night at home. If you’re in the mood for popcorn, skip the microwavable bags and buy the stove top kind. Not only is it more fun, but it’s healthier. If you must have butter, go very light on it.


 Enjoy responsibly then work out hard at Our Des Moines Gym Elite Edge. 

(Eric Howser his Fiance Sarah and Me and My Wife Abbie on a recent vacation to key west.)

3.) Alcohol

For all of its recently reported health benefits, you still want to limit your alcohol consumption. If you are a beer drinker, try something on a micro level that you’ve never had before. If wine is your thing then a glass of red will go a long way. Stick to clear liquors such as gin and vodka. Watch the mixers though as most have a high amount of sugar.

4.) Chips

If you know me one of my go to cheat foods is Doritos, and I have to keep them out of the house because Understandably, it’s hard to limit your chip intake once you start. Depending on the brand, you could be consuming a high number of empty, sodium and fat based calories. If chips are your go-to during those times of infidelity to your diet, then make sure you are choosing a chip that is on the healthier side. Whole grain chips such as Sun Chips and vegetable based chips like Eat Smart: Naturals allow you to snack without the guilt. Be sure to exert some will power.

5.) Dark Chocolate

If you are a fan of chocolate, you need to understand the difference between milk chocolate and dark chocolate. Milk chocolate is what you’ll find in most candy bars such as Milky Way, Three Musketeers and Snickers. It’s very sweet and high in sugar. Dark chocolate is high in cocoa and has a slightly bitter taste. That’s not to say it doesn’t taste just as good. Cocoa contains powerful antioxidants called flavonoids. The higher the percentage of cocoa in a chocolate bar, the better. Case in point, stay away from the candy bars.


Elite Edge Des Moines Personal Trainers can help you with your diet


How have you been doing with your diet? Are these cheat foods something that you can responsibly fit back in? If you’re looking for some nutritional advice, why not stop by our Des Moines Gym? The Elite Edge Des Moines Gym personal trainers will be happy to help make recommendations for your meal planner. Stop in today and talk with a one of our certified personal trainers. And if you are looking for a diet program that lets you still eat all the foods you love and not worry about the scale ? Check out our Smash The Scale Challenge Here–> Smash The Scale