Eat the treats you love - and still lose weight

Emma Brown - Nutritionist | 22 Aug, 2021

Chocolate, crisps and chips on a diet? Really? You CAN eat treats you love – and still lose weight.

It's a fact: fad diets simply don't work. Around 65%* of people who try quick fix weight loss plans will regain the weight they've lost within 3 years.

It's time to turn diets on their head and kick weight loss fads and gimmicks into touch because it is possible to eat chocolate, crisps and chips and even have a glass of wine – and still lose weight.

A UK wide study by calorie counting App, Nutracheck, revealed 63% of people who have been on a diet think treats are a complete 'no-no' when trying to lose weight.

In fact, the reality is quite the opposite: 86% of Nutracheck dieters who lost enough weight to improve their health did so whilst continuing to eat chocolate, crisps and other carbs.

And over 85% said they ate chocolate at least once a week and still lost weight, with a third of people saying they ate it most days.

We asked Nutracheck members: What food do you find hardest to resist?


Emma Brown, Nutracheck's nutritionist, said: "People who cut down – rather than cut out food groups – not only lose weight, but are more likely to keep it off long term.

"Almost every fad diet plan has a blacklist – those foods you must not let pass your lips if you want to drop the pounds. Yet anyone watching their weight can still eat their favourite foods, which is a surprising message when we tell people they don't have to give anything up.

"Eat out or eat in, and if you fancy some cheese, wine or choc – no problem, just count it into your daily calorie allowance: that's the key."

Emma added: "It's essential to stop classing foods as 'good' or 'bad': it's down to how much of something you eat and how often. Denying yourself foods you enjoy leads to psychologically negative emotions, which is why so many people associate weight loss with denial, hunger and feeling miserable.

"Taking a more relaxed approach and including some treats makes losing weight successful and sustainable as it builds a long-term positive attitude towards food."

*Centre for Weight and Eating Disorders, University of Pennsylvania.

Nutritionist Emma Brown (ANutr), MSc Human Nutrition is passionate about how food science applies to the human body, and how the nutrients in what we eat affect us and ultimately have an impact on our health.