Making Change: Wait… Can I Eat That Slice of Cake?

Wait… Can I eat that slice of cake?

There are so many diets out there these days that it’s hard to think we ever used to eat normally without the need to calorie count, deprive ourselves or restrict our diets to the point of depression. There is a way out of this mentality though and it is possible to maintain a perfectly healthy weight without the need to feel frustrated and deprived.

At a family birthday party, my sister-in-law had baked a birthday cake. It contained cream, so it is not negotiable for my dairy-free lifestyle, however, my coeliac son has no problems with dairy and the cake was totally gluten free. It did contain refined sugar and some other fats that I would not normally use in our cooking, but that did not stop me from letting my son or family enjoy this. Why? Because life is about enjoying time with others, building relationships, tasting new things and feeling happy.

There have been a lot of people talk about a 80/20 or 90/10 lifestyle and I believe this is spot on. If you can ensure you are eating wholesome, nutritious foods 80-90% of the time, then the 10-20% is really quite minimal in the grand scheme of things. The body is very adaptable and clever in knowing how to deal with sugars, fats, refined carbohydrates and high amounts of proteins. What it’s not so good at, and what causes most of the obesity and health problems, is the fact that as a population we are letting the ‘bad’ crowd out the ‘good’. Once the body has to deal with these ‘sometimes foods’ regularly, it has a bit of trouble and chronic disease can develop.

It’s not easy to avoid the feeling of delight and temptation when looking at a delicious cake and the worst outcome can be the feeling of guilt or remorse over eating a slice. When this happens, it is very easy to fall into the mindset that you have sabotaged your diet, wasted a chance to resist, and feel so disappointed in yourself that you cut up another slice… and down that goes as well. This is the cycle that promotes obesity and overeating. One little slice now will not harm you and be a total write off.

It is good to remember that your body does not ‘need’ that piece of cake. You will not starve or suffer from any nutritional deficiency if you do not eat it. You can consider it a treat that you save for special occasions and boy, will you enjoy it!

If you can do this, the good will crowd out the bad, you won’t need to count calories ever and as long as you are mixing this with some good quality movement (walking and other cardio as well as resistance exercises) you will notice a happier and healthier you.


by Ange Lemin

With a Bachelor of Applied Health Science degree and a passion for health and nutrition, Ange is a  health coach and encourages people of all ages to live their best life and make the best nutritional choices. Since a diagnosis of multiple sclerosis 8 years ago, Ange has seen herself propelled along a path of cleaner, healthier eating and now runs her blog PurePlatters to inspire others.