Change Up Your Cheat Meal

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Maybe you’ve tossed all the junk food from your cupboard, except for a couple of “cheat” favourites. But a new study from the University of Tennessee shows that limiting the variety of treats you eat may not boost your weight loss. Researchers assigned dieters to a daily kilojoule range, allowing some participants to eat whichever sweet or salty snacks they wanted, while keeping others to just two treats. Over 18 months, the group with restricted variety did take in fewer kilojoules from junk but didn’t lose more weight than the others – probably because they compensated by eating more of other high-kilojoule foods, says study author Dr Hollie Raynor. Your takeaway: stock up on fruit and vegetables so you have something healthy within reach when you need a snack.

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