Trying to eat healthier? Here is how often you can treat yourself.

May 7, 2019, 12:54 PM
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - FEBRUARY 18:  Nestle Butterfinger and Baby Ruth candy bars are displayed on a s...
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - FEBRUARY 18: Nestle Butterfinger and Baby Ruth candy bars are displayed on a shelf at a convenience store on February 18, 2015 in San Francisco, California. Nestle USA announced plans to remove all artificial flavors and FDA-certified colors from its entire line of chocolate candy products, including the popular Butterfinger and Baby Ruth candy bars, by the end of 2015. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
(Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY — Most people have days when their eating doesn’t go as planned or when they just can’t resist the office treat table. But do you really always have to avoid the donuts? Registered Dietitian Melanie Douglass said no, of course not, on an episode of Really Healthy Podcast.

While the occasional treat (or cheat) day is okay, she warns against having too much sugar because sugar is not an essential part of anyone’s diet.

“It adds no value…it is purely for indulgence and enjoyment,” said Douglass.

Sugar On Treat Days

Your body and mind can become addicted to sugar because it triggers a hormonal response in your brain, said Douglass.

Some signs you may be addicted to sugar or that you use sugar in an unhealthy way include intense sugar cravings, losing control when you eat sugar and eating more than you planned, according to WebMD.  

The recommendation from the American Heart Association is 10 teaspoons of sugar per day for the average adult, which is about 40 grams per day, Douglass said.

How Often Should You Indulge?

How often can you go above and beyond and eat the treats with an indulgent day or meal? Douglass said it’s hard to give an exact number because it depends on the person.

“Sometimes when you restrict, restrict, restrict (from sugar) it backfires and you go crazy,” Douglass said. “While other people do better with an all in approach.”

If you are someone who wants a free day every now and then try for once a month. That gives you room for a holiday or birthday party. If you currently eat a lot of sugar, try twice per month.


The important thing to remember, according to Douglass, is to treat these days special occasions and get back to normal the next day. Don’t beat yourself up, just get back on track.

If treating yourself makes your journey to get healthier more livable long term, do it, Douglass said.

“Falling off track is a normal part of anyone’s journey to try to eat better and get healthier,” Douglass assured listeners of Really Healthy Podcast.  

Did you find this information helpful? Subscribe to Really Healthy Podcast wherever you get podcasts or on the KSL Newsradio app.

Watch the full episode below.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Today’s Top Stories


An off-duty pilot stepped in to help after a Southwest pilot became ill during a flight, the airlin...
Pete Muntean, CNN

Off-duty pilot on Southwest flight steps in to help after pilot suffers in-flight medical emergency

After safely returning to Las Vegas, a backup crew boarded and the flight continued to Columbus as planned.
19 hours ago
Curt Gresseth

Mother tells of her escape from addiction and being homeless

A homeless mother describes her spiral into addiction and how she climbed out and is helping other homeless people today.
2 days ago
FILE - President Joe Biden speaks about health care and prescription drug costs at the University o...
Jeremy Diamond, CNN

White House to disband Covid-19 response team in May

The team was responsible for coordinating the nationwide rollout and distribution of vaccines, treatments and medical supplies.
2 days ago
Elizabeth Weiler

It’s time to re-enroll for Medicaid for the first time since before the pandemic

For the Beehive state beginning next month, for those applicable, Medicaid re-enrollment will be required.
4 days ago
Jason Sudeikis attends the Apple Original Series "Ted Lasso" Season 3 Red Carpet Premiere at Westwo...
Arlette Saenz, CNN

‘Ted Lasso’ cast will meet with President Biden for mental health discussion

A White House official said the meeting will focus on discussing "the importance of addressing your mental health to promote overall wellbeing."
5 days ago
Michelle Lee

Beating the Monday blues and the Sunday scaries

One expert said that Mondays have a cultural implication about "getting back to the grind" and that’s why it often impacts our mood.
6 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Cheerful young woman writing an assignment while sitting at desk between two classmates during clas...
BYU EMBA at the Marriott School of Business

Hear it Firsthand: 6 Students Share Their Executive MBA Experience at BYU’s Marriott School of Business

The Executive MBA program at BYU offers great opportunities. Hear experiences straight from students enrolled in the program.
Skier being towed by a rider on a horse. Skijoring....
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Looking for a new winter activity? Try skijoring in Bear Lake

Skijoring is when someone on skis is pulled by a horse, dog, animal, or motor vehicle. The driver leads the skiers through an obstacle course over jumps, hoops, and gates.
Banner with Cervical Cancer Awareness Realistic Ribbon...
Intermountain Health

Five common causes of Cervical Cancer – and what you can do to lower your risk

January is National Cervical Cancer Awareness month and cancer experts at Intermountain Health are working to educate women about cervical cancer.
Kid holding a cisco fish at winterfest...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Get ready for fun at the 2023 Bear Lake Monster Winterfest

The Bear Lake Monster Winterfest is an annual weekend event jam-packed full of fun activities the whole family can enjoy.
happy friends with sparklers at christmas dinner...

15 easy Christmas dinner ideas

We’ve scoured the web for you and narrowed down a few of our favorite Christmas dinner ideas to make your planning easy.
Spicy Homemade Loaded Taters Tots...

5 Game Day Snacks for the Whole Family (with recipes!)

Try these game day snacks to make watching football at home with your family feel like a special occasion. 
Trying to eat healthier? Here is how often you can treat yourself.