The reason you can ‘have your cake and eat it’ is for many reasons. Firstly no one food will inherently make you fat, only an excess in calories (for your needs) will do that.
Also, sticking to a plan that misses out your favourite foods is miserable and you’re less likely to stick with it.
And finally if you’re already slim and trying to get even leaner (usually only female bikini athletes and models, to be honest), a short term increase in carbohydrates and calories can give the body a boost, and help curb the increase in hunger and lower energy that comes with dieting.
I’ll caveat that calories still matter, and full size restaurant portions are often extremely high calorie, so have small portions, or have them less often to avoid drastically overshooting your calorie needs too often.
Here’s my quotes, which were mixed in with advice from a few other top trainers and nutrition professionals:
“Unless you’re an elite athlete, there’s no reason certain “cheat foods” can’t be part of an overall healthy diet. In fact, the occasional treat might help you stay on track, according to personal trainer and nutritionist Pollyanna Hale: “You won’t feel deprived or bored by the monotony of eating a strict diet every day.” A.k.a. you’ll have something to look forward to. Here’s a list of cheat foods the world’s healthiest people incorporate into their diets—without sabotaging their goals.”
“Protein shakes are popular in the fitness world, as protein helps build and repair muscle,” says Hale. “But while milkshakes are seen as a treat, milk contains many beneficial things like calcium, protein, carbohydrates, and vitamins.” Even better: The extra carbs from the sugar in a milkshake can actually help muscle recovery after a workout.”
“We tend to think of fries as junk food to have with a burger, but when you think about it, real fries are just potato slices that have been fried,” Hale says. “So yes they’re a bit higher in fat and calories, but both carbs and fat are required as part of an over all healthy diet and potatoes themselves contain fiber and vitamins.” The bottom line: If you’re choosing proper cut fries, instead of a fast food version, they’re not nearly as unhealthy as you’d think.”
“Cheesecake; Hale describes this sweet, salty, crunchy, and smooth dessert as your reward system’s idea of heaven. “Conveniently it’s also more balanced than some other treats, since it contains protein, carbohydrates, and fat, which can make it easier to slot into a macro controlled meal plan,” she says.”