It’s hard to stick to a diet plan when you have so many of the good food all around. With food novelties and decadent concoctions cropping up continuously, it’s understandable that you give in to temptation every now and then.

The good news is that you don’t really have to go cold turkey on your favorites just because you want to lose weight. There are ways to still enjoy what your tastebuds like without feeling so guilty and defeated.

1. Don’t do it on an empty stomach

Overeating can happen if you starve yourself and then decided to give in to cravings. Plus, you will likely feel really sick and sluggish afterward. Go for your favorites because you’d like to enjoy them and not because you want to sate your hunger.

2. Don’t drink your calories

Liquid calories will not fill you up and make you feel satisfied as fast as solid food, so you’re more likely to think that you’re still hungry. But there are drinks that are higher in calorie content than most solids; think milkshakes vs a sandwich. You’d be better off feeling full and happy with solid meals that have the same or even fewer calories in them.

3. Choose your craving, and do it one at a time

Decide on which food you want to consume for the moment. If you’re craving burgers, pizza, or cake, choose just one and enjoy. Do not put all three on your plate (which is a recipe for a dieting disaster).

4. Sequence your meals, low calorie foods first

Assigning a course for your meals is an effective way of consuming low calories without depriving yourself of good food. For example, you can start with a small appetizer before moving on to the salads or the main course. Start with foods that contain the lowest calorie densities, so you train your body to feel full without threatening your weight loss goals.

5. Go for quality cheat foods

If you must go for a cheeseburger, it’s better to make it yourself at home than get it from a fast food outlet, which is likely packed with transfat and other ingredients that will wreak havoc on your diet. Eating food you prepared yourself also lets you enjoy it more — and will more likely be made with quality and carefully chosen ingredients.

Some people call giving in to cravings as “cheat meals” or “cheat days.” But, the fact is, you don’t really have to cheat to enjoy the good that life has to offer. So, go on, have a bite of your favorites.

Fast Food
Pictured: In this photo illustration, fast food from a branch of McDonald's, Burger King, KFC, Subway and Domino's pizza. Getty Images/Matt Cardy