We all want to indulge occasionally. While it’s never good to use food as a reward system, it is alright to enjoy food and occasionally give yourself a treat that you love as a method of being happy. Food isn’t the enemy – but overeating and consuming the wrong foods as a lifestyle is.

One problem those who love foods that are typically consider “junk” run into is the fact that they can’t find great substitutes if they want to stay healthy. Think about a scrumptious piece of chocolate cake. It’s hard to imagine this sweet treat without the dripping sweet chocolate, sugar-stuffed icing and crab-loaded, fatty cake bread. Yet many health food brands and recipes try to tell you they can mimic the same taste in great, healthy ways. Dubious? I don’t blame you.

However, it is totally possible to find foods that you can indulge in on occasion while not feeling guilty or bad that you’ve ruined your diet or packed on an extra pound. The trick is doing your research and actually finding foods that you like that fit the bill.

Not Being Too Ambitious

A big reason many people don’t stick to their diet is they know they’ll never be able to get a healthy recreation of their favorite greasy burger or deep dish pizza. It’s true – and that’s a good thing.

Preservatives, fat, grease and fake sugars have a distinctive taste, and after you eat them for a prolonged period of time, you get used to their taste. When you eat foods that are intended to be healthy for you, all of these unhealthy ingredients shouldn’t be present. Thus, the taste and texture will be different.

If you want to find great food that’s healthy, you’ll have to understand that that succulent chocolate cake can’t reasonably be created with natural ingredients – the reason that the “fake” ingredients were included were put there to enhance the taste and texture in the first place. This means retraining your palette and getting used to trying new things that may not be as rich as your old faves.

Blending the Good and Bad

If you’re truly opposed to the taste of healthy foods, train yourself to like them through exposure. For instance, make a healthy cake batter using vegetables and other fiber-filled ingredients, but indulge with a sugary icing. As you get used to the taste of the cake, start integrating healthier icing recipes.

Part of enjoying healthy food is getting used to the new taste and readjusting your pallet. After a while, you’ll prefer the wholly healthy recipe to your old favorite dish!

Great Treats with No Hassle

It’s not all work, though. Some healthy foods are delicious and ready to go, even if you’re apprehensive. Snacks like sea salted almonds are high in fiber and protein and can easily replace chips in your diet. You can also find sweet treats in fruit, savory treats in graham crackers and Nutella and fruit puree in yogurt is always a great dessert option, especially when frozen.

The biggest thing to keep in mind is that you have to keep an open mind. When you’re willing to try new things, you’ll soon discover that there are tons of healthy foods you can learn to like – or even love.