What counts as a treat if I want to lose weight?

  • What counts as a treat? Is it a chocolate square or a piece of cake?
  • Should I skip lunch if I eat a brownie at noon?
  • Sienna Miller shows what happens if you DON’T eat treats in moderation

Just got this great question:

What counts as a treat if I want to lose weight?

It came from Kylie, in Australia.

what counts as a treat if I want to lose weight


Not that Kylie.

Another awesome Kylie!

She wrote:

Hey Kelly, I’m devouring your blog and wanted to ask you… I’m “addicted” to rounding off lunch and dinner with a small piece of 80% [cocoa] chocolate. Would you consider this to be a treat or would a treat be something on top of this. Like a piece of cake for example? I know this sounds tedious. xo
– Kylie, Australia

So essentially Kylie wanted to know:

What counts as a treat if I want to lose weight?

This was such a great question that I asked all my 1:1 clients this week what their answer to this Q would be.

Take a moment to think about it…

What would your answer be to:

What counts as a treat if I want to lose weight?

Should Kylie count those 2 pieces of chocolate that she eats each day as a treat… OR is a treat something bigger, like a piece of cake?

What do you think?

Ok. So here’s what I wrote back to Kylie about:

What counts as a treat if I want to lose weight?

Hey Kylie,
In short I’d say… eat the treats you love. And if you aren’t happy with your weight cut back on anything other than your healthy balanced meals. Does that make sense?

What counts as a treat if I want to lose weight?

In other words…

Get into the GOLD Standard Routine I talk about all the time on my blog…

The same GOLD Standard Routine (GSR) my 1:1 Clients build with me so it’s personalized to their life…

The same GSR we build in my Group Program (2nd round coming soon!)

And if you like a piece of chocolate at lunch and one at dinner and cake here and there?



But if you don’t feel like you’re a healthy weight,
the next step is to look at what you’re eating
that falls outside the GOLD Standard Routine.

And make some tweaks!

Cut back or cut out one treat at a time.

…One choice that’s in excess to the GOLD Standard Routine.

But again:

No matter what you do, don’t touch your ROUGHLY balanced meals made MOSTLY of whole foods.

And one more time for the people in the back:

When you tweak your routine:

Don't mess with your meals!

Why you need to leave your meals alone

ROUGHLY balanced meals made MOSTLY of whole foods:

❤️ meet your body’s nutritional needs

So your body can do all it’s jobs… like grow finger nails and do that oxygen-C-0-2 exchange that regular folk call breathing.

❤️ PREVENTS your body from going into survival mode

Survival mode is when your body slows down your metabolism so it’s hard to lose weight and easy to gain it… Can we just marvel for a moment about how BRILLIANT your body is?!

❤️ makes you feel satisfied so you can FREE your mind & really focus on your next task

Like finding that video you saw back in 2014 about Sienna Miller eating a brownie. But because you can’t remember any other specifics you have to uber concentrate and type in different combinations of words in Google, until you finally find it.

And ROUGHLY balanced meals made MOSTLY of whole foods also boost your—one word, 4 syllables—metabolism.

Oh ya!

What one of ’em ROUGHLY balanced meals is made of

Look at the proportion of each food group:

Eatwell Guide - the10principles(brought to you by England’s National Health Services)

Also, I occasionally post balanced meals I eat on Instagram:

And here’s what people say when they eat the ROUGHLY balanced meals found on my ONE DAY Meal Plan (that you can get here.)

I’m two days into eating your one day meal plan (ate the same both days!) and I’ve thought much less of food in between meals. I’m looking forward to freeing up more space for other thoughts and focusing more on my family, my studies, and my hobbies. I just wanted to say that I’m very grateful for having stumbled upon your site.
Malin, Sweden

And Rosyln:

I had a fantastic energy-filled day with no feeling hungry and no cravings. I haven’t had a day Iike this in 6 years. The only thing I did differently today was try the one day eating plan you sent (THANK YOU ❤️)
Roslyn, Canada

What counts as a treat if I want to lose weight?

Treats are a fun part of social gatherings and celebrations.

And eating treats here and there curbs cravings.

I also love having a piece of dark chocolate after dinner.

What counts as a treat if I want to lose weight?
Truth be told re: my hair…
At the time of writing this blog post we’re 2+ years into the Pandemic & I’m just being overly cautious. (Plus highlights take half a day!) Will… go to… hairdressers… soon : ) #selfcare

And I love a slice of cake at a birthday party.

Or a chocolate lava cake when we have friends for dinner.

(My Lava Cake recipe is in my mix ‘n match meal plan book that you get as a bonus for joining my course↓↓↓)

one day meal plan - wtfdie book

And hey!

The first proof arrived today:

The first proof arrived today

Alex and I have been working on this book for 3 years!

Just got to make the changes found at each colored tab… then it’s done! 🎉🎉🎉

So enjoy your treats… BUT:


Why do I keep saying this?

Too many people eat a brownie and then skip lunch!

The thing is… a brownie doesn’t do any of the things (see list with ❤️’s above) that a ROUGHLY balanced meal made MOSTLY of whole foods does for your body.

A brownie doesn’t have the nutrients that your body needs to function properly.

Food Groups to the RESCUE!!!

Each of these little finger puppets ↓↓↓ that my friend’s mom made for me, represent a different food group.

And each food group has different vitamins and minerals your beautiful body NEEDS:

And each food group has different vitamins and minerals your beautiful body NEEDS

Your spectacular body requires the vitamins and minerals found in each food group.

So when you eat a brownie and then skip lunch…

Along with the:

sugar high
& crash ↓
that stores all the excess sugar as fat
& makes you feel hungry again quickly…

You also don’t meet your body’s needs.

Which (say it with me) slows down your me-tab-ol-ism so your body can hold onto the energy it has stored.

In fact, when you don’t meet your body’s needs, you actually train your body to stay in survival mode.

That’s why you gotta get into a healthy routineso your body can start trusting you.

When you’re in a steady routine for a while (aka NOT a day!) your body will do a big sigh of relief and BOOOOOST your metabolism.

Feeling hungry is your body’s way of saying:

Hey [NAME],
can we get [
whatever food groups you haven’t eaten] in here
so we can [
do whatever job your body needs to do]?

Feeling hungry is the signal your body sends to ask you to eat, so you can meet your body’s needs.

Your stomach growling is equivalent to the gas light in your car telling you it’s time to get gas.

So if you’re eating 8 treats a week

…Or 38 treats.

And you’re not happy with your weight.

Leave your meals alone!

And try cutting back to 7 treats. Or 37.

Then cut back some more.

For instance, if I was Kylie, I’d start with just cutting out the square of chocolate at lunch (or every other lunch) and see how that goes.

if I was Kylie, I'd start with just cutting out the square of chocolate at lunch (or every other lunch) and see how that goes

What counts as a treat if I want to lose weight?

I know this baby step method of cutting back on the extraneous things you eat outside your meals (and snacks made of fresh food when you’re hungry between meals) works, because I did it to successfully lose the weight I gained (7 pounds) at the start of COVID. And I never felt deprived.

And my clients have the same experience.

Lindi left me this message on Instagram ↓↓↓:

And Lindi left me this message on Instagram

And a personal note on Facebook (that she gave me permission to share):

And a personal note she left me in Facebook

You can read Lindi’s story (so far!) here.


What counts as a treat if I want to lose weight?

Here’s a pic from the morning we brought Rocky home from the Toronto Humane Society in 2014:

he morning we brought Rocky home from the Toronto Humane Society

In early March of 2014 I asked Alex if he wanted to go out for breakfast but took a sharp turn into the shelter! That was 8 years ago. On March 20th 2022, Rocky turned 16. He’s an amazing soul who’s truly had a “rocky” life.

Look at his little thunder vest. (He has anxiety, like me!!!)

In the pic you can kinda see that a week later, when we picked him up to bring home, we were up the entire night before, dog-proofing our house because we had no idea what he was really like. It can take a little time for animals to decompress after they’ve been in the shelter. And Rocky had been there for 9 months after being seized from his other home due to neglect. (He chewed off tons of his fur and it didn’t grow back.)

Also we had Oliver and CF, our two beautiful (and manipulative… oh how I miss them!) cats, who ran the roost and we weren’t sure how to introduce everyone.

Also we had two cats who ran the roost and we weren't sure how to introduce everyone

All that to say I look totally disheveled in the only pic I have of that first day ↑↑↑

Vanity aside (!) and moving on with the story…

…So I was double checking all his adoption paper details the other day, when I came across the picture above and realized…

Rocky looks so much leaner in earlier pics!

Which prompted me to reflect on his routine and realize…

We’ve been rewarding him lately with a treat for EVERYTHING he does that’s hard.

So he gets a small liver treat for being such a good sport about letting me put on his triple-snap brace and grippy shoes. Another small liver treat for going down the stairs. And so on…

(See where I’m going with this?!)

These little treats add up.

Therefore, the last few weeks we’ve cut out a few of his treats here and there and (say it with me!):


And he’s looking back to his old svelte self.

(Which likely makes the stairs easier on him too!)

So… no dramatic change.

We just tweaked his treats.

And presto!

We just tweaked his treats


What counts as a treat if I want to lose weight?

Enjoy all your meals and healthy snacks when you’re hungry.

And cut back on treats!

Don’t mess with your meals.
Tweak your treats!

Small changes and baby steps help you build a routine that works for you.

But don’t cut all your treats out!!!

Occasional treats are part of the GOLD Standard Routine that I live by, love and teach all the women I coach.

If you cut treats out all together, this happens:


You don’t want to live in a home that:
“puree’s organic ONLY”


Be someone who yells:

…the moment you lay eyes on a sweet.

So now you know:

What counts as a treat if I want to lose weight?

Anything outside the GOLD Standard Routine (GSR)!

(Again: Treats ARE part of the GSR! We cover all this in my group program!)

Look at your excess treat choices and slowly make small changes.

Does that make sense?

Let me know in the comments below!

Kelly Clark



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