Many people feel that there is a benefit to having a cheat meal (or sometimes a cheat day) as a part of their overall nutrition program. I’m not going to weigh in on that subject. This article isn’t about whether you should or shouldn’t. I’m going to assume that you look forward to the occasional cheat meal with some sort of food that isn’t the ideal fit for your nutrition and health goals. This article is about putting yourself in control to make conscious choice about those “cheats” and how to not let them take control to become cheat days/weeks/months.
You decide to have something off the “healthy” radar. My tip. Make it A REALLY GOOD CHOICE. Make it worth while. Make it something that you’ll look forward to all week long. Make it worth putting in an extra workout or two to burn it off.
You see, when you give yourself permission, your mindset changes. You won’t just mindlessly snack and blow 300 calories here or 500 calories there or even more if you truly lose track.
You also give up the guilt, because you are giving yourself permission to temporarily go astray.
What foods should you cheat with? Chose something that is a favorite. Something that you’d be willing to drive 2 hours to get. Don’t waste calories on something that is just “kind of good.” It’s too easy to just eat something in the here and now because it’s sitting right there in the fridge or on the counter or at the sample tables in Costco and Sam’s Club.
For me, I love Pizza. Now, most of the time if I’m going to have a comfort food I first look at ways I might make a healthy version of it. When it comes to pizza, there are just some restaurants that make such incredible creations, that I will go out of my way to have it if I truly want it and feel I’ve worked for it. I don’t look at it as a reward. I don’t use fattening foods to reward myself. This is merely a choice I make on occasion if I find myself really wanting a special treat that doesn’t align with my fitness and nutrition program. See the difference?
So typically you will not find me grabbing in the candy dish or visiting the break room to see who brought donuts.
My recommendation if you find yourself needing to cheat on your eating: think through your choices. This takes practice. Especially when you are at the beginning of your journey. But each time you succeed, you give yourself power. You become successful. And you give yourself a leg up to keep getting the results you are wanting. It’s also good to take note of how your body feels afterward. Many times people feel a bit sluggish or bloated. That’s good feedback to listen to!
If you’re looking for a complete fitness, nutrition and support system with free coaching, look no further. I’m here to guide you every step of the way.