Cheating is a choice, and I cheat every week!
No, I am not talking about relationship cheating. I’m talking about weekly cheating on my meal plan.
Cheat meals make me happy!
Have you ever thought about incorporating a cheat meal into your program once a week?
Doesn’t a planned meal that will allow you to eat the foods that you are craving once a week sound great? Wouldn’t that help keep you focused the remainder of the week? I say, “yes” to all of the above! You can stop dancing around the room with excitement now.
Don’t go and raid the fridge until you read the rest of this article!
Some will choose a cheat day versus a single cheat meal.
This means that you have an entire 8 hours to eat as you so choose. No schedule, eat whatever you want and not count a single calorie all day!
The cheat meal is much more organized, planned, and thought out.
It would be something you have been craving all week or maybe a special event to attend. I like to focus on my “no-no” foods since the rest of the week I stay on track 100%.
Are there actual benefits to cheat meals?
Physiologically, when you follow a strict regimen, low in calories & fat, your metabolism has a slow effect. The body feels like it’s being starved, so you burn fewer calories, but by having a cheat meal, you will shock your system, in turn increasing the speed of your metabolism, and kick-starting your body into high gear another week!
How does cheating affect you mentally?
For me, it allows me to splurge on my favorite foods, which then prepares me mentally to rock on the week ahead. I plan my future cheat meals while I’m eating my current cheat meal. For some though, it could have a negative effect. It can become an obsession, just thinking about that naughty, off-limits food, and constantly and fantasizing about it daily.
This negative behavior could lead to eating disorders, so be careful.
Here are my 5 cheat meal commandments:
1. Must be guilt free. Enjoy it!
2. Always plan ahead. If you cheat on the fly, you may wish, after the fact, that you planned it better.
3. Indulge, but do not binge.
4. Allow one cheat meal per week.
5. Have a “one & done” mentality about your cheat meal. Eat it, enjoy it, and then move on. Don’t allow yourself to fall off the wagon or let it snowball into cheat week.
Cheat meals can ward off plateaus, break up the stress associated with clean eating, and give you willpower to rest and restore, so you don’t completely spiral out of control out of frustration.
So why not indulge? Enjoy that cheesecake you have been dreaming about?
It’s not cheating on your diet.
It’s enjoying an indulgence meal as part of your healthy lifestyle.