When you’re extremely serious about losing weight, and you’re well on your way to achieving your goals, you know how much of a sacrifice you’ve done just to get where you are right now. However, you might have slipped in a few cheat meals here and there and that’s okay. You don’t need to feel guilty over it. Other people (even the physically fit ones) have had their share of cheat days (although it’s better not to prolong it into the entire day) and cheat meals too.
The key here is to make sure that the foods you eat won’t ruin your diet and negatively impact your weight loss or physical fitness journey. This article will provide you with helpful ideas on how to have cheat meals without sabotaging your diet. People differ in what, when, and how often they choose to eat cheat meals.
Considering these factors will help you maintain a healthy eating plan if you ever decide to reward yourself with some special treats:
- Control And Set Your Food’s Portions
You don’t get to eat whatever you want for cheat meals unless you’re on a very low-calorie diet. There’s a reason for this. The fact is healthy eating is about achieving your goals, and some cheat meals are so high in calories that they may destroy all the calorie deficits you worked so hard to achieve all week. It’s important not to let this one meal overshadow your goals and hard work. Anyone won’t want to see their efforts flush down the drain simply because of intense cravings for ice cream, and they ended up finishing a whole tub of it. The best way to avoid this is by decreasing the portion or replacing them entirely with low calorie desserts.
Although you choose to indulge on weekends and other days of the week, you should be very conscious and still keep them in moderation. By doing this, you can feel better after your cheat meal and keep your waistline, blood sugar levels, and goals intact.
- Don’t Feel Guilty
When you feel bad or guilty about indulging, you can set yourself up for weight gain and poor relationships with food. Not only does feeling bad or guilty deny you pleasure, but it’ll also eventually result in emotional eating. Although a single treat or meal won’t end up derailing your diet, your reaction to eating it and your response to reaching for it can throw you off track.
Hence, change your mindset and don’t be guilty of indulging occasionally. You’re only human, after all. Guilt is a heavy burden that will drag you down eventually. This will lead to all the negative thoughts and feed you with stress and anxiety. So, before you take a bite of that tasty burger, tell yourself that you earned it.
- Chew Your Food Slowly While Enjoying The Taste
A reason for having a cheat meal is to keep you satisfied, so you get more enjoyment out of your healthy eating and aren’t constantly starving. In the case of a cheat meal, it would be best if you chew them down slowly and savor their taste, otherwise, if you eat fast, it’s likely you didn’t taste it, and you won’t reap the benefits.
The longer you eat, the more likely you are to recognize when you’re full, as it takes around 20 minutes for your brain to send signals saying you have had enough to eat. In that way, you can avoid overindulging and consume fewer calories. In addition, if you don’t overindulge yourself, you’ll feel better than if you ate it all in a few minutes.
Setting a timer might be helpful if you can’t control your eating habit. By using a timer, you may be able to eat more slowly and mindfully.
- Prioritize Protein Foods
Your diet can influence your fitness goals. You should consider adding protein to whichever cheat meal you may have as a favor to your digestive system. A high carbohydrate meal will give your body a hard time, it causes your blood sugar to spike and it’ll have a negative impact on your health.
However, your body can’t store proteins the same way it does with other macronutrients. Therefore, whenever you consume protein, you replenish your amino acid pool, which is especially important. So if you intend to reward yourself after a tough week of a healthy diet, go for tasty protein dishes.
- Create A Healthier Alternative To Your Favorite Dish
Even though you shouldn’t limit yourself to what you crave, you can still make your cravings more nutritious. There are numerous ways to do so. And many recipe resources online to change something unhealthy into something guilt-free. For example, you can customize making a pizza by going for whole-grain for its crust and choose to have vegetables, olives as toppings, and less cheese.
The first thing you should do is rethink your cheat meal so you don’t regain the weight that you have lost by working out so hard and following your diet so strictly. Everyone is unique in their health. It’s important to remember that information in these articles isn’t meant to replace the advice of experts.
Although these are all sound advice, always consult your primary care doctor or nutritionist before making significant changes to your lifestyle or diet. You’re the best judge of your own health, but always listen to what experts have to say.