Are you considering cheating? We have all thought about it, we have all been tempted. Sometimes that temptation comes in the form of a delicious slice of chocolate cake left in the fridge by your partner, sometimes you're sitting home alone and fighting the urge to order a pizza. These temptations are not disastrous as long as you only indulge in moderation. In fact, new research suggests that treating yourself could help you become even more fit and focused!
Treating yourself to cheat meals makes the transition to a healthy diet easier on your body. It also stimulates the happy hormones in your brain and makes you feel good. But if you're going to cheat, there are rules you must follow. Otherwise, those happy hormones could take over and cause you to fall off kilter.
Rule #1: Have A Plan
Incorporate your cheat meal into your weekly meal plan. Pencil it in and make sure that the rest of your day includes healthy meals, snacks and a solid fitness routine. This ensures that there is balance in your day. You can also include an extra long walk, a run or a yoga session to burn off that cheat meal. Remember to limit cheats to once or twice a week. For an idea of what a healthy eating plan looks like, check out the BodyRock Meal Plan
Rule #2: Remove The Guilt
Normalizing the cheat meal takes away the guilt of indulging. If you're eating a slice of blueberry pie and constantly worrying how this will throw off your goals, it is not worth it. There should be no stress associated with eating because stress can cause your body to improperly digest the food, leading to possible weight gain.
Rule #3: Don't Binge
Treat a cheat meal like you would any other meal. Keep the portion sizes under control and don't overdo it. Binging will only harm your body's association with this food and cause discomfort and regret afterwards. If the meal does make you feel bloated or slightly sick, try drinking ginger tea and lots of water. You can also take a walk after the meal to ease the bloat.
Rule #4: Redefine Cheating
As your body gets more accustomed to a healthy diet, try making cheat meals that are full of nutritious alternatives. For example, give flourless avocado chocolate brownies a chance over conventional baked goods. Opt for high-fiber whole wheat pasta instead of white. As you eat less sugar and processed foods, your taste buds will naturally adjust to these nutrient-rich flavours. Cooking for yourself will teach you what you like and what you're capable of creating.
Don't be afraid of your urges!
How do you manage your cheat meals?