Cheat meals: Why they’re important.

From time to time we all need a treat and I am a big believer in treating myself – which you have probably seen in Instagram posts and previous blogs. Most of the time, I do follow a healthy diet BUT I’ve never restricted myself and I have frequently treated myself to my favourite foods, particularly on the weekend. BUT, how do I do it without ruining my progress?

CONSISTENCY is how!!!

One bad meal doesn’t ruin progress, the same as one good meal doesn’t make you lose weight. It doesn’t matter about the one bad meal you have in a week, it’s about what you do for the rest of the week that counts.

I’m not sure if I actually like the phrase cheat meal because I don’t like to think I’m ‘cheating’ on my diet for having something which I enjoy, so whether you call it a cheat meal, treat meal, re-feed, maintainance day, etc, I think it’s important to have one for our own sanity!

Why I like cheat meals

  1. It’s something to look forward to during the week – thinking about pizza or burgers is enough to bring anyone’s mood up!
  2. I love food
  3. It’s good for your mind to have a break from ‘clean eating’
  4. Can increase motivation afterwards – I’m usually buzzing for a good workout after a cheat meal
  5. I enjoy it so I wouldn’t want to cut it out of my life

There is nothing wrong with treating yourself, but it is important to monitor how you have your cheat meal as this could be what is holding you back if you’re not seeing progress. Cheat meals can fit into your plan with ease however if you turn your meal into a cheat weekend – this is where you’ll struggle to see progress as you may end up

How I used to have a cheat meal

  • Use it as a reward for weight loss
  • Turn it into a cheat day
  • Binge on waaay too much food
  • Feel guilty
  • Likely to turn into a cheat weekend
  • Spend all week trying to ‘cancel out’ the bad food from the weekend

How I have a cheat meal now

  • Use it as motivation during the week
  • Plan ahead so my other meals that day are healthy
  • Enjoy it
  • No guilty feelings
  • Get straight back in the gym and eat healthy the next day

If you want a treat, then fine, have it and enjoy it. Try not to let it ruin your whole weekend or the following week – learn to be disciplined by having your treat of choice then moving on by getting straight back on plan.

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