Why incorporating a cheat meal into your meal plan will help you stick to your healthy lifestyle long-term?
There is no way to stick to your healthy lifestyle 100% of the time!
It took me many years to learn this and to let go of the guilt, but after so many trials and errors, I live a much happier life with balance.
I restricted myself for many years and fell off track over and over. Why, because I would indulge for a couple of days and then feel guilty for falling off track. I lived a vicious cycle for many years. I am sure many can relate!
What set me free?
After discovering how to track my macros and understanding it was ok to eat the foods I enjoyed but staying within my macronutrients for the day.
I was still working out as I always have, but the difference was that I started adding carbs into my life and enjoying meals out with my family. And I am not going to say it was easy because mentally, it wasn’t. I was always so afraid of eating, but after tracking and still lost weight, everything changed for me. I was very shocked by the results and started embracing this new way of eating. From this point on, I felt free and didn’t feel that food controlled me.
Why a cheat meal can help you?
Incorporating a cheat meal will help you stay on track because you are not restricting yourself from that one meal you enjoy. The reason many people give up on their goals is because of the restrictions. Let’s be honest; you will not live your entire life without enjoying that burger and fries or that cake on your birthday, right.
The more you allow yourself that treat in moderation; you will learn how to enjoy it without going overboard. You begin to feel the freedom because you are no longer letting food control you.
Overindulgence happens because you don’t know when you are going to allow yourself to enjoy that meal again, so you overeat. And in reality, it’s done more often than not. You get invited to a barbeque, your friend’s birthday party, or work function, and either you restrict yourself completely or overindulge again.
Once you switch your mindset, that is ok if you have that meal, or if you don’t, your brain and body will be in sync. You slowly begin to let go of the guilt because you are in control of the choice.
Satisfying your cravings gives you a mental break, which helps you stay motivated!
Incorporating a cheat meal, not a cheat day.
Don’t skip your workout. When you work out you, tend to be more mindful of what you put in your body, even when enjoying that cheat meal.
Also, your meal should be A MEAL, if you are having, pizza or burger and fries skip dessert, or if you want dessert to eat a lighter meal. This is how you begin to start balancing your lifestyle. People get confused when they hear cheat meal it should only be one meal, not a whole day of cheating. An entire day of indulging can hurt your week of progress.
The days you plan enjoy your cheat; eat higher protein throughout the day and lower fat. This way you are moderately fitting it into your day.
How to get back on track after a cheat meal?
Immediately after going back to your healthy eating. No need to starve yourself, or eat fewer carbs, or skip a meal. Just eat all your meals as normal.
Drink lots of water to help you eliminate the extra sodium and bloating. Also, do your normal workout routine, no need to incorporate and an extra hour of cardio.
Leave the guilt! One meal will not hinder your progress; it can help you in the long run!
Enjoy it and every last bite of the meal!