Are Cheat Meals Okay?
We understand that sticking to a strict diet can be challenging, but incorporating cheat meals in moderation can actually have some benefits. While cheat meals may not be the healthiest choice, they can help prevent feelings of deprivation and restrictiveness that can lead to snacking or other unhealthy behaviors. Additionally, allowing yourself a cheat meal from time to time can provide a mental break from your diet and help keep you motivated. However, it's important to remember that moderation is key and that cheat meals should not become a regular habit. Here are some tips to consider when planning on your next cheat meal.
Quality Over Quantity: Instead of indulging in large amounts of junk food, opt for smaller high-quality foods. For example, enjoy a few slices of gourmet pizza instead of a whole frozen pizza. Or even a couple of high-quality chocolates instead of a whole candy bar can make the biggest differences between good health and bad health.
Plan Ahead: Don’t let a cheat meal turn into a cheat day or week. Plan ahead and choose the one meal or snack you want to eat, and then stick to your usual healthy eating habits for the rest of the day.
Don’t Use Cheat Meals as an Excuse: It’s easy to fall into the temptation of using cheat meals to justify your actions in breaking your diet. Instead, treat cheat meals as a rare reward to be enjoyed in moderation.
Keep Going: Don't let a cheat meal derail your fitness goals. Keep moving and stick to your exercise routine to help balance out the extra calories.
Foods to Avoid on Cheat Days
When it comes to cheat days, it's important to satisfy your wants in moderation and make mindful choices to avoid undoing all of your hard work. However, there are some foods that are absolutely not worth it. Here are some foods to avoid or limit on a cheat day:
Store-Bought Baked Goods: They are filled with loads of preservatives, trans fats that can lead to high cholesterol and cancers. Not to mention tons of processed sugars. Instead, go for the ones from a local bakery or make some at home!
Milk Chocolate: Has more sugar than Cacao. If you have a chocolate craving aim for dark chocolate since they contain less sugar and are full of antioxidants which are good for your digestion.
Frozen Pizza or Chained Pizza: We all have that pizza craving, and the best ones are either from local pizza shops or again homemade. The ones from chain restaurants or in the freezer aisle are filled with a smorgasbord of preservatives. Pro tip, when you go out for some pizza or decide to make something homemade, eat just a couple slices along with some healthy appetizers to help fill you up. That way you will satisfy your craving and at the same time won’t be hungry.
Remember, a healthy diet is about balance and moderation. While cheat meals can be a helpful tool to maintain your diet in the long run, it's important to approach them with mindfulness and make choices that support your overall health and wellness.
Live It Up Anywhere
The idea of living your best life can be done anywhere, at any time, and all it really takes is a mindset shift. Take it one core lifestyle habit at a time, whether that is eating healthy and less, daily exercise, quitting bad habits, getting a routine checkup, or being positive. Take a chance today to Live It Up!