Have you ever had a cheat meal and felt terrible after it? Not only do you have that junk food hangover but you’re also kicking yourself for letting it happen in the first place. I totally understand because I have been there! In the past, I’ve had a really ugly relationship with food. I let it control my life. Every time I gave into my cravings, it turned into a massive binge eating session and I would feel so down and guilty with myself all week. Lately I’ve been working on my self control so I could actually enjoy my favorite foods without acting like a crazy lady eating everything in sight. It all started by getting rid of my GUILT! I don’t think any of us should feel guilty from slipping on our diets a little. We’re human and it happens! It’s actually all in your MINDSET. It may take awhile for you to switch your way of thinking but I’ve put together 5 guilt free ways to enjoy a cheat meal (because I think we all really need them in our lives!) that have seriously helped me. Read on to totally change your thoughts on cheat meals.
1.You won’t destroy your progress
Let’s be realistic here. I know that when you indulge in a cheat meal you may not feel your best. You may end up feeling bloated and icky especially if you’re used to eating super clean and it’s been awhile since you’ve treated yourself. But just ONE MEAL will not destroy your progress. Trust me on this. Even if you do see the scale go up a little, don’t freak out. You’ll balance out as the week goes on. The only thing I would warn against is letting your cheat meal get out of hand. Be careful not to let it go on for the whole weekend. That often leads to a cheat week and before you know it you’re so off track and that makes it extremely difficult to get your healthy habits back. But keeping it to just one cheat meal is totally fine! You have to live life and enjoy your favorite foods every once in awhile and with all your hard work throughout the week, you can afford a little treat if you want it.
2. You can always get right back on track
Enjoying a cheat meal actually motivates me to push myself even harder. You let loose and now it’s time to get your head back in the game by getting super serious about reaching your goals. Use your little treat to go at it full force the next day. Allow yourself to brush it off and start fresh again. Forget about the slip up and DO NOT feel guilty about it. The more guilty you feel, the more of a struggle it will be to get back on track. I know for me, that’s one of my triggers. I figure that I cheated one day, feel terrible about it and that negative feeling causes me to binge eat. I’ve told myself never again! I am in total control of the food I put in my body. I choose to enjoy sweets every once in awhile and I choose to get right back on track. This all has to do with your mindset!
3. You are human
You are not a robot. Life happens and you will go off your perfect plan. You will have a wedding to attend and cake will accidentally end up in your mouth. There will also be days that you miss out on your workouts because that’s just how life goes. You cannot be perfect, no one is. There have been times I ate way too much junk as part of my cheat meal. One particular time comes to mind when I went to a Chinese buffet on an empty stomach after months of not cheating at all. It did not end well for me! But we pick ourselves up, learn from where we went wrong and continue on with life.
4. Get it out of your system
If I’m craving a particular food (mostly chocolate, ice cream, and pizza) and I just cannot get it out of my head, I know the best thing for me to do is just give in and get it out of my system. The body needs that cheat every once in awhile! I know if I don’t do this, my cravings get worse, I turn into this nasty unhappy person (for real! I’ll throw temper tantrums like a 5 year old!), and in the end I end up going way out of control and binge eat everything in sight. But if I just get it out of my system, I can just move on without turning into a psycho. Trust me, your family and friends will thank you for it 🙂
5. Practice self control
I’ve been using my cheat meals as practice to gain self control. In the past I had no self control whatsoever. I didn’t know how to stop. But now I use cheat meals to gain that control back. For instance, I’ll pick up a pack of cookies and only allow myself to eat two. This is dangerous and I don’t recommend doing it until you’re ready for it. Having the rest of the cookies in the house is really tough to ignore but I’m getting better about it. It sounds torturous, doesn’t it? But I want to be able to go to a BBQ and have a cupcake without completely blowing the rest of my day (I would normally consider the day a lost cause after that one cupcake and go home to have some ice cream and brownies later). So basically, my cheat meals are actually HELPING me!
I honestly believe that cheat meals are essential in living a healthy and balanced life. They aren’t easy to control but if you change your mindset, you can take back control. Remember that life happens and you’re human. You can always get back on track the very next day and a little treat will not destroy your progress. In fact, it could HELP you gain that self control. Don’t make too much of a big deal over your cheats. The more guilt you feel over it only makes it worse. Loosen up and enjoy life every once in awhile!
Tell me, how do YOU cope after a cheat meal?