I’ve been “eating right” or “watching what I eat” for a few years now. But, honestly, I am always having cheat days – or splurge days. They are necessary for me to go on. Just in case you’re unfamiliar with a cheat day – it’s when you allow yourself to eat something you would NOT normally eat because it definitely doesn’t fall into your “allowed” foods or your Meal Plan. These are sometimes necessary to keep pushing through my diet. If I limited myself every day of the rest of my life, life might be pretty boring – since I am such a foodie! We need our fixes sometimes! Especially on holidays or when your’e invited to a party or wedding. It’s all about enjoying life – and food can be a big part of that. Am I right?
Cheat day guidelines vary. Some people have whole cheat days, while others just have cheat meals. It’s all a matter of how much you trust yourself to not get all caught up in the food and fall completely off the wagon. Here are 5 helpful rules to adding cheat days to your life:
Do not allow yourself to feel guilty for having a “Cheat Day/Meal”. Savor your food. Enjoy your food. Allowing guilty thoughts, is completely going against the whole purpose of having a “Cheat Day” in the first place.
Be sure to plan your cheat meals. If you’re allowing yourself to always have spur-of-the-moment cheat days/meals then you might find yourself doing it often. Planning adds structure into the mix and keeps you from straying too far from your diet. I find it best to plan according to upcoming events such as holidays (4th of July is next week in the US – lots of foods I shouldn’t eat, plus beer!), or special events/parties – weddings, birthdays, etc.
Just because this is a cheat day doesn’t mean you can throw the concept of portion control out the window. Cheat days are not a license to binge. It’s about moderation, really. Allow yourself the cheat, but do so in moderation – remember: YOU are in control, not the food.
Limit your cheat days to once a week. Or, you set the limitations – every 2 weeks? That’s fine too. But keeping yourself on strict schedule regularly will help you in the long run.
Once the cheat day is done, move on. Don’t allow a cheat day to be a trigger to more bad eating. Do it and love every second of it, but move on once its done with. Personally I find myself not wanting to do cheat days often – I actually notice how much better I feel when I don’t cheat, so I look forward to healthy eating.
Again – its all about teaching yourself moderation. That’s the true key to success with cheat days. It’s truly up to you to make it happen, no one else is putting that piece of pizza or cake in your mouth. Enjoy cheat days in moderation and you will be just fine.