How Often Should You Have a Cheat Meal? Tips to Make it Work!
There’s no greater joy than indulging in your favorite piece of dessert or biting into a piece of cheesy pizza after eating clean for the better part of the week. Yes, everyone deserves to have cheat meals. But the question is, how often should you have them?
Should it be a cheat day or a cheat meal? Having way too many cheat meals than the prescribed limit can make your diet haywire, and you would end up gaining several pounds and inviting more health problems on the way. While it is easy to pack on the pounds, what’s difficult is losing them. So, how do you handle cheat meals? Here are some hacks to go by.
Indulge But Cut The Guilt Out Of it
If you really want to enjoy your cheat meal then you need to really enjoy it. By that we mean, put away your gadgets and concentrate on the plate and the morsel you put inside your mouth. So, it is consciously indulging and not feeling guilty about eating your favorite food.
Hence, if pizza is your go-to cheat meal, relish that slice and don’t let guilt get the better of the meal. Also, distracted eating is the recipe for disaster as you don’t listen to your hunger cues, eat way too much, and then feel stuffed and guilty.
A Fail-Safe Eating Plan
Eating out too many times a week isn’t a cause for alarm just yet, since you may not put on the pounds immediately. However, if you make it a regular habit, you may finally jeopardize your weight loss goals. Stick to your diet at least ninety percent of the time. So, if you are eating three meals a day plus a snack and/or a protein shake, it means you are eating 32 times a week. Try and stick to getting right at least 29 of those 32 meals. This way you’ll be able to a healthy eating pattern with greater ease.
Avoid Making it a Cheat Day
There are many of us who will indulge like no tomorrow and consider it as an all-or-nothing scenario. It’s like, ‘if I have already eaten so much I might as well, order a few more junk foods.’ Don’t let small aberrations destroy your whole week’s hard work. Allow, yourself a cheat meal for the day and resume your normal way of eating for the rest of the day.
Also, do not restrict yourself too much – if you think you have to completely ban chocolates, then you may feel like indulging in chocolates all the more. So, have a piece if you are craving it too much, or have a healthier version of it, like dark chocolate. This way you’ll have greater control of your cravings.
Undo the Damage
While it may not be completely possible to undo the damage of a no-holds-bar cheat day, you can make better choices the next day. Opt for foods that are detoxifying in nature – for example, if you have broccoli, it is rich in glucoraphanin which enhances the body’s own detoxification processes for up to 72 hours.
There are other go-to foods that can work miracles, especially water and potassium-rich foods – such as dark leafy greens, avocados, and bananas – that can help balance the sodium levels in the body and cut down bloating. You can also impact probiotic-rich foods such as yogurt, kefir, and kimchi that can protect the damage to your digestive system.
Get Back to Exercise
It is difficult to take a break from bad cravings. While eating right can help, you need to get your heart rate up. Exercise can be a powerful tool to accelerate calorie burn. You may start craving healthier food when you stay active. Stick to a routine and keep at it, nothing works as well as a regular exercise routine to keep the extra pounds at bay. You can try different types of exercises, such as vacation-hiking, snorkeling, pilates, paddle boarding, or in some cases just staying active all around the day and work great. The idea is to keep moving and not stay sedentary for long hours.
There you go, cheat meals may not be a bad idea if you plan it right. Tell us what is your favorite cheat meal in the comments section below.
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