You’ve probably heard how many fitness professionals advocate designating one specific meal per week as a “cheat meal” where you can eat whatever you want as an attempt to help offset the emotional and physical effects of following a strict and disciplined eating program the rest of the week.
There are many folks who swear by this method, but the thing is, I’ve seen way too many people actually have this practice backfire and only end up causing more weight gain and confusion!
But that doesn’t mean they might not have a place in your healthy eating and lifestyle program.
To help you out, I put together a list of my Top 7 ways to use cheat meals so they don’t sabotage your fitness goals and you still look fierce the next day:
Here are my top 7 tips for making cheat meals work:
- Pick a meal where you aren’t already starving to be your cheat meal or else you risk going crazy and eating everything in site! If you consume a cheat meal when your appetite is in check (you are hungry but not famished), then you won’t risk eating more than you normally would if you’re ready to eat your hand.
- Consume the cheat meal early in the day – preferably not as your dinner/last meal. This way you have a chance to burn off extra calories, fat and/or sugar consumed.
- Choose to eat something that you don’t normally eat. This will help shock your metabolism (READ: Increase calorie burn) and adds a little variety to your life…plus is adventurous and fun!
- Don’t go completely NUTS! For God’s sake, stop eating when you’re full – it’s your “cheat meal”, not your “last meal”lol
- Keep it to only a cheat meal – not a cheat day/week. (If you can’t do this, guess what? Cheat meals aren’t for you and you need to cut them out entirely..sorry!)
- Be sure to get your workout in the next day. This is a big one and part of making your diet balanced, realistic and a lifetime lifestyle, rather than a fad diet or crash attempt to “fix” your weight control problems. That means, in order to “balance” the indulgence of a cheat meal, the next day you work out…no excuses. You just get right back on track. This habit alone will really help to keep your weight in check…long term!
- ENJOY every bite. Don’t get so caught up in the blissful liberation you feel because you’re allowing yourself to indulge that you basically INHALE your food in 5 seconds and therefore actually and miss the pleasurable experience tasting of every bite. If not, your food will be gone before your brain registers what just happened and you’ll miss it! GASP! Instead slow down and be mindful of enjoying sensation of each indulgent bite!
To get more my nutrition tips, learn of my favorite health and fitness products and for new class and event info, join my newsletter list here!