Cheat days are a slippery slope. When used correctly, they are wonderful. They give you something to look forward to, and they allow you to watch your diet without feeling deprived. It’s a slippery slope, though. A cheat meal becomes a cheat day, becomes a cheat week, becomes a “Screw it, I’ll just be fat!”
My best advice is to get to know yourself well. Would a cheat day actually help you? Or would it simply cause you to overindulge and give up? Do you have a lot of weight to lose? If so, maybe you’ve already had your fair share of cheat meals for a while. The important thing is health. If you’re eating to improve and maintain your health, as opposed to simply gratifying every whim of your taste buds, you won’t stray too far.
My recommendation is to schedule a cheat day once every 14 or 30 days. No more. And that day is not to be spent pouring grease and processed foods down your hatch. It’s a day to relax a little, have some pizza, order a dessert, sip on that glass of wine and enjoy it. But, still eat your fruits and veggies, still try to eat real food over fast and processed food, have one dessert, not three. You get the picture.
Hopefully, looking forward to that day will inspire you to push through the non-cheat days with a little more cheer. Your cheat day is coming! Put it on the calendar. Think about what you might like to do on that day. Make if fun. But take care and watch yourself. If it turns out that you can’t handle it, or it sends your weight and health in the wrong direction – bye-bye cheat days!
The good news is that limiting your cheat days to only once or twice a month will likely make you not want a cheat day so much. Once you get used to feeling good, truly healthy, the bad stuff starts to make you feel sick. Trust me. It doesn’t take long for your body to show its gratitude for your new healthy habits. More energy, clearer skin, better digestion, etc. The idea of paying someone to give you food that will ruin all that will become less and less appealing.
So, have a great weekend! Eat mindfully and with gratitude.
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Peace and love,