Can I have a Cheat Meal and STILL Lose Weight?
I get asked a lot about cheat meals. Common questions are: Can I have a cheat meal? A cheat day?
Will having a glass of wine sabotage my diet? Can I share a dessert with the girls every once in a while and not feel guilty? Will I undo all of my fitness gains? If any of these questions sound familiar, read on for my take on the cheat meal.
The short answer is YES! You can have a cheat meal. But...
(Yes, there is a but...)
The truth is, one cheat meal won’t make or break your goals and efforts, so every once in a while, indulge and enjoy! But, if have a cheat day or days, you’ll most likely feel horrible afterwards, and more than likely the following day too. Gastric distress, exhaustion, sluggishness, and an overwhelming craving to eat more of the same foods will undoubtedly ensue.
The trick with the cheat meal is to limit it to a meal and to plan for it just like you plan out your weekly meals and workouts. Planning and conscious decision making leads to success and will keep you on track without impairing all of your success.
Here are my hacks to enjoy the treats you love without completely falling off the wagon.
Savor it. If you're feeling guilty what's the point? Limit cheat meals to once a week and you have my word you will not hinder your progress and hard work.
Crowd it out. Want that slice of pizza? Eat a salad first and have your slice with some sauteed veggies. Ice Cream? Have some fresh fruit first and add some shredded coconut or raw cacao nibs to it. Chances are you’ll get fuller quicker and eat less.
Put your fork down between each bite. Take the time to savor and enjoy the treat and make it memorable.
Drink plenty of water during your meal. You'll feel more satiated and aid the body with digestion.
Choose better quality sources. Chocolate lover? Choose an organic version with 50% or more dark chocolate. Want pasta? Go to a restaurant that makes it from scratch with no preservatives or fillers.
Don't forget about portion control. A cheat meal is not a license to binge.
Don't let the need for perfection block progress!
I hope this inspires you to make the best choice that aligns with your goals. Remember- it's about being able to enjoy the foods you love AND still reach and maintain your goals.
If you do slip, the most IMPORTANT thing to remember is to get right back on track. If you were driving and made a wrong turn you wouldn’t head home! You’d re-route and continue on your way.
Let's do it together! We'll plan healthy meals and some fun indulgent meals that keep you on track and aligned with your wellness goals.