As a dietitian, I’ve never been a fan of “cheat days” or “cheat meals”. Why? Because just the word “cheat” comes with negative vibes that you are doing something bad or something you should feel guilty about… which leads to a poor relationship with food.
I’m a firm believer that when you RESTRICT food choices, you end up CRAVING them tenfold. You are better off allowing yourself to include indulgences into your diet from time to time so that you create a healthy lifestyle for the long-haul.
Here are 3 reasons to stop “cheat days” now:
- YOU FEEL GUILTY OR SHAMEFUL POST-MEAL – when you splurge on the “no-no” foods, you may feel guilty, which can in turn negatively impact your future food choices. Have you had pizza one night, and then the next day you don’t eat all afternoon until the following night when you only allow yourself a small salad and ½ a chicken breast? Don’t let guilt control your relationship with food. Labeling food “good” or “bad” is never a great mindset, and it typically leads to binging on foods down the line.
- YOU DON’T TRULY ENJOY THE CHEAT MEAL – sometimes, in a rush or not, cheat foods are consumed quickly to try to “beat the guilt”… and the worst part about it is that you don’t get to SAVOR the food. The taste, texture, & enjoyment are the best parts of indulgences… and when they are rushed, what are you getting out of it? Healthy eating is all about BALANCE. Allowing yourself to indulge in favorite foods helps prevent boredom & deprivation.
- YOU FEEL OBLIGATED TO CHEAT – ironically enough, sometimes by planning a cheat day to help you stay on track, you may be forcing yourself to overindulge. Say you plan to have a cheat meal every Saturday, and since you know that it is your one day, you go all-out ALL THE TIME. On the contrary, if you lead a balanced lifestyle with NO CHEAT DAYS & give yourself permission to indulge on your favorite foods, you may in turn eat & crave LESS. When you eat INTENTIONALLY because you want to enjoy & savor your food, you will be more fulfilled with a smaller portion. Don’t believe me? Try it!
Bottom line… cheaters never win! If you want a scoop of ice cream, have it because you want it & not because it’s a cheat day. Make healthy eating more about the food & less of a mind game.
So are you ready to build a healthier lifestyle with all your favorite foods while still reaching your goals? Let me know! Schedule your complimentary Discovery Call today by clicking HERE. Reach out to [email protected] with any questions!