It is normal to crave chocolate ice cream, cheese cake or any other “naughty food”. The good news is eating your favourite “naughty food” occasionally can help with your weight loss. When you know you have a day when you can treat yourself with those “forbidden foods”, you tend to be more motivated and stay on track with your goals.
What is a cheat meal?
A cheat meal is when you consciously allow yourself to indulge in something you would normally stay away from. On a regular basis you should consume a well balanced and nutritious diet full with vegetables, fruits, whole grain, protein and eat the right amount of calories for your needs and goals.
Benefits of a cheat meal
- Reset hormones responsible for metabolism and insulin regulation.
- Replenish glycogen for increased energy.
- Keep calorie-burning and fat-torching mechanisms high.
Steps to use cheat meals to lose weight
- Beginners must have only one cheat meal per week. Having one cheat meal a week will help to build up focus and self control for long term success.
- Record your cheat meal in a food diary. Cheat meals should not be treated like a buffet – eat between 500-1000 calories more that your usual day.
- Pre-plan your reward or cheat meal and make it at a time when it is socially beneficial to you. You could save your cheat meal for the weekend when you can enjoy a dinner and not worry about having to say no to every temptation.
- When you indulge, serve it on a pretty plate so that it is appealing to your senses. Taste your food, smell it, eat in small bites so that you can fully appreciate the texture and taste.
- Learn to give and take. If you happen to be a dessert lover then go light on your main course. Skip the starter, drinks and choose a healthier, lower calorie main cause so that you can splurge on desserts. If you already know what you plan to order prior to visiting a restaurant, you are more likely to stick to your portion and enjoy a satisfying cheat meal.
- No matter how much we plan or have strong self control, it is impossible to be perfect throughout your weight loss journey.
Sometimes you may over indulge in your cheat meal or you may have more cheat meals in a week than you intended. Don’t let that be an excuse for you to go back into your old eating patterns.