I say YAY YAY YAY and YAY!!
Why is it okay to have a cheat meal?
Firstly, as I always say, the fitness journey you are on is a way to create a healthy LIFESTYLE as this is the only way you are able to keep it as a long term goal. Creating a lifestyle out of it is how you will keep on changing, improving and becoming a better version of yourself. So, in saying this, you can’t expect to live the rest of your life without a treat every now and then. You need to be happy and by allowing yourself to have these treats will keep you happy, motivated and able to carry on living your active, healthy lifestyle. Depriving yourself of the things you love will start negatively affecting your mood and then start affecting the way you feel about your fitness journey and this is not what we want… We don’t only want a fit, healthy body but also a healthy, happy mind!
So as you can see cheat meals have many psychological benefits… But, they are also a great tool to help better your physique. A cheat meal can boost your metabolism & regulate insulin, as well as replenish glycogen for increased energy. Not only will you feel more energised & ready for your next workout, but it will also keep calorie-burning & fat-burning mechanisms high whilst replenishing anything that was lost whilst being on a strict diet or eating plan.
Remember – one treat every now and then isn’t going to make you fat! Just like one healthy meal isn’t going to give you a flat tummy!
How often should you treat yourself?
I stick to one treat/cheat per week, whether it’s a date night with Cliff, a brunch with friends or a big donut because thats what my body has been craving. But if you are just starting your journey to fitness, I always advise keeping it completely clean (with no cheats or treats) for the first month. Think of it as a 4 week detox to clean your system from what you have previously been throwing into your belly. After 4 weeks it’s about maintaining so adding a cheat meal once per week thereafter is perfect!
Get back on it!
So you’ve had your treat and deserved it (important to remember not to feel guilty about it!) and now it’s time for you to get back on the health train! Try do just that… Once you’ve had your treat, get back on track straight away or it could easily lead to a cheat day or week! Plan your unhealthy meal. Schedule it in to your week. Planning your treat, just like you would plan a workout, is the best way to keep you on track & on the right path to getting even closer to the body you’ve always wanted!