Selasa, 19 April 2016

If youve been sticking to a strict diet for a long period of time, you might be toying with the idea of taking a
day off. In the health and wellness world, this is commonly referred to as having a cheat meal or a free meal. There are benefits to having cheat meals. Mentally, cheat meals are a good break. Cheat meals can also help you develop healthier attitudes towards food by showing you that one bad meal wont completely destroy your progress. Before you jump off your routine and into a day of indulgence, you should know that cheat meals arent for everyone. Heres what you need to know about cheat meals.

What is a Cheat Meal

When we think of cheat meals, we typically thinking of indulging in foods that we normally wouldnt eat. But theres more to a cheat meal than eating whatever you want. A cheat meal needs to be three things: planned, portioned, and practical.

Planned - Cheat meals dont happen because you accidentally messed up. Cheat meals are meals you planned for and have looked forward to. Planning you cheat meals ahead of time gives you something to look forward to.

Portioned - While cheat meals are an opportunity to eat foods that you normally wouldnt, they arent an excuse to binge. Dont eat a whole bag of chips, eat a small bowl full. Dont eat multiple full-size entrees, pick a sampler and have a little bit of everything. You can still enjoy yourself without over eating.

Practical - You should go into a cheat meal knowing your restrictions and knowing that it might be tough getting back on track the next day. Allowing yourself a cheat meal isnt permission to eat everything youve been craving all at once. Cheat meals are only successful if you understand that it is a temporary break from thinking about your diet regimen. That break ends as soon as your cheat meal does.

Should You Allow Yourself a Cheat Meal?

So how do you know if a cheat day is for you? Well that depends on how you answer the next question: Are you a binge eater? If you answered no, then you definitely should give the cheat meal a try if you are trying to vary your eating program. Many people follow the 80/20 rule. Which means that they stick to their program 80 percent of the time and then the other 20 percent they allow themselves to eat more liberally. So to put this in perspective, if you eat 3 meals per day, 21 meals per week, you should be eating 17 of those meals following your program, and allow yourself 4 meals of food you dont normally eat. 

 Now, if you answered yes to my earlier question about binge eating, then I recommend being extremely careful before you let yourself have a cheat day. If you have a hard time controlling your portions when you have a free day, or if having more options is a trigger for binge eating, cheat meals will not be in the best interest of your or your program. One cheat meal wont set you back, but if having a cheat meal triggers a 3 day binge, it will set you back and its not worth it. Recovering from a binge takes a lot out of you mentally and emotionally. If your past experiences with food have left you feeling out of control or a little bit crazy for food, youll want to stick to your routine as much as possible. 

Ultimately the decisions of having a cheat meal is up to you. From personal experience I know that one cheat meal usually turns into a binge, Thats the type of eater I am. I have a hard time eating indulgent foods in limited quantities. Being able to recognize that helps me realize that I will be successful doing the things that help me feel focused and in control.

Do you allow yourself cheat meals? 

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