don’t cheat yourself
Cheat days are a common part of most diet plans. You eat a particular way until the weekend, or just Saturday afternoon and you then eat whatever you have been missing. I have a couple of problems with this.
1) For me, when I tried cheat days, I would think all week about what I wanted on this day and go crazy. The whole idea of changing your lifestyle is changing your thinking about food, if you overeat then its best to change your obsessing about food. Cheat days exacerbated this problem for me.
2) I have a family. My family doesnt like to wait until the weekend to have something they want to eat more than health foods.
When special occasions happen, birthdays, holidays, or hell, just a friend suggesting we eat ice cream; I dont want to say its not the right day for me.
What I suggest, what works for me, is to eat healthy most of the time. Like when I get home from the gym and Im super hungry I am prepared with my protein shake and fresh fruits and vegetables. Most of the time when we eat we are hungry and we should feed ourselves good food that nourishes our bodies. As long as my regular diet consists of good foods then when the opportunity to eat something delicious and less health conscious arises I indulge, not cheat and enjoy it without guilt.
This also involves saying goodbye entirely to food that is not healthy and not that great. For me this would include most fast foods (kind of gross and rarely satisfying), snack foods, and any other foods that are not high quality and arent just plain delicious.
It may seem silly to just change your vernacular when it comes to food, but the concept of cheating in and of itself sounds rattled with guilt. Cheating is not a positive term. And the only person you would be cheating is you. What you eat today will be walking around with you tomorrow.
Indulging is more of a treat. Something you dont do all the time but you really enjoy. I liken it to getting a pedicure or taking a mental health day. We dont do these things everyday, but we do them as often as we can, and just enjoy it.
So next time someone offers you something greasy that comes in a colorful sack that is half cold and not your favorite. Say no thank you, regardless of what day it is. Your body will thank you. And the next time someone offers you your favorite piece of cheese cake revel in it. Eat each bite like its pure gold and feel no guilt at all. You are living a full life that includes working out, eating healthy and not passing up on lifes little joys because it isnt yet Saturday.