Now, no matter what anyone says, cheat meals are a part of every healthy diet plan. Without a good cheat meal, you can feel too restricted to a diet and you ultimately might cave under the pressure of a regimen that is just too strict. We all know what it’s like when you’re craving a piece of pizza, or ice cream, or whatever it may be, and it can be hard to resist when you’re trying to eat a healthy diet. On our quest to maintain a healthy diet, there will always be cheat meals along the way and today I’d like to talk about the pros and cons of cheat meals and the effect they can have on your health and fitness goals.
The Positive Aspects of Cheat Meals
You Deserve It
You put in the countless hours of exercise, followed all the guidelines of your diet, and now you deserve a cheat meal. If you have been sticking to your guns and following a healthy diet and exercise plan, then you absolutely deserve a cheat meal. A cheat meal can be very rewarding and can really put your mind at ease. The best cheat meals are the ones that you don’t feel guilty about because you know you deserve it. This cheat meal is one of those good cheat meals because it helps you maintain a balance with your diet plan. Following a strict diet and exercise plan can be very mentally stressful and having a cheat meal every once in awhile is a great way to satisfy a craving in a way that won’t have detrimental effects on your waistline.
You Won’t Get Bored
Another one of the best aspects of having cheat meals is that it prevents you from getting too bored with your diet. No matter how good your diet plan is, eventually you are going to get bored if you are eating the same thing every day. When you have a cheat meal or two during the month, it helps to break up the monotony and makes it easy to jump right back on the wagon of your healthy diet.
Another very benefical aspect of cheat meals is that it shocks your body to reset your metabolism. In a way, it prevents your body from getting bored. When your body gets used to the same food every day your metabolism starts to slow. When you introduce different foods into your system every few weeks, it tells your body to pick up your metabolism to burn through this new foreign food. As much as you don’t want to get bored with the food you eat, you don’t want your body to get bored either.
You Won’t Binge Eat
One of the most positive aspects of enjoying a cheat meal is that it prevents you from bingeing on unhealthy food. If you are on a calorie restrictive diet, it is very easy to fall victim to your cravings. The next thing you know you have had five slices of pizza and your diet guidelines are nowhere in sight. Now if you had planned to have a cheat meal every once in awhile, instead of depriving yourself of any, you wouldn’t have this problem. I usually recommend that people have at least one healthy cheat meal a week or two unhealthy cheat meals a month. That way you can stay on track and you never feel the urge to overindulge.
The Negative Aspects of Cheat Meals
It Can Make You Feel Ashamed or Guilty
This is a negative aspect of cheat meals that a lot of people deal with. If you can’t help yourself and you end up having one of the many cheat meals out there, you might start to feel guilty and ashamed of your decision. Nothing is worse than being disappointed in yourself when it comes to dieting. I mean even the word “cheat” makes you feel like you are somehow cheating yourself out of your goals. This is probably the most negative mental impact of cheat meals. Unfortunately, once you start to feel like this mentally, it’s a slippery slope from there. If you start feeling bad about yourself and what you are eating, you will start to look for comfort. Often times, people find comfort in the foods they know and love. More often than not, these choices are not going to be healthy ones, and this cycle of poor eating can have a dramatically negative effect on your diet.
It Can Be Tough To Get Back on the Wagon
Sometimes a cheat meal can taste so much better than your healthy food that you really struggle to take it out of your diet. When this happens you end up struggling to stay on track and start wondering if you can somehow incorporate this cheat meal into your diet more regularly. Once you start thinking like that, that’s when your diet can take a real hit and it can lead you to fat gain. Sometimes the best cheat meals can be your worst enemy and make it really hard to maintain your diet.
Finding the Balance
You should never say never when it comes to cheat meals. Completely restricting some food off of your diet menu is a personal choice, but it can sometimes lead to negative effects that have you craving that very food. The key is to trust yourself and know that if you slip up, you shouldn’t be too hard on yourself because you can always jump right back on that horse.
Another important factor about cheat meals is that it’s all about finding the right balance. Knowing when to have a cheat meal is one of the most important things you can learn to do while on a proper diet plan. You need to know that you deserve to have a cheat meal when you’ve put in a lot of hard work and you also need to know that you should avoid cheat meals if you are getting discouraged with your results. When you have cheat meals and you’re in a bad mood, it can be comforting to overindulge on the worst types of food.
Here’s the good news. You absolutely can have the cheat meals you crave, in moderation, and they can help you maintain a balanced diet, ensure you don’t get bored with the food you are eating, and keep you from overindulging on that second scoop of ice cream.