The word “cheat meal” has a negative connotation and is related to a feeling of guilt. Using this term can trigger emotions that might end up creating mental health issues. And, especially for a person in the weight loss process, shame and hopelessness might get difficult to handle. Consider swapping this with a better word like a treat meal because it is a reward-based concept.
No food is good or bad; it is more about how you consume. And, it is not advised to go for a diet plan which doesn’t even include your favorite food. We are here to enjoy, and no diet plan should restrict us, and it is possible to maintain a healthy weight even after including our favorite food. The idea of a cheat meal or a cheat day originates from living a healthy life without compromising our favorite food.
The best way to live a healthy lifestyle is to have a diet plan consisting of your favorite food. And, we are serious. Diet plans which include your favorite food are easy to follow and sustainable.
A healthy lifestyle isn’t only about weight loss; it is more about maintaining a healthy weight and enjoying a well-balanced meal. The problem comes when you try to take a shortcut via crash diets or fad diets to reduce weight, thinking it is a healthy body sign. And, when people begin their fitness journeys with these fad diets, they are more likely to fall into the trap of weight loss and weight gain, popularly known as yo-yo dieting. This cycle of weight loss and weight gain is extremely frustrating and demotivating. And, most of the time, you will find yourself at the starting line.
And, no one wants to fall into this cycle of weight loss and weight gain. So, instead, let’s focus on a sustainable diet plan with our favorite food. Let’s get into the differences between a cheat meal and a cheat day. And see how we can have them in our diet plans to maintain a healthy body.
Cheat meals or cheat days:
They aren’t the same; there’s a slight difference between them, and knowing it will help you choose the one that fits your requirement or body goals.
Cheat meals or cheat days allow you to reward yourself by giving yourself a license to break the strict diet rules temporarily. The idea behind them is to reward yourself with your favorite high-calorie food, which otherwise does not fit into your diet. And, this also allows you to stick to your diet plans as you’ll always know when you can temporarily break them and indulge in high-calorie food. So, here comes the concept of cheat meals or cheat days, where you give yourself calculated permission to break diet rules.
Why are cheat meals better?
Cheat on one meal, rather than cheating on all the meals throughout the day.
- Cheat meals are better than cheat days, as, during a weight loss process, you’re focusing on smaller portions and healthy food. Overloading yourself with a bigger portion size suddenly. And, continuing this throughout the day can disrupt the process of weight loss. Instead of learning new food habits, you might end up going back to the old ones.
- The next reason why cheat meals are better than cheat days involves simple logic. On cheat days, you will eat more calories than the cheat meal because all your meals will be your cheat meals throughout the day.
How often should you have your cheat meal?
It depends on a person, and everyone is free to decide the frequency according to their goals. If you’re trying to lose weight and you’re on your journey to build a healthy lifestyle. Then, it is advisable to go for a cheat meal once a week.
When you try to restrict the extra calorie intake and develop healthy eating habits, frequent cheat meals might hurt. And, you may also end up giving up and going back to the older routine. That’s is not our goal. So, treat yourself once a week and with a cheat meal and not a cheat day.
This process takes time, and you should respect the process, and especially your body.
How to have a cheat meal or a cheat day?
Eating the food you hate isn’t the requirement to reach a healthy body weight or lose weight.
- Don’t panic: You’re not doing any crime by rewarding yourself with your favorite food. It is okay, and you should use it as motivation. Respect your body.
- Keep calories in mind: You can have a meal at any time of the day. And, indulge in any of your favorite food. But, try to stay within your calorie limit. This will help you stay within your calorie limit.
- Moderation is the key: Go for a cheat meal instead of a cheat day and try to have it only once a week. If you find it difficult, you may start with two days a week and gradually reduce it once a week. No one is perfect and we all are learning. So, have patience.
- Choose a healthy way: Don’t ignore your hunger by starving yourself, thinking that you’re going to indulge in a heavy meal. Instead, have a healthy approach and plan accordingly. Starving yourself for body goals is the most disrespectful thing you can do. C’mon, it’s the one that keeps you moving, don’t do this. 🙂
- Make your diet plan enjoyable: It is not difficult to maintain a diet plan if you make it according to your taste and preferences. It isn’t easy to follow a diet plan when it includes the food you don’t like. So, try to make a sustainable diet plan with the food you love. You can take the guidance of a qualified health professional.
Focus on a healthy diet plan and work out at least 4-5 times a week to maintain your health. It is not difficult, just follow the right plan and don’t be harsh on yourself.