Cheat meals are similar to the feeling that Christmas is just around the corner. It’s the excitement and anticipation of finally getting down to business with your favourite treat. It’s just you and that wonderful treat ready for that ignition of flavour. I do love my cheat meals, and it’s been a very effective strategy for me. I used to do it quite frequently when I was preparing for bodybuilding competitions, and I would count down the days until I could eat that chocolate goodness, lol. Now, It’s doesn’t phase me as much, but I won’t lie – I do LOVE my cheat meals. There are a few do’s and do not’s when it comes to a cheat meal, and I will share them here. Just remember that one cheat meal won’t ruin your diet. It may cause you to retain water and possibly put on a bit of weight. This doesn’t last long, and you will soon be back to your usual self in a couple of days. Don’t let that put you off having something you enjoy.
Three cheat meal mistakes you shouldn’t make
- Make it a cheat meal, not a cheat day. I see this happen to a lot of people. They mistakingly assume that a cheat meal is a whole day of making bad nutritional choices. This isn’t life-threatening, but it won’t make you feel too good. It may take you a full week to recover from this one wrong decision. So, do keep it as one meal only during the day, but don’t extend the love to the whole day or even the entire week.
- Eat your healthy meal first. This is only applicable if your chest meal is a dessert. I highly recommend you eat your proper meal first, and then your cheat meal afterwards. The reason behind this is that having a good quality meal before the cheat will stop you from overeating. Please don’t make the mistake of having the dessert as a whole meal. If your choice is savoury, this doesn’t apply to you, but you should always keep in mind your portion sizes and try to make the meal as healthy as possible.
- The sit-down rule. This is a perfect one. You put on your plate what it s you are eating, and the deal is, once that’s off your plate, that’s it. You don’t go back for more at all. The time you get up means your cheat meal is over. This can be hard to handle at a time when we’re constantly given second and third servings. It takes discipline to do this, and you must commit to eating what’s on your plate and nothing more.
When I want to get leaner or have something special coming up and know I want to look a certain way; I will skip cheating altogether. I’ve done so for about 3–4 months at a time. It can be challenging, but the timeframe doesn’t last forever. It’s not necessary to go this far. Still, if you perhaps have a wedding planner, holiday or a photoshoot – this is a great strategy to keep consistent during a specific time and focus only on your healthy eating. It does work well. If you are doing this, I will urge you to have a “high-calorie meal” instead of a cheat alternative. What happens here is that you eat a meal with a lot more calories than usual. One good example would be a larger piece of salmon, or perhaps the chicken with skin etc. Maybe you might choose to have an extra serving of sweet potato chips. Whatever it is, add a bit more calories to the meal. This is even more effective than a cheat meal. Try both and see how you feel and look as a result. I hope you found this article helpful, and I would love you to upvote it if you did. Please also join me on my various social platforms and do go ahead and download your Empowering habit changer guide. I’m also on Instagram.