Indulging Leads to Greater Healthy Eating Success!!
People often give up when they’re on a diet, because they feel like they are missing out on life. Let’s face it, meeting friends at a pub and ordering a water and a veggie salad with the dressing on the side, doesn’t make you seem like the fun person you are. The freedom to sometimes “cheat”, keeps my clients motivated for the long term, in ways they haven’t experienced before.
Why Diets Don’t Work
Diets are often all about restricting a person. They force the participate to completely eliminate one, or many different foods for an extended period of time. The thing is, it’s next to impossible to stick with a strict diet forever.
I’m a huge advocate of the 80/20 rule when it comes to clean eating. Fill you meals with tons of nutrient-dense and fibrous veggies, along with some healthy proteins and fats 80% of the time, but the other 20% of the time enjoy life! This means, enjoy a piece of cake on your birthday, or a small poutine now and then. The key to eating this way, is make sure your cheat meals stay in control.
3 Tips For Consuming Cheat Meals
- Eat everything in moderation.
If you’re eating healthy 80% of the time, that equates to you being able to fall off the rails for no more than three meals a week. And yes, skipping a meal completely counts as one of those less healthy eating occasions. Now, I don’t mean go crazy and eat a whole pizza, or a Big Mac with a large fries during these three meals. Instead, enjoy two pieces of veggie pizza with a large side salad. Or enjoy a homemade barbecue burger with a side of grilled veggies.
- If you have a BAD cheat meal, clean-up your eating for at least two days following it.
If you really fall off the rails for a meal don’t feel guilty about it, instead, take action. Pull out those veggies, beans and fruit and get ready to eat some delicious, nutrient-dense meals for the next couple of days. Shakes and salads are my go-to healthy meal options. You can make salads taste so different, they can easily be consumed everyday.
- Try to earn your cheat meals.
I exercise extra hard on a day I know I’m eating out. This at least ensures my body is in better condition to burn the extra calories I’m going to consume.
To sum it up…
I’ve learned that allowing yourself cheat meals, leads to greater healthy eating success over the long term. When it comes to eating, the 80/20 rule makes a ton of sense. Just be sure you stick to your healthy eating habits 80% of the time, versus creeping down to 70% of the time. Consume everything in moderation, and try to earn your cheat meals. Please share any thoughts about cheat meals, that you have, in the comments section below.
When I’m in competition prep and close to a show, I always cook my cheat meals at home. In this, I always know exactly what I consume. Restaurants are notorious for adding sugar, salt, butter, and cream to food and, although you can make requests, there’s no guarantee that they’re followed. Cooking at home leaves nothing to chance. Honesty is always the best policy. Being honest with your coach about additional cheating can be a helpful tool. Knowing which food you were craving or cheating with can sometimes point to deficiencies in your diet that your body is attempting to correct. Cravings for particular foods often manifest when you’re too low on certain macronutrients. An experienced coach can take this information and make changes to your diet to help alleviate this.
I couldn’t have said it better myself. It is very difficult to eat healthy and clean when eating at restaurants due to those ‘tasty’ ingredients they add. Thanks for the comment!