Sunday, August 19, 2012

I Admit it! I Am a Cheater! Top 5 Rules of a Cheat Meal

 We all know cheating is bad, right?  We were all probably raised not to cheat. 

Things you probably should not cheat on:

(I am not trying to tell you how to live, I'm just saying.)

1. Your spouse
2. Your taxes
3. A test
4. In sports
5. In cards

But your diet?  You should cheat on your diet.  I think it is the key to a successful, healthy, sustainable, lifestyle.  I don't really like to call it a cheat meal.  The term cheat mean implies that it is not part of the plan.  I call it an indulgence meal. When I indulge, it is absolutely 100% part of my plan.

Once or twice a week, I eat what ever it is that I want.  Sometimes it is a cheeseburger and french fries, sometimes pizza and beer, or tempura sushi and wine.  I eat my unhealthy meal, I enjoy and savor every second and immediately go back to eating healthy for the next meal.   I believe it is the key to my success.  I do this every week-end and it has never had any negative impact on my health and fitness goals or progress.  When I was trying to lose weight, I continued to lose weight.  Now that I am trying to gain strength and muscle, I continue to gain strength and muscle.  I don't go overboard.  I enjoy it and move on.  It has had very little impact on the scale, if any at all, but goes a very long way in the mental battle.

I usually save my indulgence meals for the week-end.  I make really healthy choices and exercise all week long and when the week-end rolls around, I loosen up the reigns.  In the beginning of my healthy journey, when turning down junk food was still a struggle, it really helped me mentally make the right choices.  If someone at work was passing around doughnuts, and I felt like I wanted one, I would tell myself that if I really wanted a doughnut I could have one on the week-end as part of  my indulgence meal.  I learned to say "no" now for spur of the moment urges, so I could "yes" later to planned indulgences. This is the key, the indulgence meal is not a spur of the moment decision.  It is planned. 

Here are my Top 5 Rules of a Cheat Meal:

1. No Guilt.  Savor it.  Enjoy it.  If you allow yourself to feel guilty, you are missing the point.
2. Plan your indulgence meals.  They should not be a spur of the moment decision. 
3. Don't forget everything you know about portion control.  An indulgence meal should not be a license to binge. 
4. Limit your indulgence meals to two times a week most of the time.
5. Move on.  Don't allow an indulgence meal to be a trigger to more bad eating.  Do it, love every second of it, and move on.

Simply put, I can eat anything I want and maintain my slim figure.  I may just have to wait a couple days for it until my planned indulgence meal rolls around.  A healthy lifestyle includes having balance. 

What is your favorite Indulgence meal?  Mine is sushi and red wine.

Keep Running,


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  1. I work really hard on #5.
    old Abby would be all about, oh crap I already screwed up might as well eat junk all day.
    Getting myself out of that mindset.

    1. I know Abby! I think it is a common issue. I struggled with it myself for a long time!

  2. i agree so much with all of your rules of cheat meals!! they are so important! we work really hard and are so disciplined all the time, but we deserve a BREAK!! i love your mentality and advice! thanks for sharing! SPA LOVE!

  3. This is the best advice I've seen on healthy eating in awhile, and a really sensible approach to 'cheating'. Nice one!

  4. Love it! I have my indulgence meals maybe once a week and it is often sushi! I try to make healthier version at home of my other indulgence meals like pizza.


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