3 Ways to Keep Your Cheat Meal(s) from Sabotaging Your Goals

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I'm a big advocate when it comes to having "cheat" or "reward" meals while you are training for your goals.

I believe they are essential for keeping a person sane while they are working towards those goals.

I've seen too many times, and have been there myself, where people refuse to have those cheat meals thinking they can get by without them and their goals will be reached quicker.  Then it happens, they snap and sit down to an all you can eat buffet for a week.

Everyone needs, at least every 2 weeks, some sort of cheat/reward meal.

But....!

(There is always a but.)

Sometimes people can take the cheat meals to extremes, myself included.

Extremes such as sitting down to an all-you-can-eat buffet and eating to the point where you can't move.

Or what I have done in the past, eating a whole pizza and a carton of Ben and Jerry's. And I'm not going to lie...I could have eaten more.

But what then happens to my body?

Does it just get back on track?

Do I lean out more?

Am I getting closer to my goals?

I have seen many times people use cheat meals, as a way to gorge themselves because they rationalize that it is "allowed" and in the end they are screwing up everything they worked for during that week.

You have to remember, just because you know you need this cheat meal, it doesn't mean the calories don't count.

They do!

And if you're not careful, you can put yourself right back to where you started and have to begin again each week.

So how do you get your cheat meals in, but not sabotage yourself?

Simple...

  1. First and foremost, DO NOT give yourself permission to eat anything and everything in your sight. Your goal is not to get as much food in your mouth during that hour, or so, but to give yourself a reprieve from the stricter nutrition you are eating throughout the week. Eat until you are satisfied, but not busting at the seams.
  2. PLAN!!! I always plan what I'm going to have as my cheat meal. I know what I'm going to have, how much of it I'm going to have and when I'm going to have it, meaning what day of the week. This way I don't get off track and in the end eat more than I should have or have more cheat meals than I am allowing myself to have during the week.
  3. Don't let liquid calories be your cheat meal. What I mean here is, don't let alcoholic drinks be your cheat meal. Alcoholic drinks can have a lot of calories in one drink, than most people think. And normally, when people use alcoholic drinks as their cheat meal, they have way more than they expected. As well as any food they might be consuming. By the end of the cheat meal, you will have consumed twice, maybe three times more calories than if you would have just eaten. Also, usually when you drink, you eat...and I'm not talking about a salad, especially if you are out at a restaurant or bar. When you do this, you are only adding more calories to your cheat meal, but you are also probably extending the cheat meal to a couple hours or more.

I think the best thing you can do for your cheat meal, and to make sure it doesn't get to be a "cheat sit down and gorge yourself" meal, is to PLAN, PLAN, PLAN!!!

Once you have a plan in place, stick with it. Remember, you don't need to eat everything in sight, you do get another cheat meal next week.

I hope this helps when it comes to you choosing your cheat meals, as it has helped me over the past 8 weeks. My results are coming quicker and I'm much happier when I don't feel like I'm going to bust at the seams. :)