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When changing your diet to be healthy, you’ll often crave the unhealthy foods you used to eat. By including cheat meals in your diet, you can give into those cravings.
As you begin your journey to eating healthy, one of the hardest parts is not being able to eat all of those sweet and addicting snacks that you used to. A lot of foods will no longer be options for you, as they’re just so filled with sugar and other unhealthy additives.
For example, candy is not going to be a major part of your diet. The amount of sugar in a candy bar is simply too high compared to what you should be eating on a regular day. On top of that, the number of calories that a candy bar will give you is so high compared to how many calories you need in a day, you’ll find yourself starving if you’re trying to include them all the time.
Beyond candy, there are plenty of other unhealthy foods that won’t be a regular part of your diet. Pizza, fast food, and other greasy high calorie foods. The amount of calories in these will simply blow through the number of calories you need to eat in a day that you’ll find yourself going over. As you’ve learned to control your eating habits, some of these foods may find their way into your diet, but they shouldn’t be regular attendees.
In order to remove these foods as a regular part of your diet you should consider doing what is called a cheat meal, or cheat day. What this means is that for 6 days a week, you’re following a very strict diet and watching what you are eating. On the 7th day, you get to have a cheat meal.
A cheat meal can consist of basically any food that you want and desire. I’m a huge pizza fan, so often my cheat meals consist of pizza, french fries, or chips. I may indulge in ice cream, or some other candy more than I normally would on a given day.
Including a cheat meal is meant to help you make it through the week. Having a cheat meal every day is what you were doing before trying to change your eating habits. Moving to a single cheat meal per week, you are now forcing yourself to eat healthy throughout the week, and then eat unhealthy once a week.
This is a psychological game that you use to help talk yourself out of eating unhealthy throughout the week. You will give yourself a reward on a specific day by eating healthy the other days of the week. Your mind will recognize that it will get the snack it wants, just not right at the current moment.
The longer you learn to eat healthy, the longer you’ll learn to stretch your cheat meals out to. Some people remove cheat meals altogether from their diet, but many do not. I’ve been eating healthy for 10 years and still include cheat meals in my diet.
Cheat meals can be absolutely anything you want. Every person has their own tastes, so the things that you like or don’t like will affect what you eat. Your goal is to eliminate the unhealthy foods throughout the week so that you’re only eating them for one meal during the week - try not to extend it into too much more than that or you will start to undo the good work you’ve done.
Making a diet change is hard. Make a cheat meal something that happens once a week in order to help you successfully change your diet.