What Is A Cheat Meal?
When it comes to eating healthy we all deserve a cheat meal to celebrate our dedication. But what exactly is a cheat meal?
A cheat, by definition and connotation, is just a bad thing to do. But we hear the phrase ‘cheat meal’ or ‘cheat day’ all the time in health and fitness circles. This article from Tosca Reno, author of The Eat Clean Diet will help explain why a ‘cheat’ is still a bad thing, until you give it a new name….TREAT.
“Eating Clean is a lifestyle choice, which means you adapt it to fit your life. If you must have birthday cake, then have it. Eating Clean is flexible, meaning you can celebrate – in moderation, and with thought. Over time as an Eat-Clean Diet follower, you will easily apply an Eat-Clean lens to each meal of the day, allowing you to make intelligent decisions about eating. You will be able to look at a meal and decide whether or not it is “Clean.” The decision often comes down to this: Clean foods you feel good about and not-so-Clean foods you know are not the best but still like to eat on occasion. The latter often get a bad rap and are referred to as “cheats.”
Cheats are feared by dieters! When you “cheat” you become overwhelmed with guilt and heartbreak. You’ve let yourself down and feel like a failure. This may lead you into a downward spiral where your cheats happen each day or even each meal, ruining any progress you have made and causing you to throw in the towel. But this doesn’t have to happen.
Instead of looking at a cheat meal this way you may instead call them a treat meal. A treat indicates something positive or a reward for good behavior. But even as a child you don’t receive treats all the time. So we have to stay aware of how often we choose to have a treat meal. Treats will be around for us all the time. So having the will power to not over indulge is the way to stay on track. Having ice cream after a week of eating clean or a glass of wine on a Friday night can be more enjoyable when done in moderation.
Making the mind set switch to thinking of a treat instead of a cheat is an effective way to stay on track with your nutrition without the guilt. This treat has not sabotaged your progress and gosh darn it you earned it!