I’ve had a couple of people ask me this recently so let’s jump in.
First of all, what is a cheat meal?
Basically, a cheat meal is where you give yourself permission to eat whatever you want, and it usually involves a lot of junk food.
Some dieters have a specific cheat meal, whereas other people have a cheat day.
But I’m not judging you!
I used to do it.
I’d spend all week living on rice cakes and salad, depriving myself of all the foods I actually wanted to eat, when Friday evening came – I went mental.
I’d demolish a tub of ice cream, a packet of family-sized salt and vinegar chips, and liquorice allsorts.
I’d go CRAZY.
That was my go to cheat meal.
After living on rice cakes all week, it felt so good to eat unencumbered.
I’d obsess about what I was going to binge on at my cheat meal all week.
Ironically, I’d consume so many calories in the form of junk in that one cheat meal, I’d completely undo any calorie deficit I’d created during the week.
And sadly, there were no vitamins, minerals or nourishment in that cheat meal.
Doesn’t work for sustainable or joyful weight loss.
Cheat meals are a popular trend in the fitness industry.
Some people say it’s good to get all your cravings out in one go and shock your metabolism – many bodybuilders use it as a weight loss strategy.
If it is working for you – yay, keep on doing what works.
But I’m going to make the assumption that you’re not a bodybuilder.
If you’re like the women I work with, extreme dieting combined with cheat meals is a miserable way to live your life.
It’s punishing and oppressive and rigid.
And it doesn’t work for weight loss!!!
Having eliminated cheat days from my life, I literally eat what I want.
And yes that includes cake!
But now, mostly what I crave is real food – veges, fruit, and ‘real’ food jam-packed with vitamins and minerals.
Ditch the cheat meal as a first step.
As a first step to creating peace with food, I encourage you to ditch the cheat day mentality and instead focus on nourishing your body.
Have a lovely week!
Love etc, Avril
PS: If you’d like to cultivate a more peaceful relationship with food that doesn’t involve guilt, or shame or cheat days and – where no food is off-limits – why not come on over to Peace With Food.