12 tips on how to approach them and maintain a healthy lifestyle!
There are two sides to the argument. There are those who are all for it, and those who are against it for many reasons. A few reasons we’ve heard include
you shouldn’t reward healthy behaviour with unhealthy behaviour
it can steer your off track,
or our (least) favourite
they lead to shame and guilt.
Many on the opposing side of cheats believe that by allowing yourself to live a little bit, you are fueling the addiction further and creating a more negative relationship with food.
We whole heartedly disagree… and we think these people need to chill.
We are here to share tips on how we’ve successfully integrated weekly cheat meals/drinks/treats into our lifestyle for the last 11 years as a way to maintain our weight.
If you’re following our journey, know that we are not one of those stereotypical fitness influencers.
We don’t eat boring food…ever, we eat a lot of carbs, and we don’t do anything extreme with our diet. We loooove food. Like we really love food. There are people that say they “love food”…. and then there’s us- the downright obsessed. We’ll be eating lunch while planning what we are having for dinner. While meditating before bed, we think about breakfast. LOL. The list goes on and the obsession is real.
Because of this, we’ve never been the girls who has successfully stuck with extreme diets and we’ve always strived to have healthy balance in my meals. We’ve found ways to make my favourite foods healthy and tasty, which has been great for day to day maintenance. But, the foodie in us loves a good unhealthy pizza, pasta, burger, fries, or a patty with coco bread!
We work so hard to maintain this lifestyle; it’s not easy. If you live it, you understand. Allowing ourselves to truly live a little (every now and again) helps us continue our journey forward.
Cheat Meals make us smile
We couple ‘not so healthy’ meals with our healthy lifestyle and we are never left feeling without.
Contrary to what many believe, cheats haven’t ruined our relationship with food because we’ve confronted and dealt with our deep rooted issues [with food] head on. We’re able to articulate what our triggers are when it comes to emotional eating, and we never use cheats as a bandaid or comfort for any of our issues. They are a treat and only that.
If you haven’t confronted and dealt with your negative relationship with food, cheats may not be the greatest idea for you, yet. But if you have and feel confident in your journey – then LIVE A LITTLE.
The ways in which we’ve (successfully) integrated cheats are shared below. Yes, it takes a certain level of self-control, but once you’ve got your method down right- it’s smooth sailing from there.
Whenever we post a picture of us enjoying a cheat meal on social, we are always asked how we do it and manage self-control. So we put together these tips on how we’ve integrated them in our lifestyle successfully over the years.
Tip 1: Create parameters. Over the years, we’ve allowed ourselves a cheat meal (usually pizza), a cheat snack (usually chocolate) and a few cheat drinks (usually wine) each week. We couple these not-so-healthy meals with a daily healthy lifestyle so we are never left feeling without. We also create parameters and practice control within each cheat. We won’t binge on a whole pizza, instead, we’ll enjoy a few slices. We won’t down a whole bottle of wine (despite our true desires), instead, we’ll have just a glass. We’ll enjoy the burger or the fries. If you’re just starting out with cheats, you may even want to create more tangible parameters to help get you started. For many of our clients, we create a caloric range they should stay within. It’s the only time we recommend looking at macros in an effort to maintain portion control with the unhealthy choices.
Tip 2: Never force it. Some weeks you are feeling so on top of the world with your health journey that you don’t crave a cheat. So don’t have one! There are many weeks that pass by where we don’t indulge, and that’s okay! But when you do feel the need, you enjoy it! Because we’ve allowed ourselves to realize that it’s okay.
Tip 3: H2O is key! Leading up to (and immediately after) a cheat meal/drink/snack, we always guzzle more water than we would typically consume. This is the best way (for us) to eliminate tummy aches or discomfort caused from the not-so-easy-to-digest ingredients found in most of our cheat meals. It just helps things flow.