3:00 AM 4th February 2023
7 Top Tips To Stop Cheat Meals Ruining Your Diet
Image by Werner Heiber from Pixabay
There are lots of different diets, but regardless of why you are dieting, it will inevitably involve following a pre-determined eating plan and giving up some of your favourite foods. Unfortunately, following a restrictive diet can lead to feelings of deprivation, cravings, and hunger.
Patrick Dale, personal trainer and fitness expert at FitnessVolt.com has prepared this guide to help stop cheat meals from overtaking your health.
1. Make a schedule
If you don’t plan your cheat meals in advance, you are much more likely to cheat. So, choose a day and a time for your cheat meal and commit to maintaining your diet right up to that point. Knowing when your cheat meal is due to happen gives you something to look forward to and may stop you from cheating more often.
2. Don’t have more than one cheat meal
A cheat meal is exactly that – a single meal or snack. Don’t let your cheat meal roll over into the next day or the weekend. So, try not to schedule your cheat for a Friday night.
3. Cheating isn’t bingeing
There is a huge difference between a rewarding cheat meal and a junk food binge. After a week of healthy eating, you may feel ready to eat your entire body weight in ice cream or pizza. Instead, practice sensible portion control to avoid turning a cheat meal into a binge. Order regular-sized portions of cheat food instead.
4. Exercise first
You can make the effects of your cheat meal less impactful by eating shortly after exercise. Intense workouts mean at least some of your excess calories and nutrients will be used for fuel or driven away from your fat stores.
5. Don’t keep junk at home
If lack of willpower means you cannot resist junk food at home, make your home a junk food-free zone. Don’t buy cheat foods to store for later, it will just tempt you into breaking your healthy habits.
6. Don’t cheat at the start of your diet
Be honest and base your cheat meal frequency on where you are in relation to your goal. The closer you are, the more cheat meals you can afford. But, if you’ve still got a long way to go, you need to focus on dietary compliance, and even planned cheats could make sticking to your diet harder than it needs to be.
7. Keep eating healthy
It’s all too easy to let a cheat meal become a cheat day. Instead, break the cycle by ensuring that your next meal adheres to your current diet. Think of your cheat meal as “one and done.” The sooner you get back to your regular diet, the faster you’ll get back on track toward your goals.
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