Including cheat meals in your diet can be a relief if you are on a restrictive diet plan. Eating the same food every day can become boring, which is one of the reasons many people leave dieting. A restrictive diet plan can also lead to increased cravings and unnecessary hunger.
People tend to skip social gatherings to avoid eating junk food, which could give rise to issues in our social life. However, cheat meals can be included in the diet in a well-planned manner without hampering all your progress with weight loss or muscle gain. Discipline and consistency with your fitness goals can permit some flexibility to enjoy your favorite delicacies.
This article discusses various ways to incorporate the meals you enjoy into your current fitness regime.
Ways to Incorporate Cheat Meals in Your Diet
We are already aware that cheat meals are not healthy enough to be consumed regularly. Follow these easy guidelines to include the foods you love:
1) Plan your meals in advance
On a well-planned diet, you can limit the number of cheat meals and keep track of them. Try limiting these foods to once a week without hampering your weight loss journey. If you are on a keto diet, you can try out meals that are low-carb to keep your ketosis going. Write down all your meals in a planner and mark the days when you eat anything outside your diet.
2) Choose foods that you enjoy
When you are eating something that is not included in your diet, try to include the foods you truly like. This can bring satiety and reduce cravings. These hunger pangs and cravings are generally due to an emotional attachment to certain foods you tend to enjoy. Do not deprive yourself of the happiness you get while eating your favorite dishes. Try including nutrient-dense vegetables in your cheat meals.
3) It's not a cheat day!
Remember, it's just a meal and not your entire day. You can cheat on one to two meals per week, but don't give up on your diet for the whole day. This might lead to a complete waste of all the progress you made over the week. Satisfying your cravings does not mean skipping your diet for a day. It's more of a way to keep yourself happy without going off track entirely. One or two such meals can effectively manage diet fatigue and stress.
4) Hit the gym before a cheat meal
Don't want to lose your progress? Try hitting the gym before you eat anything not part of your diet. This will not only physically help you, but will also give you the confidence to continue your fitness journey even after a cheat meal. Even if it is a rest day, try doing some light workouts to boost your metabolism.
5) Moderation is the key
Don't binge! It's just a meal and hence try to eat regular amounts. You can keep a few items and skip a few. For example, you can have your favorite burger but skip the fries. Even such small steps contribute immensely to your fitness goals. If you are not hungry, try to skip the items instead of overeating. Try making healthy snacks to continue your weight loss journey on cheat meals.
6) Cheat meals can be nutritious too
The best way to choose your meal is to look for food items that have some nutritional value. Cheat meals containing chicken, cheese, fish, eggs, and veggies carry nutrients that definitely count. There are six categories of nutrients required by our body and providing at least a few of them can still be healthier than junk food.
7) Drink plenty of water
Water is essential for all the cells in your body and helps keep the metabolic processes running. Water can reduce excess hunger and cravings as well. Drinking plenty of water can also improve digestion.
It is often depressing to eat the same foods every day when following a strict diet. To overcome this problem, cheat meals can be included once a week. It has to be kept in mind that choosing the right food can be safe and sustainable in a strict diet plan. A balanced diet is crucial to reach your fitness goals.