The cheat meal, cheat day, and cheat weekend are all familiar obstacles to brides following a wedding day diet. While it’s important for all diets to have some wiggle room, there are a few problems with the “cheat” system. The emotional drawback is that cheating has a negative connotation. The physical drawback is that too many cheats can derail a week of hard work.
You’d feel guilty if you cheated on a test or on your husband, so don’t feel surprised when you find yourself feeling guilty about pizza night. Guilt is a dieting no-no because it leads to self-sabotaging emotional behaviors. Emotions (positive and negative) should be kept far away from your eating habits. A cheat of any size is never a reason to punish your body by binging or by starving yourself.
I find that “treat” works a lot better because, hey, you deserve to have a treat every once in a while! It’s also best to stay mentally aware while indulging in a treat. By acknowledging that your treat is allowed and deserved, you won’t have any reason to punish yourself.
Cheaters Gone Wild
Now that you’ve recognized that you’re deserving of a treat, let’s do a quick reality check. Treats are great, but they can derail your weight loss efforts when done incorrectly. A Monday to Friday diet with crazy weekends won’t net much of a calorie deficit (it may even create a surplus). Even a full treat day can quickly get out of control. The safest strategy is the treat meal. Make sure that your treats are foods that you truly enjoy or you may find yourself fighting the urge to treat yourself again the next day. You may find that as you adopt healthier overall eating habits, your definition of a treat may change. As long as you are enjoying the meal and taking time to not worry about your diet, then the treat meal is working for you.
Treats are an important part of all diet plans. If the plan you’re currently following doesn’t allow you to have a night or two off, then it’s probably too extreme. There is always room to treat yourself as part of a moderate diet.