It’s very easy to get carried away when you finally get your cheat days. The idea behind cheat days is that you routinely have food that may be slightly unhealthy, in order to avoid the intense craving that you would feel if you kept off it for very long, and which would most likely make you binge eat. So how do you make sure you can have your cake and eat it too?
It’s all about planning.
Cheat Days Planning begins now…
You may have to dig a little deeper, and find out nutritional information about your indulge. For example, if you are going to a place where both pizza and paratha is available, paratha is an equally yummy but better choice, because it contains more nutrients than pizza. Or you could choose a multigrain pizza with lean meat toppings.
Another strategy is to eat calorie-high food in the day if possible. The later after 7 or 9 pm you eat it, the more difficult it is to assimilate it properly. If you do have to eat at night, try filling up with fibre and salads before getting onto the pastas and chawals.
Sharing is also a great idea. Take sizzlers for example. If you share them, you can choose some of the greens, some of the meat and some of the rice/noodles. You don’t get loaded on the fattening food. Similarly, for desserts, sharing means 2 spoons of a sugar loaded dessert instead of 10. Not to mention the fact that cost gets shared too!
An idea that seems to help a lot of people, both psychologically with the ‘guilt’ and physically by maintaining the calories, if not losing them, is to work out after the heavy indulge meal. If it’s too late to go to the gym, then long hours of shopping can also do the trick! Or you could walk home from the venue where you ate. Another idea is to go home and work it out or dance it off to YouTube fitness videos. Therefore, you are done and dusted with the day’s guilt before the day even ends. Also, don’t weigh yourself the day after cheating! The temporary gain may discourage you.
Another major area where you have to be mindful is alcohol intake. Although it may be just one night of drinking, you may undo the effects of your entire week’s effort if you don’t think through. Find out what alcohol types are available where you are going and which is least fattening, and limit your intake accordingly. You may not be able to think a whole lot after you have had the alcohol!
The fundamental idea then, is to not eat nothing, but at the same time, not eat without thinking. You cannot keep taking cheat days often. You have to be careful and plan it well. Given that you follow the above suggestions and come up with some of your own given your unique life and food situations, you should be able to cheat without worrying too much about adverse effects on your fitness levels.
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