Perfection is almost impossible to achieve when it comes to eating habits. Everyone, even the most dedicated healthy eater, occasionally experiences cravings for cakes, burgers, and pasta, and denying yourself for too long will only make the temptation grow. The good news: You can cheat on your diet without packing on unwanted pounds. Want to find out how?
Keep reading for five tips to cheat your diet and still come out on top!
If you’re planning to take a break from your diet for a special occasion or event, hit the gym a little bit harder in the days leading up. The calorie burning continues even after your workout ends, so time your indulgence accordingly. Also, it’s much easier to burn off extra calories beforehand, than it is to play catch up after the fact. With this tactic, you’ll also feel less guilt and actually take pleasure in your cheat meal, which is the most important part.
As most of us know, cooking at home is almost always healthier than dining out or buying processed products at the grocery store. Preparing your own cheat meals allows you to customize any dish and cut calories as you see fit. Have a craving for something sweet? Whip up some chocolate chip cookies in your kitchen—but add less sugar. If you want pizza, use whole-grain flour and hold the pepperoni. You’ll appreciate each bite even more when you’ve put the time and effort in to prepare it.
We’ve all heard that quality is better than quantity—and that principle definitely applies here. If it’s bad for your diet, you better make it amazing. Treat yourself to the croissant you really love from your favorite bakery, not a dry powdered sugar donut hole you picked up on the way to work, because you didn’t plan ahead. Eating a sub-par substitute in hopes of satisfying that craving will undoubtedly backfire, and you’ll end up eating both.
Let’s be honest: Maintaining a diet and exercise regimen is no easy task. It takes time and dedication. You put in too much effort to dismiss your goals for an entire day. Spoil yourself with a cheat meal once or twice a week when you’re really craving something special. Snacking on junk all day is not what your body really wants or needs. It will also make it more difficult to jump back on the healthy train the next day. Think of a cheat meal as a little reward to keep you motivated during the week, not an excuse to binge.
On the same note, just because it’s a cheat meal doesn’t mean you have to go overboard. One or two cookies are more than enough to curb your craving. You don’t need to devour the whole batch. You pay attention to your portions for every other meal, so don’t stop now.
Also, make sure to take your time. Chew slowly and really taste every bite. Think about your food as you’re eating it and enjoy the entire experience. Turn off the TV, sit at the table, and savor the flavors.
Will you try any of these tips? Let us know in the comments!