It had been a month that I was dieting. In order to reduce weight, I even chucked eating out or going out with friends. Then, I failed to understand what happened to me, one fine evening. I took out a tub of ice-cream from the refrigerator and finished it off in one serving. Till date, I feel guilty of doing so. I even felt that the hard work of an entire month had gone for a toss for a tub of ice-cream. I visited my friend, who also happens to be a dietitian. She assured me that there was nothing wrong in it. She even advised me on how to cheat on a diet and why we should actually plan to cheat. I followed her advice and even managed to lose some inches. Here are some things that I kept in mind.
Yes, You Can Definitely Cheat
You read it right. It’s okay to cheat in diets. In fact, you should plan to cheat on your weight-loss diet, every once in a while. There are different ways in which you can cheat on your diet. For instance, you prepare a cheat-diet yourself or cheat when you are invited to a party or you cheat when you feel depressed. While the last one should be avoided at all counts, the first two ways are not something to worry about.
Have a Plan in Place
Whenever you want to cheat on your diet, have a plan in place. Behave like a strategist. Decide on the place you will cheat and also the timing. Decide upon the food that you are cheating on. Pre-plan the meals before and after the cheating meal. This way, you can avoid emotional eating while cheating. Also, decide upon the portion for cheating meal. It is okay to eat cheat meals, but do not go overboard with portions ever. Whenever I am going to cheat, I make sure that I get my favourite food from the favourite place. This is because earlier it used to happen that in spite of cheating I did not enjoy the food at all. It made it worse for me because of guilt.
Balance Nice and Naughty
When you diet, you can be naughty only if you have been nice throughout. This means that you are allowed to splurge on cheating only when you have been honestly dieting all this time. This is because when you eat a calorie-laden cheat meal between strict dieting, it will do no harm to your body. In fact, it would benefit it. The reason being cheat meals are known to trick your mind into making it believe that there is food to use for burning. It helps in boosting your metabolism and even the leptin hormone in the body.
Do Not Go Overboard
At times, in order to cheat on a diet, people go overboard by not consuming calories for several days prior to the cheat meal. However, this creates major imbalance. If you deprive yourself of calories and then opt for a cheat meal, then you are most likely to go overboard by stuffing yourself with calories. Eat well and then go for a cheat meal. This way, you will be able to control the portion. Further, do not opt for a cheat day. You are not allowed to cheat for an entire day or a week while dieting. You should just opt for a cheat meal. Cheating frequently will wash away all the hard work you did.
Eat Well Before Cheating
As I wrote earlier, do not starve yourself before the cheat meal. Eat high-protein meal that is low on calories for lunch, if you are opting for a cheat meal at dinner. Even before you go for the meal, eat some fresh salads. This way, you will not be tempted to eat mindlessly. When you are satiated before a meal, you are the most likely to eat healthy.
Work Out Before You Eat Out
When you work out, you burn sugar present in your system. This way, when you gorge on some calorie-laden creamy pasta, it will not end up at the wrong places. You can do some high intensity exercise before showing up for dinner. The duration does not matter – even 15-20 of exercise will help. You can even take a pre-workout supplement like black coffee to further boost your training.
Limit Your Options
When I opt out for a meal, I decide beforehand what I shall be eating. I make sure that my mind is not tempted to give in to the cravings for all type of food. Nowadays, menus of the restaurant are available online. I check it out, decide on the order and then head out for dinner. When I decide on the order in the comfort of my home, without any pressure, I order judiciously.
Don’t Give In
It is very easy to give in to the temptations. Just eat one cheat meal with a single serving. Do not opt for multiple meals. If possible, you should order salads with the cheat meal that you are opting for. Make sure that even the cheat meal is nutritious. If you opt for pasta, then go for pasta with veggies or spinach puree. This way, you ensure that there is fiber in your food.
Don’t Eat While Watching
Whenever I watch television, I am tempted to munch on something, even if immediately after dinner. While watching television, we are not able to judge our portions and meals. We are likely to go overboard with calories.
Drink sufficient amount of water throughout on the day when you are going out for cheat meal. Even before the order arrives, stay hydrated. Meals prepared at restaurant are high on sodium. This requires to be digested with the help of water. The meal, at time, is even toxic. So, make sure that you slurp some fresh lemon juice, with no sugar, to flush out the toxins out of the body.
While You Are Cheating
It is very important to not to feel guilty while you are cheating. Enjoy every morsel of your cheat diet. Immerse yourself in the taste and savor the food that you missed out on for several days. This will even help you realize when your tummy is full and prevent you from going overboard.
Get Out of the Cheat Meals
It is difficult to get out of the cheat meals. Once you cheat on your diet, you feel so good that you give in to the temptations. Even if you have cheated on two meals in one day, you need to get out of this. It is okay to cheat on just two meals, rather than for several together. If you do not stop now, you will be stuffing on calories continuously.
Cheating on a diet can make you feel guilty. Instead of feeling guilty, plan ahead for a cheat diet. This way, you will be sure of how many calories you are consuming. Do not feel bad about cheating. Even cheating is good at times. It prevents you from going overboard suddenly.