Healthy Eating 101: What You Need to Know About Cheat Meals

healthy meal in a skillet

Most people think that going on a weight loss journey means automatically ditching all the foods you love. However, this type of approach to weight loss could actually result in obsessing over forbidden treats and more cravings. Most weight-loss experts even recommend splurging when you’re dieting. The key is to control and be mindful of what to eat, when to eat, and how much to eat. That being said, below are some tips on how to cheat when dieting and still shed those unwanted pounds:

  • Go for food that will make you full whenever possible such as fiber and lean proteins. Incorporate whole grains, eggs, veggies, fruits, salads, soups based on broths, low-fat dairy, seafood, and lean meats since these will make you fuller and tame your cravings. You should also start eating healthy snacks to avoid going for long periods without having anything in your stomach.
  • Embrace your favourite splurge foods. Your cravings for that Korean burger in your go-to restaurant will always be there. And you’re well aware that when you tell people not to do something, chances are that they’ll be more inclined to do it — the same goes for eating forbidden food items.
  • Opt to splurge on foods you really love because a cheat meal should be made up of your favourite treats. Rather than splurging on bacon and sausages every morning and downing all those unwanted calories, splurge on your favourites, such as that perfect Korean burger you love so much.
  • Have your cheat meals, but in tiny portions. You can eat tasty food, but don’t overdo it and not just in one day. Basically, always be mindful of your portions when eating cheat meals. For example, if you must have chocolate every day, opt for dark chocolate. A good tip is to keep it in the freezer so you can savor it since it will melt slowly. A couple of small bites is perfectly fine even if you eat it every day.
  • Always have a plan when eating out. Check out the menu of the restaurant online so you can efficiently budget your calories before you head out and spend them on what you love eating.
  • Learn the art of compromising with yourself. For instance, if you love sweet tea, go for the unsweetened variety with a dash of natural sweetener. If you should have some sort of cream with your creamy turkey salad, go ahead but lower the calorie count by replacing the mayonnaise with low-fat yogurt.
  • Accept that you will fall off the wagon at some point, multiple times. When you do slip up, write down how you were feeling during that time and why you felt the need to go off the track so you can try to anticipate and deal with your triggers when they come.

hawaiian pizza

Keep in mind that almost anyone can follow a restrictive weight loss diet, but for how long is the real question. Sooner or later, most people will fall off the wagon and overindulge on all the foods they have been avoiding. Sensible splurging and mindful eating is the key to achieve a sustainable and healthy weight loss diet.

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