Rather than seeing cheat meals as a failure or resulting from a lack of willpower they’ve become an important part of my strategy.
At time of writing I’m into my 15th week of my weight loss journey. While in the past I’ve always viewed any deviation from the food plan as a failure on my part I’ve come to rely on cheat meals as a way of resetting my approach when for one reason or another I may be going astray.
Spoiler the “when” isn’t “whenever you fancy”…..sorry.
Dieting and weight loss is not especially complicated but it is incredibly hard. In the simplest of terms you are using calorie manipulation to deprive your body of fuel forcing it to use its fat stores, essentially going against one of the most basic survival mechanisms our body has. When you do this you put a strain on the body. This strain doesn’t have to be extreme and can be managed with the right approach but it is a strain nonetheless. You also have to balance your life, this could be work, studies, family, business or all of the above. Throw into the mix your new habits such as gym bags, meal preps and extra well-needed rest and its no surprise that from time to time your life will begin to get out of balance. This is where the cheat meal or off plan night can comes into play.
Your cheat meal, cheat night or even cheat day must be taken because there is a clear need for something to be fixed. So if there is a reason you need to go off plan today, one of the conditions of going off plan is that you must solve the reason tomorrow. As an example if you’ve had a rough couple of days and you’re feeling run-down, eating a take away and getting an early night that sets you up for a week of compliance is fine. Sitting up drinking until the early hours so that you feel worse the following day is significantly less helpful. Additionally if you have nothing set up for dinner and are reaching for the take away menu, you could try to balance that with prepping some meals for the following days while you wait.