Cheat Day Guideline.
Instead of cheat meals or a cheat day, try these three strategies, which can help foster a positive relationship with food:
Make it a point to enjoy food you would typically have only on a “cheat day” on any random day. Since many people plan cheat days on a weekend, this could be having a cupcake or a burger and fries on a Tuesday, for example. By easing into this mindset, these foods are available to you at all times, and that it’s more than ok to eat them in moderation when you choose to. These “guilt foods” will then have less power over you and reduce your chances of overeating or bingeing and help you stick to a healthy, balanced diet.
Instead of feeling like you’re overwhelmed by your food cravings and continuing a diet you are not happy with (which can cause food guilt, shame and bingeing), honour them. Our bodies have a unique and specialized way of telling us what we need, we just have to be better listeners. For example, if you’re out at a restaurant and are really craving a burger, but order a salad instead, chances are it’s not going to be the most satisfying. Cue persistent thoughts about food, low-level hunger and crankiness until you eat something else. Honoring the burger craving and taking the time to eat mindfully and really savor it, can lead to a much greater satisfaction after the meal and instill positive, uplifting thoughts that can motivate you to work harder.
Nourishment is can be best explained of how we take care of ourselves both physically and emotionally. When it comes to food, this means that sometimes, the most nourishing choice we can make is to add another serving of vegetables to our plate. Other times, we just really need a cookie. Both are ok and nourishing to the body, soul or both when we need them. What is going to be nourishing to you one day may be different the next, so being mindful and open to what you need to best take care of yourself is an invaluable tool.