Cheat Day Meal List:
1) Breakfast – 1 slice of whole wheat bread with peanut butter and jelly; juice from half a banana; and coffee or tea.
If you are not hungry at breakfast time, then you will feel full later during the day. You can eat anything before your morning meal but make sure it is something that does not contain any refined sugar. For example, don’t eat fruit because it contains fructose which causes weight gain.
2) Lunch – A light salad such as iceberg lettuce with tomatoes, cucumber, red onion and avocado.
No cheese or fat free dressing. Eat a little bit of protein such as chicken or fish.
3) Dinner – Fruit and vegetable smoothie made with fresh fruits and vegetables.
Make sure it is low calorie so you will not get hungry at dinner time. Don’t drink too much water because it makes you thirsty when you wake up in the night due to dehydration.
4) Snack – One piece of fruit and one piece of nuts.
Avoid sweet foods like candy, cakes, cookies, ice cream etc. They cause weight gain.
5) Late Night Snacks – These include yogurt with berries or applesauce with honey.
Make sure they are low calorie and not high in sugar content since these types of snacks increase hunger and cravings later in the evening. All you have to do is be smart about it and eliminate refined sugars and eat healthy. Refined sugars are the types of foods that give you a quick burst of energy followed by an inevitable crash.
This causes your body to crave more food since it is used to the quick fix, so eliminate this from your diet.
Reasons Why You Should Cheat Once In A While
Keeps Your Mind Off Food: When you have a cheat meal once in a while, it keeps your mind off of food. When people diet, they deprive themselves of foods they really want and as a result they end up thinking about those foods all the time leading to a binge. If you have a cheat meal every once in awhile it takes away that mental edge that prevents you from focusing on anything but food.
Helps You Stick To Your Diet: It is easier to diet when you have a cheat meal scheduled every once in awhile. This is because you know that you can have that meal and it won’t affect your goals. You will be less likely to cheat on your diet if you don’t allow yourself any cheat meals.
Cheat Days Keep Your Goal In Perspective: When you have a cheat meal on a regular basis, your goal of losing weight doesn’t seem so far away and unreachable. It keeps your goal in perspective. If you didn’t cheat at all, then you may feel that you are depriving yourself and may eventually give up your diet completely because you feel deprived.
Everything In Moderation: Eating healthy is good but so is having a cheat meal every once in awhile. Like everything else in life, you need to have a cheat meal once in awhile to keep your sanity. If you were dieting and not eating anything that you liked or missed then it may eventually become too much for you to handle.
It is always good to enjoy life and not deprive yourself of everything.
How Many Cheat Meals Should You Have?
If you are serious about losing weight then you should plan out your cheat meals on a weekly basis. A good way to do this is by planning three cheat meals every seven days. So if you eat breakfast, lunch and dinner five times a week then that means you get seven meals to have a little fun and enjoy yourself.
What Should Your Cheat Meals Consist Of?
Your seven meals can consist of anything you like as long as they are healthy cheat meal options and you don’t go overboard. A general guideline would be to have a cheat meal that consists of something you really like every time you sit down to eat. Some examples could be:
Wine and cheese
Ice cream and cake
Half a pizza
Burger and fries
Popsicle and candy bar
These are just some suggestions of what you could have for your cheat meals. If you aren’t sure what your favorite foods are yet, then try everything and see what you like. You can also try different combinations of foods you think sound good at the time.
For example if you are craving red meat but don’t want a big fatty steak, try a lean hamburger patty instead.
What If I Want To Cheat On A Different Day?
Well that’s great! Sometimes we all need to live a little and enjoy our lives a little more often. The above suggestions are just guidelines of what you could have.
The real question is what about days that don’t have the seven meals in them like weekends or special occasions?
On weekends you are free to eat whatever you want, just try not to go overboard. Try to stay with the same guidelines of three meals that aren’t on your diet and the seven smaller meals spread out during the day. As for special occasions, it isn’t a good idea to go off your diet completely because you are likely to gain more weight than you are prepared to lose. However, you can still enjoy yourself without going overboard.
If you know there is a special occasion coming up like a wedding, birthday party or a big sporting event, start a diet program a couple of days before the event so that you aren’t tempted to go crazy during it. By doing this you have already decided to enjoy your cake and drink at the event without overindulging and ruining all your hard work that you’ve done so far.
The key to a successful diet is preparation. If you know there is something coming up that you have no self-control around then either avoid going there altogether or find something else to do while you are there. You can’t say you haven’t tried if you planned on going there and didn’t because of your diet instead of just saying, “Oh, what the heck, I’ve already blown my diet so much today that one slice of cake won’t hurt”.
Keep in mind that by doing this you are making it easier to stick to your diet and live a longer and healthier life. Be sure to always keep this in mind when you feel the urge to cheat or go overboard.
You can always have those things you are craving before you actually eat them. For example you could go to the bakery and get a coffee with skim milk and no sugar before going grocery shopping. While you are there you can also get an apple or a couple of carrots to snack on until you can have your meal.
If it is something you are really craving, go ahead and have a small taste before moving on with your day.
Just be prepared for those times when nothing else will do but the real thing. If you have planned properly and stayed as close to your diet as possible, you shouldn’t have to worry about going off of it completely. If it is something that you really want then go ahead and have the real thing instead of a low-fat substitute.
Just don’t do it too often and get right back on your diet afterwards. Remember that nothing good ever comes from completely blowing your diet on a regular basis. It is always better to eat a small portion of something you really want instead of eating too much of something that isn’t as desirable.
Take it one day at a time. If you can do this then you will always be successful in maintaining your weight. It isn’t an easy task, but if you dedicate yourself to it and give it time, then you can live a much healthier life.
Diets aren’t just for women and there is no reason why men shouldn’t start taking better care of themselves now too. I hope some of this information has been helpful to you in some way. I know it wouldn’t hurt me if men thought about their health just a little bit more.
Thanks for reading and Good Luck!
Sources & references used in this article:
Consumer style and health: The role of impulsive buying in unhealthy eating by J Wardle, L Marsland, Y Sheikh, M Quinn, I Fedoroff… – Appetite, 1992 – Elsevier
Failing at fairness: How America’s schools cheat girls by B Verplanken, AG Herabadi, JA Perry… – Psychology & …, 2005 – Taylor & Francis