Learn to balance healthy eating with “cheat” meals.

A well-known concept in the health and weight loss realm is that of a “cheat day” or “cheat meal”. Many people think that having a cheat meal means to completely blow your diet and lose all concept of self-control in the name of indulgence. However, planning is almost as critical when it comes to what you’ll consume for your cheat meal as it is for your regular eating plan. Mitigating the possible risks to your goals during this important time of indulgence is critically important.

One way to keep yourself on track while also allowing small indulgences is to open a full container of junk food – like chips, cookies, or crackers – and separating it into many smaller portion-sized bags. This eliminates the urge to mindlessly snack on a full bag of treats, blowing your entire diet in one sitting. Packing one small “cheat” snack in your lunch on certain days can also keep you from succumbing to food cravings and buying junk food from the vending machine or fast food restaurant.

Another strategy for ensuring that you don’t over-indulge is by creating your own portions. Always fully read the entire food label so that you’re able to make an informed decision. Consider defining your own portion though – don’t just go by what the food company defines for you. Perhaps the manufacturer has suggested a serving size that has 30 g of sugar, but you’re not comfortable blowing through that much sugar in one sitting. Redefine the serving to ½ the size defined on the package. By doing this, you still get to enjoy the taste of the food, but you don’t have to consume the full amount of calories.

Planning your cheat meal after knowing all the facts is the best way to become educated and implement a long-term game plan for your health.

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