My first tip for sticking to your weight loss goals is finding a healthy balance. This is what my entire blog is all about. It is really hard to succeed if you completely deprive yourself of the things you enjoy, but it is also hard to succeed if you allow yourself to over indulge.
Allowing for a cheat meal once a week is a way to avoid feeling deprived while you are being conscientious about what you are eating. It’s best to allow for a cheat meal not day because those calories can seriously add up and reverse the progress you’ve made throughout the week. It’s best to think about the bigger picture and not just that day. For instance… one pound is equivalent to 3,500 calories, right? So imagine you normally consume around 2000 calories…. likely you wouldn’t go too far above that if you replaced your normal dinner with say, a slice of pizza or two. Lets imagine those 2 slices of pizza are around 700 calories (which is pretty close to what it would actually be) and that would only be a 300-400 increase from your normal dinner so that would make your total daily calorie intake for your cheat meal day 2400 calories. This small increase would do little to impact your progress.
Using this same example of a normal 2,000 calorie consumption, say that you decide you want to go out for breakfast and have pancakes, eggs, bacon, and orange juice. That meal alone is already over 1000 calories. If you were to continue eating whatever your heart desired throughout the rest of the day you can see how it would add up astronomically. Although, if you ate healthy the rest of the day it would not negate your goals.
The idea of a cheat meal instead of day is just a way to be closer to your progress rather than hitting a plateau or gaining weight. You don’t have to be super strict with this concept, it is just a guide. You can have more than one cheat meal, or go out for dinner and then have a couple of drinks, as long as you don’t give yourself a free for all and eat like a competitive eater throughout the day you’ll be okay.
Aside from the cheat meal once a week I agree with allowing for a treat every once in a while or even everyday if you have enough self-discipline. My boyfriend and I will often allow ourselves to have ice cream for dessert. This is where self discipline is really important! I recommend a food scale to make life much easier but you must stick to the serving size. Doing so allows us to enjoy dessert and not feel guilty about it. I remember being really shocked when I first weighed out the serving size and thought it was really small, but I am so happy to know what the appropriate serving is. Now it seems like MORE than enough.
My last tip for not feeling deprived is to make healthier versions of your favorite foods. You would be surprised how similar these healthier versions taste to the actual thing, you might also prefer the taste of the healthier versions. You may even completely forget what the normal version tastes like. For instance I have not had a beef burger in over a year, instead I’ve had vegetarian or vegan versions both at home and at restaurants and I don’t even miss it. I highly recommend the Impossible burger as well as Gardein patties. They genuinely taste better than beef and my boyfriend also agrees. (I am not vegetarian/vegan, I just do my best to avoid red meat as it is so unhealthy & just isn’t worth it for the taste as well as how cute cows, pigs, & sheep are). No judgement if you eat red meat, like I said… just make sure you have a healthy balance and are not eating these things all the time.
With these healthier versions, feel free to experiment. Even just making a normal homemade version of something is automatically healthier than store bought (ex. frozen pizza vs homemade.) You can start with this and slowly experiment with less cheese, more vegetables, maybe even a cauliflower crust, etc.
*zucchini taco recipe here
To sum this post up…
- One day a week allow your calorie consumption to be closer to a cheat meal rather than a cheat day.
- Allow yourself to have a treat a couple times a week or even once a day. Make sure to have self-discipline by just having the appropriate serving size of something. This is easiest with a food scale!
- Make healthier versions of your cravings and experiment with different versions.
Thank you for reading my post, more tips to come as I continue on my own journey. If you want support, advice, tips, or just someone to talk to, feel free to send me a comment or an email in the contact tab. You can also follow me on Instagram. If you are interested, here is my latest YouTube video. It is my Stuffed Bell Pepper Soup Recipe!