I’ve realized that one of my biggest problems with diets and nutritional programs is that they’re not really sustainable or realistic as a long term lifestyle. You’re given a list of foods that you can and can’t eat, and most of the things that you can’t eat are the things that you love the most. You’re allowed “cheat days” that allow you to eat and binge on the things that you love or crave, and then you’re supposed to go back to your eating plan, waiting and counting down the days until your next cheat day. My problem with these “cheat days” is that the word “cheat” implies that you’re doing something wrong and bad, and that you should feel guilty about indulging in the things that you love. You end up falling off the wagon and binging even more on the things that are forbidden, feel guilty about cheating and not being able to stick to the rules, and then fall off of the wagon for good. It’s a miserable cycle that’s impossible to maintain, and makes you feel worse about yourself in the end.
So that, my friends is why I don’t believe in cheating, I believe in treating.
You should be able to treat yourself with some pizza, a burger and fries, a peanut butter cupcake, or whatever it is that you love and not feel bad about it. Just don’t do it all the time, or for every meal. I try to eat clean and really well 75 – 80% of the time, and the other 20 – 25% of the time I’ll treat myself to whatever I want and don’t feel guilty about it. I figure since there’s 21 meals in a week, I should be able to treat myself for at least 4 – 5 of those meals, and not make myself feel bad because in the end the only person I’m cheating if I can’t enjoy the foods that I love is myself. Don’t get me wrong, I really do enjoy eating clean, healthy and unprocessed food, but at the end of the day I still do love foods that aren’t considered “healthy”, but I’m not going to give them up forever. My whole mission is to find the balance between the things that I love and the things that are good for me, and treating myself is necessary to maintaining a happy, healthy and balanced lifestyle for the long run. So stop cheating yourself, and start treating yourself because you deserve it!!