By: Kaylee Randall - Contributing Blogger
As much as you try, it’s pretty impossible to eat clean all the time. Even the most disciplined body builders and fitness gurus struggle to avoid those yummy snacks in the pantry. But if you find yourself occasionally cheating on your diet, there’s nothing to feel guilty about. Cheat meals can actually be a good thing.
Here are a few reasons why having a cheat meal once or twice a week can actually help you meet your health and fitness goals.
Jumpstarts Your Metabolism
When dieting, your body can become used to the lower calorie intake at which point you’ll start to see a plateau in your weight loss. This can obviously be frustrating. So, including a cheat meal here and there encourages the body to continue to burn calories. Cheat meals can help boost your metabolism and actually helps you get past those plateaus.
Gives You a Much-Needed Mental Break
It’s tough to constantly resist cravings and mental stamina is really the only way to maintain a healthy diet. But every once in a while, it’s important to give yourself a break. By indulging in a cheat meal, you’ll be able to relax a little bit. Avoiding stress is a huge factor when it comes to weight loss and overall health, so giving yourself the opportunity to loosen the reigns will be extremely beneficial.
Helps You Stay Motivated
Knowing that a thick slice of creamy cheesecake is waiting for you at the end of the week is incredibly effective motivation to stick with that quinoa salad you’re eating for lunch. And while it’s not recommended to completely deprive yourself while eating clean (try to enjoy even healthy meals!), knowing that you’ll be indulging come Saturday is sure to help you stick to the plan.
You’ll Enjoy Foods More
Including cheat meals in your healthy lifestyle will help you actually enjoy the food you’re craving. If what you’re chowing down on daily is good for you but not necessarily your favorite dish, when you do allow yourself to have a cheesy pizza or juicy burger, it’ll taste so much better. Seeing these foods as a treat versus an everyday staple means you’ll enjoy them that much more.
Keeps You Balanced
It’s easy to be an extremist on either end of the spectrum, from being super strict with your diet to treating yourself with dessert and unhealthy snacks every day. Cheat meals help maintain more balance in your life and many health professionals suggest the 90/10 rule with everything from food to exercise. Enjoying a cheat meal is important to maintaining that necessary balance.
What’s your favorite cheat meal to indulge in? Do you have a sweet tooth or is that bag of chips your vice? How do you stay balanced? Leave us a comment below!