So It’s ok to Cheat?!
A cheat, by definition is just a bad thing to do. But we hear the phrase ‘cheat meal’ or ‘cheat day’ all the time in health and fitness circles. This article from Tosca Reno, author of The Eat Clean Diet will help explain why a ‘cheat’ is still a bad thing, until you give it a new name….TREAT.
“Eating Clean is a lifestyle choice, which means you adapt it to fit your life. If you must have birthday cake, then have it.
Eating Clean is flexible, meaning you can celebrate – in moderation, and with thought. Over time as an Eat-Clean Diet follower, you will easily apply an Eat-Clean lens to each meal of the day, allowing you to make intelligent decisions about eating. You will be able to look at a meal and decide whether or not it is “Clean.” The decision often comes down to this: Clean foods you feel good about and not-so-Clean foods you know are not the best but still like to eat on occasion. The latter often get a bad rap and are referred to as “cheats.”
Cheats are feared by dieters! When you “cheat” you become overwhelmed with guilt and heartbreak. You’ve let yourself down and feel like a failure. These circumstances can even take over your psyche, leading you into a downward spiral where your cheats happen each day or even each meal, ruining any progress you have made and causing you to throw in the towel. But this doesn’t have to happen.
First of all, let’s change our thinking. We’re going to call unclean foods a “treat” instead of a“cheat.” Why? Because “treat” is a much nicer word that doesn’t hold any negative connotations like cheat does. Treats are simply unclean foods you may choose to eat on occasion, but they won’t hinder your success in the long run because you will pick up right where you left off once you’ve eaten them. For this reason treats are okay, but only every once in a while. What we need to be conscious of is how often we choose to enjoy a treat.
A scheduled ‘treat’ is something you look forward to and enjoy. A ‘cheat’ is something that makes you feel guilty and ashamed.
Treats present themselves all the time – in fact, sometimes they seem to appear around every corner – but you do have the willpower to turn them down if you plan for it. Allow yourself one treat each week. Choose which treat you will have. Enjoy it! But you don’t have to make a whole meal of it. Perhaps you enjoy a margarita on a Friday night. But because you’ve had a glass doesn’t mean it’s okay to have glass after glass. Or maybe you look forward to a dessert after a week of Eating Clean. Have the dessert, but don’t decide to then eat a carton of ice cream!
With this attitude, the unclean food is no longer feared and can be enjoyed. You know that this treat does not in any way affect your regular meal choice. Moreover, this one delicious treat has not sabotaged your progress. In fact, it may fuel your Eat-Clean fire!”
Would you like to learn more about Clean Eating? Would having a Clean Eating Meal Plan with shopping list and lots of motivation and support help you to reach your health and nutrition goals? If the answer is YES, then please ask about joining one of my Clean Eating Challenge Groups! I’d love to help you reach your goals!