Operation Skinny Jeans: Cheat Meals

Monday, October 21, 2013

Cheat Meals

There is this new trend in "dieting" called the cheat meal. Loosely based on the "80/20" principle of clean eating, a cheat meal gives you the opportunity to eat whatever you want for one meal, no matter how unhealthy it may be. I have been asked multiple times what I think of this, so I decided to finally tell you lol.

As I am sure you have seen me say before, I don't think that deprivation is the way to change your lifestyle. It has always been true for me that the more I tell myself I can't have something, the more I want it. Knowing this has allowed me to adopt a healthier way of eating without falling back into the binge eating practices I have previously struggled with.

So when you don't deprive yourself, and you look at everything in moderation, there really isn't a need to gorge yourself on pizza in the name of a cheat meal. If I want pizza, I can have a slice of pizza and feel satisfied with that. I don't need to eat a whole pizza anymore (yeah that was a thing) to feel satisfied. If I eat too much, all I feel now is sick, and that's just because my body isn't used to that kind of food anymore.

So do I believe in cheat meals? Eh, kinda? I don't believe they are necessary for me, because of how I have taken control of what I am eating through Terminal Deliciousness. BUT if allowing yourself one cheat meal a week keeps you from feeling deprived, more power to you. Just don't let it spiral into a cheat day, or a cheat week, or a cheat month. Once you take just one step off the course, it can be really easy to keep rolling down the hill. It will take time to feel confident taking that step without falling off completely. So just keep that in mind.

If I were to sum up my eating strategy in a phrase, it would be this.

"Take it one bite at a time"

If you have a bad bite, make the next one better. Some people make that meals, or days, but I believe the change starts at even the next bite. Indulge for a minute, then get over it. Don't let it ruin anything because the next bite will be better.

What are your thoughts on cheat meals? love em? hate em? couldn't live without em?

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  1. When I did Weight Watchers back in the day, I would allow myself to eat whatever I wanted on Fridays because I was afraid I was going to get obsessive about losing weight. However now that I'm eating Paleo, I have noticed that when I do eat something that I shouldn't be, it's almost like I'm getting a buzz off of it and I feel horrible for the rest of the day. As evidenced by this weekend, I can't eat even a cheat snack because for me it's not sliding down a slippery slope but falling off a cliff.

  2. On the weekends sometimes I have "cheat" meals, but for the most part I don't deprive myself of anything I just try to eat relatively healthy. I think the more your stress about it, the more you want to eat it.

  3. 100% agree with you. I always take it easy on Friday night, or Saturday and allow myself one meal that I consider a "cheat," but if I'm not feeling it, I don't cheat. I just listen to what my body wants and go from there.

    I, like you, would spiral out of control if I didn't do everything in moderation. You rock!

  4. LOVE THIS AND LOVE YOU! If I have a cheat meal my entire day is shot... so typically I will have my own little version of Terminal Deliciousness and move right along...

  5. I totally agree! I used to try having a cheat meal on Fridays, but that quickly turned into a cheat day, which spiraled into a cheat weekend, and well you can see where this is going. I usually have little "cheat moments" throughout each day. I still keep on track and I still get to have some goodies!

  6. Everyday would be considered a cheat day for me.
    I don't "diet" though. I agree with everything you said...I actually think we touched on this during one of the discussions in the FB group.
    It's all about portion control! I preach it to everyone.
    Everyone expects such quick results and ends up complaining about their diet of choice and how they are craving this and that....if they would really discipline themselves, they could eat almost whatever they wanted and still get results.
    I don't really ever deny myself much of anything...granted I still overdo it at times, but I'm very aware of it and that counts for something.
    I love this post.

  7. I would love to be able to have that attitude towards food/eating that you, and many others have- which is, no deprivation- but moderation. I can't eat things in moderate portions. Having said that- I haven't really been able to have just a cheat meal either- I, as you said, go for cheat meals that turn into cheat days, that turn into cheat weekends... you get the picture. But I've only recently started to actually enjoy trying to lead a healthier lifestyle, and so, I'm not being too hard on myself. I want my lifestyle to change- I don't just wanna go on a short diet, or loose a few pounds. I wanna live a healthy sustainable lifestyle. But its difficult- cause I've got the one side of me thats really loving this healthier outlook on life, and then I've got this other side which craves all things sweet and unhealthy. I used to be bullimic. and although I'm free from that in most ways- I still do have the tendency to want to binge. I have really been trying to get a healthier outlook on life and my body, and I'm actually enjoying fitness and seeing my body get stronger- where as before, my main (only) concern was that I'd be skinny. In fact, I didn't want to be healthy- because a healthy weight to me, wasn't as pretty as anorexic looking models. I'm slowly starting to change my outlook on beauty and body image. But then yesterday I came across my old caloriecount website, that i was sporadically using during my bullimia, and i saw my weight logged at one point- thats been my lowest in years. And that effected me more than I thought. I weigh afew kilos more than that now. and even though that might not seem like a big deal, to me it is. I started to feel a hint of envy towards the "old me". That I could pretty much eat what I wanted (though feel guilty), but then just throw it up, and loose weight. But then looking back- at the time my weight was that low, I was constantly feeling dehydrated and dizzy. (summer). It didnt matter how much water I'd drink- i'd still feel weak. And I hardly ever worked out- where as now, I'm learning what my body needs- trying to get the right nutrients- starting to enjoy eating healthier options knowing what good it does my body, and looking forward to my pilates workouts knowing that im working towards a healtheir happier me.

    I don''t know why I wrote all of this. I was only going to comment about cheat meals, but this all came out. To finish where i started- No, I'm not great at eating moderetely, but I'm working on it. Learniing to realize that its better to eat a good healthy meal than a chocolte bar even though they have the same calories.And im also learning to not let cheat meals turn into days of binging. I mgiht not be there yet, but I'm getting there. And right now, thats good enough for me. :)

  8. Is it a problem that my "cheat meal" is now going on a solid 4 days?? haha yeah, definitely need to get back on track!! It's the apple cider donuts I swear! They make everything so hard!!!

  9. i don't have cheat meals. heck, i only eat dessert once a year and that's on my birthday. i figure even if i did eat a cheat meal, it won't even do a thing because it's not that one-off time that will derail your progress; it's *consistent* cheating that causes the weight to gain. so if you want a cheat meal, go for it! BUT If you have a tendency to over-indulge, then stay away for at least 6 months until you can develop the discipline of self-control. that's what i had to do and then wound up not even wanting any of it!

    Vodka and Soda

  10. I tend to do the cheat meal----->cheat day---->cheat week, so I try to have my weekend indulgence (starbucks coffee), and keep the rest pretty clean.


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