If I eat healthy majority of the time, I'm allowed a cheat day. The answer is false. Cheat meals breed guilt & can turn into binges. Try to indulge mindfully.

True or False: If I eat healthy majority of the time, I’m allowed a cheat day.

Written by Lara Fuhrer | Reviewed by Melissa Sirolli RDN, CDN, CNSC, CLT

FALSE: The term cheat day has a negative association in our minds and establishes a negative relationship with food. Referring to a meal as a cheat meal establishes a form of guilt, which often results in a binge. Eating to excess will not only make us feel uncomfortable, but it can leave us feeling regretful and as if we never want to eat again.

If a cheat day turns into a binge, we should return to our normal meal schedule and diet the following day. One of the worst things we can do after a binge is skip a meal. Skipping a meal causes low blood sugar and that ultimately results in another binge.

When strongly craving a certain decadent snack or dish, we should not deprive ourselves, but indulge mindfully. When faced with that must have craving, try practicing the three-bite rule. The pleasure we receive after three bites diminishes- the first bite lives up to our expectations, the second bite is great but it is not as satisfying or delicious as the first, and at the third bite the satisfaction continues to decrease.  Being mindfully aware of our pleasure helps us to mindfully indulge.

Some other tips to avoid a cheat day are to cook/bake a healthier alternative of the decadent dish of choice or to purchase a healthier alternative.

Photo credit: Freddie Marriage



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