Cheat days: how do you deal with them?

Fit & Training door thijs

Nowadays we often see the terms 'cheat meal' and 'cheat day'. Personally I'm not a fan of these terms, but I do believe in the idea behind them. The question is: what is a responsible cheat meal and how do you deal with them?

What is a cheat meal?

A cheat meal is a meal with which you treat yourself with something unhealthy. You basically 'cheat' on your healthy lifestyle. This can be a day (cheat day) or part of a day (cheat meal). You surrender to your cravings and you can see it as a reward or a break from your steady routine. Some people have a cheat meal once in a while, while others have a cheat meal on a set day, like Sundays. Of course this doesn't mean that you don't have to eat healthy and work out the rest of the week.

Personally I'm having some difficulties with the terms cheat day and cheat meal. The problem is: how do you define a cheat meal and what are your boundaries? I think that you shouldn't deprive yourself of things and that it's important to have a healthy balance in your lifestyle. You have to figure out what works for you, because every body is different and what works for someone else might not work for you. That doesn't mean we should now all go eat chocolate and cookies, but you should have fun in what you eat and it shouldn't be a constant battle between what you want and what you can have. Naturally, it's important to keep up a healthy eating pattern and get enough exercise, but that doesn't mean that when a friend asks me on a hot summer day if I want an ice cream, I say "no, because today isn't my cheat day". If I eat a bit unhealthier one day, I try to compensate this the next day with more healthy food. I don't have a specific day that I go completely bananas or that I eat a piece of chocolate pie on that day which I'm looking forward to all week. That simply doesn't make me happy. That kind of pressure makes me emotional and tensed.

Of course that doesn't mean that it doesn't work for others. A cheat meal or cheat day cán be a good way to get yourself to follow certain guidelines or it enables some people to keep up a healthy lifestyle. Think hard about the way you define a cheat meal or cheat day. Make sure you don't completely live towards the moment you can go nuts and unneccesarily overeat. This way you can start feeling guilty and have the feeling that eating healthy all week and working out have been for nothing.

Treat yourself

FYI: a cheat meal doesn't have to be unhealthy. You can also treat yourself with meals and snacks which are responsible with regard to your healthy lifestyle. I get the same amount of satisfaction from this. For example, if you like coke but you can only drink this on your cheat day, you can try and find a replacement which you like as much but is much healthier. In my opinion a smoothie is the best solution for this. I already talked about this earlier on, but I really like to drink the Smoothie Plus juices from innocent drinks. There are two variations and I like to switch them up. Last week I told you (again on about Energise but I also love the Antioxidant. The combination of the kiwi, lime, wheatgrass and flax seeds give this smoothie a fresh taste and it's rich of vitamin C, E and selenium. I drink these smoothies a several times a week and I don't have to feel guilty about anything! So what works for me is seeing the cheat meal als a treat and not as cheating your healthy lifestyle. So it works for me to change the cheat meal into a 'treat meal'. Thanks innocent drinks! :)

I'm sooo curious how you Fit Girls think about this and what your guilty pleasure is! So don't forget to use the hashtag #ImInnocent in all your comments, photo's and video's and let us know.