I have't blogged about food specifically since August last year, but I've been getting so many messages about food and what's "acceptable". I don't actually enjoy telling people what or how to eat because everyone is different and we all have different needs. But I'm more than happy to share my experiences and what works for me.
The most common question I get is about cheat days. When should you have cheat days, what should you eat on cheat days, is it normal to have a chat day, do I have cheat days etc.
I personally don't like the idea of having cheat meals of cheat days. It makes certain foods seem special, off limits or bad on a regular basis and that's not something I'm for at all. No foods are special or deserve a day off for when you're "allowed to eat it". If you want cheesecake, just have it. If you want ice cream, just have it. If you want a burger and chips, JUST HAVE IT.
I know this isn't always healthy. It doesn't mean that if you always feel like having ice cream, you should have it. It means not restricting yourself when you don't want to. It means understanding the difference between food you want and food you need. And it means finding healthier options for foods that you wanna have more often.
I know this isn't easy and not everyone works this way. I'm not telling you to do what I do. You need to do you. Find out what works with you and what makes you feel best then make a decision.
There was a short period of time where I did restrict myself from "bad" foods like oil, fried foods, dessert, fast food etc and I had it every once in a while but no where near as much as I did before. I wouldn't have anything while everyone had a Magnum Ice cream after dinner and I didn't actually miss it or crave it as much as I thought I would but it did suck sometimes to say no to so much stuff.
Frankly, the results form almost always saying no to these foods were amazing, I got lean and I felt amazing, but I didn't like the idea that i was saying no when I wanted to say yes. So I changed it.
Restriction isn't something I like at all. You shouldn't have foods because you know it's not what your body needs AND more importantly, you don't want it.
Now I eat what I want, and it's mostly healthy but I don't stress over when I have to eat out and there are no real "healthy" options. There are foods I definitely will never eat/drink like soda, gummy candy, alcohol, cordials etc.
And everything else, I'd experiment with. I know there would be foods I didn't enjoy like red meat, foods I did enjoy but made my body bloat or feel bad like dairy, and everything else would either be foods I knew I liked and made me feel good or food that I thought I enjoyed and would just had to try it again.
When I know I don't really enjoy it or it doesn't make me feel good, it's no longer restricting myself because I truly don't want it. Things that i thought I enjoyed but now fall into this category include cheese, ice cream, dairy, fried food, fast food etc.
So I don't do cheat meals or cheat days. I just eat what I have and what I know I like unless I really don't have an option.
You don't have to do what I do. Even though I realised ice cream isn't as good as I thought it was, doesn't mean you'll agree. And even though I avoid alcohol, gummy bear and most milk chocolates, doesn't mean you have to.
Just figure out what diet works for your whole life. Not just a a month, a few years, till you lose some body fat or whatever, figure out what works for your life and will keep you happy.
So should you have cheat meals? That's 100% up to you!
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