Eat Health

Why cheat days are important: my guide

October 12, 2016
Eat Health

Why cheat days are important: my guide

October 12, 2016

Hey friends πŸ™‚

I wanted to mix it up a little bit and do a piece on ‘cheat days’ as the last post got me thinking about balance and adopting health as a lifestyle choice not an ‘all or nothing approach’.

Please don’t think I am saying that we should all go out and stuff our faces with chocolate, chips and do-nuts every day but once in a while I think it is ok. Especially for our mind, when we are hormonal, have sugar cravings, when it’s a friends birthday and so on.

I try to have one cheat day per week and I’ve found over time the last thing I actually want to do is eat junk food but I might be inclined to have a gourmet pizza, a nice cheesy pasta or a few glasses of wine (thats not to say I won’t say no to a do-nut if that is what I really want!!). So I think what I’ve learnt is that I really listen to my body…if I want a nice healthy salad on my cheat day because that is what I am craving then that is what I’ll have, the key is to try and adopt healthy choices ‘most’ of the time and treat yourself every now and again.

Here are a few ways I’ve managed to organise my cheat days in a moderate way:

  • MEAL PLAN: Your cheat day can be any day really. If you like to write a weekly meal plan like me it will help you organise your time and be accountable for what you consume. If I know I am gong out for dinner in the week or on the weekend I will usually assign that as my cheat meal/day. This means it will make me even more excited about the evening and will make me feel comfortable knowing I’m not the awkward one ordering the salad without the dressing.
  • EATING OUT: If you are somewhat of a social butterfly and eat out a lot or go to lots of events just be mindful of where you are going and what type of food will be available. Do some research into the restaurant or venue so that you can prepare your healthy food choices in advance and order sparkling mineral water if you are limiting your alcohol intake (this sounds ridiculous but I’ve had sparkling water in a wine glass before and I think in some weird way it makes you feel like you are not missing out!!).
  • CRAVINGS: If you find you are craving sweet/naughty treats a lot try and find alternatives. For example I always keep a big bowl of freshly prepared berries in my fridge when I’m going through a ‘sweet’ phase. That way after dinner (or any time of the day) I can curb my sugar cravings with something far healthier than a block of chocolate.
  • GET EXCITED: Your body can quickly adapt to different diets and before you know it you are eating fish and chips once a week, biscuits for morning tea and fizzy drinks to keep you hydrated. The thought of eating a salad if you are in this phase can be to some extent loathsome. I have an abundance of cookbooks and websites that I turn to if I find my healthy habits slipping. This way I can get excited about healthy food again.
  • HAPPY PLACE: My kitchen is my happy place as you all know, but when I get busy with other projects and I don’t have the time to look after my space the kitchen becomes a mess and more of a chore to work in. Recently I had a massive clearout and cleaned all of my cupboards, threw away any old tupperware, cleaned the fridge etc and now I feel inspired to start creating some magic in the kitchen again. You owe it to yourself to feel happy and inspired in your workspace so just put aside some time and it will make the world of difference.
  • CUT THE CRAP: Following on from this having a clearout gives you a great opportunity to throw away any naughty things you might have stocked up on and will help you re-evaluate your cupboard essentials. I like to keep a good stock of chickpeas, lentils, quinoa, freekeh, sweet potatoes, tinned tomatoes, black beans and kidney beans as a base in my cupboard. These are awesome things to have on hand to make hummus, a quick vegetarian chilli, a black bean salad or quinoa brekkie muffins if you are lacking inspiration to try something new. Yes it’s great to be inventive but sometimes we get busy and need to be practical too.
  • MEAL PREP: of course meal prepping will give you all of your healthy meals to hand and will make that cheat day all the more enjoyable!!

I hope you find these tips helpful and if you want me to cover anything else for next time just leave me a comment below!! Have an awesome week and remember everything in moderation!

Soph x xΒ 

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Sophie Benbow

Sophie is a true advocate for health and wellness. Her conscious eating and regular fitness regime has given her knowledge that she wants to share with all of her readers. From her personal recipes to her personal style and training tips you can find it here at sophiebenbow.com.

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