When I first started to want to lose weight after having Macie I knew I would have to change my mentality about food and the way I ate. I put on just under 3 stone whilst pregnant and wasnt at my smallest when I found out i was expecting, so I knew I would have a long, hard journey ahead of me. I knew i wouldn’t be slim and toned overnight. I needed to work on my diet.
Trying to cut out all the rubbish and refined sugars in my diet was so hard! I had so many cravings for sugary sweets and chocolate whilst pregnant and would eat these everyday. I definitly over indulged whilst expecting and I also gave up the exercise after being told I had a low placenta at my 20 week scan. But in hindsight I could of definitly carried on with my exercise as my body had been used to the gym way before I became pregnant. However this was not the case and I gained a fair few stone.
After my c section, I gave myself a few weeks to recover and get used to becoming a mum and ate whatever I liked. But I wasnt happy with my post pregnancy body so i decided that i needed to kick start the diet especially as i wasnt able to exercise yet. I knew once i started back at the gym it wouldn’t be easy after surgery. I started by kicking out the sugary sweets, chocolate and crisps out of my diet and replaced them with healthier snacks such as fruit, trail mix or raw veggies and humous. Slowly i incorporated healthier options into my diet and did my research into making my dishes healthier and i began to slowly see results especially when i added exercise into the mix.
However i still craved something ‘naughty’ every now and then. So i began to do some research online on how to curb cravings and stop me binging on rubbish, unhealthy food. ‘Cheat meals’ seemed to be the answer. Cheat meals are exactly what the name says. They are a meal that allows you to cheat on your usual diet but not a whole day of eating unhealthy options but just enough to curb that craving for more carbs or sugar. To be honest, now that i have been eating healthier for just over a year i have found my sugar craving has near enough disappeared. I seem to be able to curb the sugar craving without the use of unrefined white sugars through eating fruit or adding natural sugar such as honey or agave to my food. But i still get the craving for white carbs such as bread or white potatoes. So when i look for a cheat meal i add chips to my meals or i have a bun with my burger. I try not to let this ruin my hard work throughout the week and usually save my cheat meal until the end of thr weekend so that on monday i start again. This way i don’t go all out and keep cheating throughout the day.
But is a cheat meal worth it?
Do they work?
In my case i definitly feel like cheating on my usually strict diet once or twice a week has been beneficial to my weight loss. I try to plan my cheat meals for when i am around friends or going out for a meal so that i can look forward to it. I still get to carry on losing weight without feeling like i am missing out on takeaways with friends or not eating at a restaurant for fear of undoing my hard work in the week. The only downside to me cheating on my diet is that i always feel mega bloated after eating a large amount of white carbs. So i do think about my cheat meals a bit differently now, and don’t go mad when i do cheat so that i don’t feel so uncomfortable afterwards. I try not to overindulge too much but enough to feel statisfied.
Cheat meals seem to have worked for me. I can have my cheat and then go back to my usual healthy diet no problem now. Don’t get me wrong i still have days where i want to pig out but they are very far between now. My body has got used to clean, healthier food options and it craves it now buy it didn’t happen overnight. Cheat meals are not for everyone. Some people may not be able to stop at one or two meals and therefor undo all of their hard work throughout the week. But they maybe an option for some.
Some people say that cheat meals even help reset your metabolism so that you are less likely to plateau and keep losing weight. Just keep cheat meals to a meal not to a whole day and don’t try to compensate for your cheat meal by not eating as many other calories throughout the day. You are more likely to over indulge in the next meal you have and more likely to choose unhealthier options whilst hungry.
This blog comes after having a chippy tea! A definite cheat meal to end this week…