Why is it that we use the same word for eating a doughnut and committing infidelity? What if we stopped using the word cheat to attach morality to our food choices?
CHEAT has a very negative connotation and we can easily internalize that feeling turning it into thoughts of negativity towards ourselves.
Eating a doughnut or a slice (or three) of pizza doesn’t make us a bad person or identify us as being bad. It means we are HUMAN!
Labeling food as cheats can get into our heads and be detrimental in our progress of establishing good habits and mindsets around food.
For a while there I was planning my cheat meals and when I say cheat meals I mean all out baby-think pizza, ice cream or one better, burger, fries and a malt…yum!) and count down the days until I got to eat those things. More often than not, when the day came didn’t even want it but felt like I had to eat it because I planned for it. I was slowly starting to fine that cheat meals were anti-climactic.
After doing a lot of reading, I started to look at things in a different ligt.
What if you could have any food, any time you wanted as long as you choose to have it?
I know this sounds really scary and you’re thinking there is no way in hell I can eat what I want when I want but I want you to think about this…
When you are intentional and mindful with your food choices you will discover that most often you don’t even want these “so-called” cheat foods. Now read it again….go ahead I am waiting…
When you actually “check-in” with your body, you will find that it wants something but a cheat food may not be it. Instead, your body could be asking for a class of water, rest, or some quiet time. There is a little trick I use with my bootcamp members...ask yourself these three questions before you dive into those donuts at work just because they are there.
- Am I hungry?
- Is it smart?
- How much do I need?
These three questions have saved me from eating things I really don’t want. When you actually stop to think about it or drink a class of water before you indulge you will find that you may not want it anymore. Here’s a good read from creator of Tabata Bootcamp™- the Take Three Method for Healthy Eating.
Most of us area already struggling with eating “healthy” and if you are like me, trying to save your cheat days for the weekend. For the most part, you are CHOOSING to eat protein, vegetables, and healthy fats on a regular basis. If you are choosing healthy options when you go to reach for those cheat foods you will soon learn how bad it makes you feel after eating them and the nostalgia will wear off. When you actually make a choice to have a latte, pizza, ice cream or in my case my ultimate cheat meal of burger, fries and a malt (my mouth is watering thinking of this) you will enjoy it without guilt or shame and move on. That third question above “How much do I need” is key here. Everything in moderation!
I really do feel that it is important to get away from using the word "cheat" as it relates to your nutrition choices mainly because of all of the negative emotions and feelings that are associated with it. Who’s with me in changing the way we think about our “cheat” foods?