I never liked the phrase "cheat days". I don't like the sound of it. Feelings of guilt, shame and dishonesty comes along with it.
I can't understand why a person would want to eat healthy for the entire week and then pig out like crazy in one day or in one meal- bingeing on white carbs and processed junk food. I mean the amount of sugar and chemicals for the body's system must be a big shock to process after eating healthy.
The question to ask is: Why are you "cheat eating" in the first place? Wouldn't it be better to enjoy treats in moderation and eat real food?
I'll be honest here, I am a health coach and I eat cake 2-3 times a week. I enjoy it with a nice cup of coffee over a conversation with friends or family. I also enjoy eating 2 squares of 70% dark chocolate as dessert every night.
I'm not always eating healthy all the time. I'm human and I love to enjoy my food, especially with good company. I grew up in Singapore trying different cuisines and flavours. I love learning about a culture through their food and flavours. This will never change for me.
Here's the thing, I come to realized that I am not someone of extremes when it comes to eating. I like being in the middle ground. If eating healthy is about willpower, it cannot be very fun. When I'm out or travelling, I mostly eat what is locally available and what I like. I am just more aware of the amount and over the years, I have learned how to balance it out for myself.
I rarely feel guilty from eating what I like. When I'm away from home, I have a more relaxed attitude around food. I find that this way of eating suits me and my lifestyle better.
Below are some simple tips to achieve balance:
1) Skip the junk food- Why eat processed food when you can eat real food? Instead of getting a burger from a fast food chain, go have a gourmet burger or even better, make your own burger with fresh produce.
2) Treats in moderation- Allow yourself a small amount of treats every day and you will less likely binge on an entire tub of ice cream or a big bag of potato chips in one go.
3) Enjoy and savour- A foodie friend once said to me, "Eat for taste" and I really love that phrase. Eat and slowly savour the taste rather than focus on the amount.
4) Rethink your treats- Have you tasted a raw chocolate brownie before? Go on, try it! These days you can find or make healthy treats that does not use processed flour or white sugar.
Love baking? How about using almond or coconut flour?
Instead of eating a milk chocolate bar, why not try a few pieces of high quality dark chocolate?
5) Check in- If you crave processed junk food and sweet treats all the time, you need to ask yourself some questions- Do you have a good work/life balance? How is your stress levels? How is your relationship with your partner, family and friends? A person living a fulfilled life will not always turn to junk food to make them feel better.
What do you think about "cheat days? I would love to hear about your experiences. Share and comment below.
I baked this zucchini coconut flour bread the other day and it tastes so good.
Here is the recipe link: