That feeling of having let oneself down, not having shown will power with food, and the inability to resist food that was not in the diet plan, is a common sentiment experienced by dieters after indulging in a cheat meal. Also, worrying excessively about the potential negative effects that the cheat meal might have on the weighing scale can increase stress levels (stress hormone cortisol increases appetite and promotes fat storage). Individuals who stick to their diet strictly through the week, look forward to indulging in guilty food, but once cheat meal has been “done and dusted” with, there’s a common tendency to feel guilty and horrible for having let the guards down, to not have counted calories, to have lost the will power around yummy food, and to have derailed the whole weight loss journey. But fret not, there’s no need to feel apologetic after having eating your heart out; feel guilty only if the cheat meal gets converted into a “cheat day” and then into a cheat weekend! The biggest danger is to give in to the “all or nothing attitude” and fall off the wagon completely. If you are feeling back to square one after gorging on a hearty cheat meal, this article is for you! Read about 6 Ways To Get Over the Guilt After Having a Cheat Meal.
1. Plan the Cheat Meal in Advance:
There are many benefits of planning the cheat meal in advance. Believe us, planned cheat meals wouldn’t ruin your peace of mind. Without planned cheat meals, we might give in to cravings or indulge impulsively, which could lead to overeating and feelings of guilt. Planned cheat meals can help people make more controlled choices. Also, knowing that a scheduled cheat meal is coming up can act as motivation to stay on track the diet plan because it provides a reward to look forward to after consistently adhering to a diet. The guilt is greater when it’s not part of the plan, but when it’s a scheduled one, you know you are going to indulge and it’s okay because you are going to get back on track with the next meal.
2. Walking After a Cheat Meal Promotes Positive Mindset:
Taking a stroll or going for a mini walk after a cheat meal is a good way to dissipate all negative feelings, doubts, and guilt. Any kind of physical activity and exercise, even brisk walking would release endorphins, which naturally elevate the mood and make you feel better. Since walking is also a form of an exercise, you get to burn off some calories as well! It’s a win-win situation here.
3. Understand That the Cheat Meal is Only Going To Benefit you:
Experts say that when you cut down calories during the dieting process, the body tries to adjust to save energy by slowing down metabolism and holds on to stored fat more tightly. Over a period of time, individuals hit a plateau where the slow metabolism makes it difficult to get rid of excess weight as easily as before. Here’s where a cheat meal can help reset metabolism, by tricking the body to believe food is available back again, and it’s okay to continue burning fat. In fact, studies show that after a cheat meal, the body increases its metabolism, causing you to burn calories faster. Also, it acts as a good motivation to stick to your diet for the whole week. Without a cheat meal in your diet, you would most likely give into temptations and cravings. Also read: “How To Supercharge your Metabolism to Accelerate Weight Loss.”
4. Follow People Who Have Lost Oodles of Weight Successfully:
Rati, who lost almost 30 kgs of weight, advocates indulging in a cheat meal once a week. She has not only managed to lose a significant amount of weight, but also maintain it as well, by following the diet plans on the Rati Beauty app, where cheat meals are part of the program. Do follow Rati on Instagram for yummy cheat meal ideas.
5. The Fact That you Wouldn’t Gain Weight Overnight:
There’s a rough guideline in weight loss that to lose 1 kg of fat, you would have to burn off approximately 3500 calories. By the same logic, to gain 1 kg of fat, you would have to eat 3500 calories, and for an average person, to consume 3500 calories in a single meal is not quite possible. So, if the scale shows a big jump in just a few hours after that meal, it’s most probably water retention due to the high salt content in the meal. Just keep this in mind – you don’t gain weight overnight and wouldn’t lose weight overnight. So, with a single cheat meal, you would not gain 5 kgs overnight.
6. Remember It’s a Reward Meal:
Consider it as a reward meal – kind of a treat you are giving yourself for sticking to the diet, for working hard on yourself, and not giving into daily temptations and cravings. So, you deserve this meal and have every right to enjoy it without feeling guilty.
Summing up, don’t get guilt better of you, consider the next meal as an opportunity to get back on track. Do not starve in an attempt to burn off the calories, and most importantly, do not fall for the “all or nothing” attitude, taking it as an opportunity to get off the diet. However, as we have mentioned above, do not convert cheat meal into a cheat day or weekend, such a practice can derail your progress. Consistency is the key and if you have followed the diet strictly for the entire week, one single cheat meal shouldn’t bother you at all. It’s crucial to remember that occasional indulgences or “cheat meals” are a normal part of a healthy relationship with food and can be enjoyed without guilt as long you are sticking to your diet and exercise routine.