Last night my daughter and I were unexpectedly invited to dinner. We haven't eaten out in nearly a month so we jumped at the chance.
I haven't had a real cheat meal for a while - about 2 weeks, so I decided to have my cheat at dinner last night. It took me forever to decide what I wanted, and I finally chose Southwestern Potato Skins as an appetizer. Yep, fried, I know. The skins were topped with chipotle grilled chicken, I asked them to go lightly on the cheese, and they were drizzled with a garlic-yogurt dressing. Really yummy, although the salt was a bit of a shock to my system.
Here's what I didn't get: Lime margaritas, an entree, a Caesar salad and dessert.
I just had an appetizer and a glass of water and I was as happy as could be with that.
Months ago, I would have had the appetizer along with all the other stuff I mentioned. I felt really great about this meal, although it raised some eyebrows. It was weird to eat with other people who eat anything they want, imbibe caloric drinks and seriously contemplate dessert. I'm pretty sheltered since I am not employed right now. I generally only eat with my kids.
Here are some tips to adding a few cheat meals to your life:
1.) Don't have a cheat meal more than once a week. More frequently than that and you run the risk of re-igniting your former bad habits.
2.) Take note of how it makes you feel. When I eat a sugar-y dessert, it gives me a pounding headache the next day. I feel sluggish and lethargic. When I eat something high in fat, I get really bad heartburn. This realization helps keep me on the "clean and narrow".
3.) Don't let a cheat meal take over your day. So, you went way overboard. You might as well eat with abandon for the rest of the day and get right back on track tomorrow, right? WRONG. If you got a ticket for running a red light, would it be okay to run red lights for the rest of the day, since you had already gotten a ticket? Not if you wanted to keep your driver's license!!! When you have a meal that is less than clean, get right back on track with the very next meal that you eat.
4.) Don't feel guilty! Guilt is highly overrated. It makes us feel like failures, and when we feel like failures we do silly things, like binge, go off-plan, or quit altogether. So plan your meal, look forward to it, savor it, and move on to the next clean meal.
Have a great day!