Can I have a Cheat Day? Pretty Please?
Can you have a cheat day?
Can you have a cheat day? Yes, you can! Finding the balance with the holidays coming up can be a real challenge to staying on track with your eating plan. Eating healthy and making the right choices can become difficult when you have all those great smells looming from your kitchen for Thanksgiving!
Or if you have chosen to eat out at a restaurant, the choices can be limitless, and the calories can be off the charts! But if you stay focused and eat well before and after the “big day” and stay focused during the day, giving yourself a break and allowing yourself a cheat day is not the end of the world! By now, if you have been sticking to your plan and eating healthier and exercising and losing weight, your stomach would have shrunken by now, and your appetite will have grown a lot smaller, so when you look at the food, your eyes will be way bigger than your stomach! So, dig in cautiously and enjoy your day of eating and celebrating and being with your family and friends and leave the worrying behind you!
Having a day off, does not mean however that you go hog wild, or that you gobble up everything in sight! (see what I did there with the pun? – Ham and Turkey - Hog and Gobble) lol. Anyway, pace yourself, and eat at a slower pace than usual, so that you feel fuller faster, and it will last longer. Then when it comes time for dessert, you can splurge a little, knowing that you didn’t gorge yourself for the main meal.
You don’t have to go to bed feeling guilty about what you ate during the day, if you plan it the day before. You can enjoy yourself and eat what you want, indulge a little, but don’t go so far off track that you forget your longtime goal. If you have been avoiding sugars, carbohydrates and fats like I have, you don’t want to shock your entire system in one day by overeating those foods that you have been avoiding for a while now. So, pace yourself, enjoy all the foods presented to you. Be mindful, chew each morsel slowly and enjoy the full flavors. Relax and be grateful that you are so much more aware of your food choices now, and how you handle them. You got this!
It is just one day, so don’t be anal on yourself and not enjoy your day because you think that you will overdo it, or that you feel guilty for having those desserts. We are all entitled to a day off, to have that cheat day if we want.
The holidays can be very depressing for some, with loss of family or friends or even pets no longer with us, we can feel sad and want to use food as a comfort to make us feel better and get through the holidays. Don’t think of it as just getting through the holidays without your loved ones, but embrace your life and the people that are surrounding you with love and comfort during this holiday. Think of everything you have to be grateful for, and be happy that you have chosen this health happiness journey. Look how far you have come and celebrate! Find comfort in the little things around you this coming holiday, and you will enjoy the food without it being a comfort for you, but a joy in the celebration of what Thanksgiving means to you in the first place.
Thankful for your life, for your family and friends, for GODs presence in your life and others. Thankful for your strength and perseverance and courage. You are becoming a better, healthier person both physically and spiritually with each pound you lose. So, find comfort, not in the food, when you are feeling sad, but find comfort in the joy all around you. You can have your cheat day and eat it too!
If you are afraid of going off your eating plan, and think that you may go crazy and not be able to get back on track then a little trick I use when facing a smorgasbord of food around the holidays, is to only put the right portion size of each food on your plate at one time. Eat each item slowly and savor it. By the time you are done, you will feel full and you will find no need for having second helpings.
There won’t be any relapses, because you have planned accordingly. If you are finding it hard to stay away from the sweets and feel like if you do have some, you may relapse. Don’t worry! Your body is so used to not having them, that you may even find that you are satisfied with only having a small portion, or not even craving anything at all. As if that will ever happen, right? Who doesn’t love a good cookie or pie right? But no, seriously, your body will give you signs about what you feel like eating and how much.
And I know firsthand that not having sweets and carbs and fats over a period, my body does not crave them. Oh, I will eat them, it is a holiday after all, but I am in much better control on what I put into my body than I was say even few months ago! I got this, and so do you!
So, give Thanks for this day, for this food, for this family and friends time, and embrace the holiday, like you never have before with happiness for your heart and food for your soul!
Carry on my wayward self, carry on… and Happy Thanksgiving to me!!!
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