I hate the words “cheat day” because it makes it seem like eating an ice cream or going out for pizza is a bad thing. I’m a firm believer in finding a healthy balance with foods that will nourish your body and the foods that will nourish your soul.
I was coaching a client the other day and she was telling me that while on vacation in El Salvador she tried a pupusa for the first time. A pupusa is a traditional El Salvadoran dish made of a handmade corn tortilla that is usually filled with a blend of cheese and meat. Kind of like a Colombian arepa or a Mexican quesadilla.
While discussing her other meals on her vacation, she was telling me all about the fresh seafood she enjoyed and how she loved getting up in the morning to get a healthy smoothie from the local juice bar. She even managed to fit in a few workouts on her trip.
This is balance, my friends.
Being in a foreign country and feeling ok to sample the local foods but also maintaining a regular diet that will make you feel good the rest of the day.
Things like having a pupusa, a slice of pizza or two, or an ice cream cone on a summer evening will not throw you off your goals. However, having a “fuck it” mentality and having a whole weekend of pure junk food can add up quickly and slow down your hard work. Especially when the fuck it day is….. Every day.
Here are my 5 tips for enjoying and not stressing over treats:
- Learn what balance looks like for your body and your goals. You guys probably know by now how obsessed I am with pizza. I definitely eat it a few times a month. Knowing that the rest of the week I have made very healthy choices allows me to indulge in pizza and a glass of wine by Friday night – without the guilt. I also know that my body can’t handle more than 2 glasses of wine without waking up feeling like crap and looking puffy. So I stop there.
- Know what is worth it. Taste something and see if you like it before fully committing. Are you eating the pie because it is there? Or are you eating it because you genuinely enjoy it?
- Stop when you’re satisfied. When my husband and I get ice cream from our fave Ice Cream store, Van Leeuwen, I usually get the small and he will get a medium. After eating the entire thing, without fail will look at me and say “I should have gotten a small”. Sometimes we get so excited about the idea of eating something delicious that we want the biggest one. But, understanding what your needs are to feel satisfied and not sick is a huge win. (We’re still working on it!).
- Don’t restrict. I recommend trying to incorporate treats into your regular diet. This way when the time comes, you’re less inclined to want it all and binge. A burger, pizza, or an ice cream cone are all OK in my book when you have them sporadically and not every day.
- It’s what we do every day consistently that matters most! Understand that one ice cream a week will not ruin your progress. One ice cream a day? Thats another story.