The purpose of a diet is to eat healthier and do it consistently. Eating well cleans and allows your body to function correctly. However, many diets say cheating, indulging, and splurging, consuming unhealthy processed, salt, and sugary foods is okay. However, it depends. It depends on whether you can cheat and maintain a healthy diet at the same time without conflict and guilt. For many people, this can be the stick in the spinning wheel, the ball rolling down the hill that reverts and triggers poor nutritional habits.
Cheat Meals and Trigger Foods
Cheating is a trigger, so you must be careful. Trigger foods are foods that make you crave and possibly eat more unhealthy food. For example, eating fast food. It is very high in sodium. And that big hit of sodium most likely will make you eat it more often. And so, you must be cautious if you are meal cheating because it can restore the cravings you worked so hard to diminish and control. When you eat well, all those vegetables and fruits clean your body and cells. It changes your palate and taste.
How to Avoid Trigger Foods
The butter you eat can make you crave more fats. Butter is loaded with hydrogen, and so are many processed foods and fats. So, your cells desire the hydrogen in the fat. When you cook or bake, use applesauce instead of butter or oil. You can use avocado too. Avocado is excellent to replace butter because it’s creamy. You can even use avocado on toast instead of butter.
Also, replace unhealthy vegetable oils with healthy ones like coconut or olive oil. They have more beneficial fats called polyunsaturated fats. Other oils like vegetable oils have saturated hydronated fats. Hydrogen products are harder to break down. And when the body can’t break them down, it starts storing them around your organs like your heart, liver, etc.
Polyunsaturated fats are good fats that help prevent diseases like heart disease, cancer, and diabetes.
If you’re used to eating candy and sweets, try replacing them with sweets fruits like mango or pineapple. This can help battle those cravings and stop you from eating sugar.
If you’re a chocolate lover, you don’t need to stop eating chocolate. Just eat dark chocolate. Dark chocolate has less sugar and more polyunsaturated fats and is much better for you. It is also loaded with antioxidants.
Instead of buying flavored yogurt, buy natural plain yogurt. The flavored yogurt is loaded with sugar. You can make your own yogurt by purchasing plain yogurt with no sugar and adding fresh fruits to compensate for that sugary taste.
If you’re used to drinking soda and juices with a lot of sugar, you need to find an alternative. A great alternative is to flavor your water. For example, add lemon or lime to your water. And all you need to do is add a little bit of sugar. When sugar is combined with lemon, it makes it taste sweeter. You can even add something like stevia or more natural sugar.
Avoid canned, processed foods, lunch meats, or frozen meals to stop eating high amounts of sodium. Frozen vegetables are OK, but not frozen meals.
Instead of going to a restaurant all the time or using takeout food, cook! Remember, companies use additives, preservatives, processed foods, and nutrients with a lot of sodium to preserve the food. This way, it does not go bad quickly.
If you’re addicted to using a lot of salt, try to look for salt or alternatives. There are many salts or alternatives out there that have less sodium. However, combining a little salt with spices and herbs will make it taste saltier.
A great alternative to fried foods is to broil or bake. Baking is your best way to cook food. When you bake, you don’t need oil; you can just add a lot of spices and a little salt. You can also use a steamer or air fryer for cooking healthier too!
Is Cheating Good for You?
You must ask yourself if cheating on your healthy self is ok. Because if eating that pizza on Saturday night will rekindle your love for salty, sugary, and processed foods, then no. But if you have the power to eat that pizza and return to your healthy ways during the week, then yes, it works for you.
Do Blow it Up
Just because you can meal cheat does not mean go hog wild crazy and eat everything in sight. You must be sensible and have control as well. You can indulge, but don’t overdo it. That type of bad boy eating behavior reverts to unhealthy eating habits. Mindfulness and control produce balance and moderation, which are essential for maintaining healthy eating habits.
Eating healthy is not just a physical thing. It has a lot to do mentally as well. For instance, lack of sleep, boredom, and stress cause you to crave salt and sugar.
How to Successfully Cheat
Maintain a diet that is about 70- 80% healthy and 20% indulgent. Your best way to cheat is to spread out the indulgence and not just do it on the weekends. Spreading it out over time allows you to indulge and satisfy the senses more thoroughly. When it is focused on a specific day or every weekend, you may overindulge too much. And your taste and habits are more likely to revert to eating unhealthy foods. Also, consuming too much salt and sugar all at once is not healthy for your body. It can do damage.