Let’s Talk About Treating Yourself!
As we go into the weekend, I wanted to share something I struggle with knowing that others may be in the same boat and that is: Do I indulge in a ‘cheat day’ or moderate treats?
I have tried both methods and honestly, they both worked for me. I know that may be tough to hear because it means I am not providing you with a ‘quick fix solution’ like some other health sites do, but I will explain myself by sharing my experiences with each method.
Before I do that, if you are looking for cheat meal inspiration, I highly recommend checking out The Rock’s Instagram. It is magic!
Indulging in a ‘cheat day’
I did this method during grad school because I felt like it worked well with my lifestyle. Eat healthy, kick butts, and take names during the week. Then on the weekend, I could socialize and hang out with friends guilt-free. This worked for me personally! I didn’t give myself the option to eat ‘treats’ during the week so I didn’t think twice about rejecting the cookies someone brought to class or giving in to a impulse purchase of chips at the grocery store. I know this takes some initial willpower to be able to say no to those! Then on the weekends, I could be fully present with my friends without being distracted by worry of what I was eating. This strategy worked well for my mental health for that reason.
Just because The Rock has the best cheat meals ever, here is more inspiration from his Instagram:
Moderating treats throughout the week
This is more often than not, my current approach to indulging in ‘treats’. I will admit, I am still trying to figure out a balance with this one, however, it works better for my currently lifestyle. The reason for this is because I work on the weekends as well so I don’t give myself the option of a ‘cheat day’ because I know that I still need to be able to not be a sloth in a food coma when I have to babysit on a Sunday afternoon. This also works well because if I am babysitting on a Wednesday and the kiddos want to have a tea party and share the brownies they made with me, I’m going to enjoy them! I may be able to turn down cookies from a classmate, but you try saying no to a 5-year-old sharing homemade brownies with you. This brings me to:
The 80/20 Rule
This is pretty much what the picture depicts: eat foods that your body enjoys and are beneficial to your health 80% of the time and indulge in foods that your taste buds love (that maybe aren’t so beneficial to your body) 20% of the time. I know that this also takes a certain level of discipline, but honestly, living a healthy lifestyle takes some discipline until it becomes a habit that you don’t have to consciously think about as much.
I give you permission to take what I am sharing with a grain of salt. This is my take on the two camps and I know that not everyone will agree. However, the thing I want you to take away is to find what works with your lifestyle, body, and personality. You can ask yourself based on this information:
Should I indulge in a ‘cheat day’ or moderate treats?
It may take some experimenting and playing around with different methods or combinations of methods. Either way, I am one of those people that believes this: