I know (and you know too) that diet is incredibly important — not only for fitness goals, but also for overall health. However, anyone who knows me knows that I do not believe in permanently depriving myself of the foods that I really enjoy. Instead, I enjoy my less than healthy favorite foods in scheduled moderation.
My absolute favorite foods are hamburgers, fried chicken, steak, and French fries. And I eat them all! Sometimes. I have come up with a “Cheat Meal Schedule” for enjoying my favorite foods. My Cheat Meal Schedule is what works for me and keeps me on track. A variation of my Cheat Meal Schedule may be better for you. The point is to have a Cheat Meal Schedule so that your cheat meals are planned and so that you are in full control of the foods going into your body.
My Cheat Meal Schedule
I break down my daily food intake into 3 proper meals a day, 7 days a week for a total of 21 meals. This does not include the healthy snacks and additional lean protein throughout the day. I am very strict and committed to healthy eating for 18 of my 21 meals per week. I allow myself to eat a “forbidden” food during three meals a week. If I eat the hamburger and fries together in the same meal, that counts as 2 cheat meals. If I have a hamburger with a side salad, I can still have fries at another meal during the week.
This schedule works well with my workouts, fitness and health goals. It also keeps me sane and allows me to enjoy foods that I truly love without feeling guilty.
Find a schedule that works best for you and your health and fitness goals. The point is that you do not have to completely give up the tasty foods that you enjoy! You just have to find the right balance! And remember, a cheat meal is only a cheat meal if you are faithful to your diet the rest of the week. Too many cheat meals and it no longer becomes a cheat meal. At some point, it’s just a bad diet.