If you’ve been in the wellness sphere for any length of time, you’ll have come across the term “cheat meal.” To the casual observer, it just means eating something that doesn’t fall inside your regular diet. But its value and purpose goes much higher than that.
It all comes down to our psychology. We need to know that we have an “out”, so to speak. Nobody can stick with the same foods, day in, day out. So every now and again we need a change – and a chance to let our guard down.
In this post, we take a look at why cheat meals are so important and why you shouldn’t feel bad about eating them.
Life Is For Living
You could eat bland meals for the rest of your life. But life is here for living. No matter how well we eat, we’re all headed to the same place. The whole purpose of health and wellness is to live well. So you stick with healthy foods 90 percent of the time, and then allow yourself an indulgence every so often.
A life full of flavor is essentially what we want. And, yes, you can get that in a healthy manner. But sometimes, you don’t want to have to focus on your diet. You just want to let your hair down. And that’s when cheat meals come in handy.
It Gives You Freedom
Imagine telling yourself that you can never eat another donut in your life. It would feel a little oppressive. But cheat meals provide you with a bit of safety. The fact that they exist means that you’re able to entertain the idea of eating something outside of your wellness regime, even if you never actually get around to doing it.
Thus, in a sense, cheat meals are an important psychological tool. They remind you that you’re a free agent that can do what it wants. If you want to indulge in pizza or put Italian sausage in oven trays and bake it, then that’s your prerogative.
It Lets You Blend In
We all know that socializing with others is extremely important for our health. Without it, we can struggle. But when you’re on a very specific diet plan, it can be hard. You worry that if you go out, you won’t be able to find something you can eat.
Here again, is where the concept of cheat meals comes in handy. You can combine them by going out and socializing, giving yourself permission to have whatever you like.
It Keeps You Mentally Healthy
We live in a connected society where everyone affects everyone else. It’s not always realistic, therefore, to build a wall between yourself and the rest of the world. In many ways, we are just reflections of our environments.
For this reason, cheat meals can help. They give you the freedom to fall off your diet every now and then when it isn’t realistic. And this provides extra motivation to stick with it in the following days.