Cheating on your weight loss plan is a bad idea. It’s also incredibly common. If it happens to you, it can be easy for a “cheat meal’ to turn into a “cheat day”… and then, even an entire week. Cheating can definitely derail your weight loss plans if you allow it.
On the other hand, it’s important to remember that you’re only human. Mistakes happen. And one meal is not going to ruin all of your progress! Just take these steps to recover afterward.
Get back on track right away. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking, “today is ruined anyway, so I’ll get back to my eating plan tomorrow”. There’s no reason for a small setback to become a larger obstacle.
Analyze how it happened. Did you go grocery shopping while hungry? Did you stop by a bakery after a stressful work day? Were you hanging out with a friend who encourages you to cheat? Address the reasons that you gave into temptation, and remedy those situations where possible.
Don’t punish yourself… You might feel that you should compensate by skipping your next meal, but this would be a mistake. You might get into a cycle of cheating followed by punishments, and that’s not emotionally or physically healthy. Plus, yo-yo dieting will only complicate things by disrupting your metabolism.
…But do go for a walk. You’ll feel better if you “atone” for your cheating a bit. Just don’t view exercise as a punishment! Think of it as a way to clear your head, and do something healthy for your body. Positive feelings will return, and help you combat any guilt you might be experiencing.
Remind yourself of your goals. Why are you following a weight loss plan? Were you warned by your doctor that you’re at risk of a chronic health condition? Do you want to feel more fit and healthy, to keep up with your kids? Are you doing this for self improvement and personal satisfaction? Look back at your reasons for beginning your weight loss journey, and remind yourself that these motivations are still important.
And of course, remember to discuss these issues with us at your next appointment. We’re here to offer you the support and encouragement you need in order to achieve your goals.