cheat vs. treat – let’s change the way we talk about eating

Happy Wednesday everyone! There are a million and one posts out there telling you what you should be doing to be healthy, and very rarely will you find a health post on what happens when you just darn well want to indulge.

First of all, let me just say, there is nothing wrong with this. In fact, I think that by coming to terms with the fact that you will indulge, it is one of the healthiest things we can do. As humans, we have faults; the sooner we come to terms with this fact, the sooner we can forgive ourselves if, and when, we digress from our rigid meal plans. We are all so quick to persecute ourselves when we aren’t perfect, but wouldn’t we all be much happier with ourselves if we just accepted that we are all faulted? That way we can make adjustments in our lives to prepare for these inevitable moments. We encounter these challenges on a day-to-day basis, but if we plan ahead, then we can reward ourselves for our steadfast dedication, and feel good about rewarding ourselves with a treat. Some may call this a “cheat”, but I prefer not to use that negative verbiage because you are not committing an immoral act when you decide to eat a freshly baked pastry on Sunday morning… You just aren’t. So, instead, let’s continue with the word “treat” as an alternative, because technically you are treating yourself for all of your hard work.

The best way to treat yourself would be to indulge in a smart way. Maybe you have been craving a succulent steak, so go ahead and order yourself that filet when you’re out to dinner with friends on Saturday night, but try swapping out the side of mashed potatoes for steamed vegetables or side salad. Another tip would be to try eating the vegetables before the steak so that you wont be filling up on the treat before you get in your healthy staple of vegetables. If you’re craving ice cream, quickly Google the closest fro-yo location and walk, briskly (hello, this IS a wellness post after all) to the store, fill your cup with a small portion of yogurt, and go wild with fruit and nut toppings. This way you can satisfy your sweet craving, all the while getting in some probiotics, some antioxidants, and some protein. That is truly what I call treating smart!!

And remember, once you treat, don’t beat yourself up over it. Accept that you worked hard all week to allow yourself a smart treat, and move on. This is the crucial final step to the process.

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