Cheat Day? Week?

By: Nikki Nies

My ma got me a gift card for Chili’s to celebrate Easter.  Part of me thought “yay”, however another part of me wondered why she would buy me a gift card for that chain restaurant?  I don’t frequent it and I’ve never mentioned I liked it.  When I think of Chili’s I think of high sodium, fat foods.  Am I wrong?

I don’t frequent chain restaurants much cause the nutritional information has scared me away too much.  However, many people I know eat regularly at chain restaurants and suggest going there for dinner.  So, I guess I’ll be going to Chili’s soon, someone’s gotta spend the gift card.

This gift card got me thinking of indulgences and the whole concept of “cheat days.”  I’m having a hard time understanding the concept.  One eats healthy and exercises well an entire week, but at the end throws it all away for a huge, juicy burger? Studies have shown that in actuality, saving your treats for a specific day can cauportioncontrolse someone to overcompensate and eat too much and when they see all the empty wrappers are more likely to feel guilty, perhaps eating more than anticipated to curb their psychological state.

The concept of moderation can eliminate the need for cheat days, allows one to enjoy his or her foods when and where the want, instead of “waiting” for the weekend and makes someone feel less guilty.  Instead of designating a single day for eating all your “soft spot” foods, I suggest eating that cookie you see.

However, eating proper portions is key.  You can get the same enjoyment out of one cookie  compared to three cookies.  Really appreciating the flavors of foods can help one achieve better satisfaction overall.  Check out this portion guide, utilizing your hand!

Wording is everything, so instead of considering it cheating, think of it as treating yourself.  To be the best version of oneself, one needs to know where their limits are and enjoy the little things as well.   Also, some creative ways to “reward” oneself without always relying on food–getting that mani/pedi you’ve been putting off, spend some quiet time doing yoga, take a hot bath.

I’m gonna “treat” myself to a meal at Chili’s, can’t let a gift card go to waste, however, once my quesadilla comes (always gotta have one!), i’ll split it in half: half I’ll attempt to eat and the other half I’ll put away for later eating.  Food should be part of one’s daily enjoyment, but learning portions, how to treat oneself in other ways as well as seeing food as source of fuel, not pleasure can help many people nutritionally!

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