If you have been around the Health & Fitness world for some time now I am almost positive you have heard the term "Cheat Meal".  To some, just the sound of these two words can cause them to salivate like a Labrador who just caught the aroma of a 28oz porterhouse. 

A cheat meal is typically a meal consumed with complete disregard for your diet or normal health concerns in order to satisfy your cravings.  Some opt for an extra large pizza, a bucket of fried chicken or even a conveyor belt of "Chubby Hubby" ice cream.  So is this good for you?  Sounds counter-intuitive.

Many professionals in the industry associate this occasional binge as something which isn’t really good for you but doesn’t do any harm in moderation. Others suggest that cheat meals help with pacifying your cravings and thus make a healthy diet sustainable for the long term.

I my opinion, good or bad? I think the answer lies somewhere in between.  If you are dieting or just watching what you eat I think it is very important to incorporate a "cheat meal", although I am not a big fan of the term.  Let me explain...

Eating something that wouldn’t normally be a part of the proper diet plan you have created is great every once in awhile.  It gives you a sense of accomplishment, sets a short term goal for you, and bottom line it's part of life!  Why deprive ourselves of everything.

The real problem I have with this is the term "cheat meal".  Cheating on your diet; this implies you’re doing something really bad, and that type of thinking leads to guilt… which is the complete opposite of how a cheat meal should make you feel.  On top of that, it also causes people to go overboard.  Just because you are straying from your diet a bit does not mean it is healthy to gorge on junk foods all day.  THINK!  

I like to think of my cheat meal as more of a "flex meal", meaning that I have a little more leeway than normal.  This way I can enjoy the foods I love but still keep it reasonable.  Trust me, you will feel much better about yourself and it will be much easier to get back on track the next day.    

So what's my favorite cheat meal? 

I LOVE good old fashioned spaghetti and meatballs with a side of crunchy french bread.  Check out this link and try out this great recipe from Jamie Oliver...


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