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The Psychology of a Cheat Meal and How
It Can Help Keep You Motivated

Did you know that purposefully allowing yourself to fall off the weight loss wagon once a week can actually be good for you? Bear in mind, Iím not encouraging you to fail on your diet, or to plan to fail and then blame it all on me. I am encouraging you to reward yourself after a long, hard week of well deserved effort, by indulging in your favorite foods ó but, only if youíve really earned it.

This is commonly known as the "cheat meal". Fitness professionals such as figure and physique athletes, as well as bodybuilders, often use the psychology of the cheat meal to get them through the tough training and dieting days they endure.

Everyone loves to eat delicious food, and everyone craves something "bad" for their figure every once in a while. What separates those who can avoid the temptation with those that canít is the motivation. Now, Iím not saying youíre not motivated; you just need to give yourself a little treat to look forward to.

Consider this. When you were back in grade school and your assignment was to color, you would get rewarded on your effort with a red, silver or gold star. Sometimes even two, if you were really good. The children, who went all out and made the biggest effort, got the bigger reward. While those who merely did it because they had to, got rewarded with a less desirable star. Think of this in terms of your weight loss plan. If your ďassignmentĒ is to lose five kilos in five weeks, and your weekly goal is to lose 1 kilogram per week, reward yourself for ďoutstandingĒ effort by allowing yourself to cheat on something youíve been craving all week. Be careful though to set goals that are attainable and not wildly out of reach.

The psychology of this effort allows you to work towards your goal because you know there is a desirable reward waiting for you at the end. However, you need to be firm, and remember if you cheat yourself, you are only really jeopardizing your own success and results

If youíre very new to the dieting game and canít see the motivation in one meal, because youíve been eating junk food every day for the past few weeks, then you can even start out with a cheat day. Set aside one day during the week (preferably on a Saturday or even better, Sunday) and work hard during the week, in order to indulge on that cheat day. If you havenít stuck to clean eating and have cheated before your cheat day, accept defeat and know that you cannot reward yourself with a cheat. And aim to work harder the next week.

You will soon see how vital, motivating and how very important a cheat meal/day is for every successful dieter.

Author: Dimi Ingle.
Copyright 2009: Remedium. This article may not be copied, in whole or in part, without the written consent of Remedium.

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