- TAKE MODERATE PORTIONS
We usually treat ourselves with foods that we love but don't eat often - which is the whole point, right?! So it's not uncommon to see someone grab a HUGE piece of cake or ask for a second serving of italian pasta. This behavior usually leaves us stuffed, bloated, in a 'food coma', with stomach aches or digestive issues. It's important to remember that portions matter! Try to keep in mind that it's not because you're allowing yourself to have a piece of pie that you should eat the whole thing. So always try to take smaller portions and appreciate every bite of it.
- TAKE SMALL BITES AND EAT SLOWLY
Appreciate every bite - one at a time. We always tend to eat faster than we should. By eating a lot of calories in a short amount of time, the body doesn't even have time to realize that it's full and can't send the satiety signs to the brain in time for us to realize that our hunger is satisfied and that we need to stop eating. By taking smaller bites and eating slowly, it's easier to be aware of the signs and to know when we ate enough.
- DRINK A LOT OF WATER
Especially when drinking alcohol! Drinking a lot of water will make sure that your body stays hydrated considering alcohol and other beverages or types of food have a dehydration effect on our bodies. Water also helps in the transportation and use of nutrients so the more you drink, the easier it will be for your body to use the calories you are eating as energy. It also contributes to making you feel fuller faster so you then consume less calories. Remember that the human body is made of 60-70% of water so it's crucial to drink enough of it!
- DON'T FEEL GUILTY FOR WANDERING AWAY FROM YOUR USUAL FOOD PLAN
Eating a slice of pizza or drinking that glass of wine won't affect your health and fitness goals! Remember that it's all about balance! If at least 80% of the time your eating habits are in check, that treat once in a while will just do good for you mentally - as long as you don't fall into extremes. So don't feel guilty and enjoy!
- CONTINUE YOUR WORKOUTS AND PHYSICAL ACTIVITY AS USUAL
This goes both ways: you don't have to punish yourself by training twice as long and twice as hard the day after a 'cheat night' and you shouldn't skip your workout either because you feel your healthy day is ruined anyway because of what you ate. Consistency is KING for training as well! Even if you fall off track from your eating plan, you should stick to your normal workout/sport/training routine.
- RESUME YOUR GOOD EATING HABITS FROM THE NEXT MEAL
Whether if it's dinner that night or breakfast the next day, the meal you eat after treating yourself with unusual sugary, fatty, favorite foods should be exactly like what you usually do which is (hopefully!) a healthy nutritious meal. Don't restrict yourself or skip a meal or lower your calories too much. On the other hand, remember that your diet is not ruined if you had chocolate pancakes that morning; don't feel like you might as well eat junk the rest of the day! The sooner you resume to your healthy eating habits, the less consequences your 'cheat meal' will have and the easier it will be for you to get back on track.