Regardless of whether or not they can be included as part of a healthy lifestyle, we have a problem with cheat meals. It’s not the high fat, high sugar, high calories that we have a problem with, it’s the term itself.
As we're sure many of you have learned throughout your life, cheating is bad.
If you cheat on a test at school, you can get detention.
If you cheat in sports, you can be disqualified.
If you cheat on your partner… don't even go there!
Using the term “cheat meal” implies that your meal is bad and just that word itself is enough to make you feel guilty for eating it.
So lets ignore that word completely from now on and focus more on what a healthy lifestyle actually means.
A healthy lifestyle is more than just physical health. In fact, there are 7 dimensions of wellness that contribute to an overall healthy lifestyle:
1. Physical Wellness:
The ability to perform daily activities with minimal fatigue by adopting healthy habits such as exercising and following a balanced diet.
2. Social Wellness:
The ability to form positive, lasting relationships with others.
3. Emotional Wellness:
The ability to acknowledge and cope with the emotions that we face such as happiness, anger, stress, sadness, etc.
4. Spiritual Wellness:
The ability to identify your personal values and live in accordance with them. Additionally, the ability to identify your purpose.
5. Environmental Wellness:
The ability to acknowledge the impact of our behaviours on the environment and make positive choices (e.g recycling, reducing waste, smart cars, washing clothes below 30C)
6. Occupational Wellness:
The ability to strike work-life balance while enjoying your career.
7. Intellectual Wellness:
The ability to participate in continuous learning, including learning new skills, concepts, etc.
Having a takeaway or meal out with your friends or family may not contribute much to your physical health, but it may positively impact your social wellness.
Don’t get us wrong, we're not suggesting that you consume these foods frequently, but we do believe they can have a place in a healthy lifestyle.
But if you have a goal in mind and are committed to making changes to your weight, health and lifestyle, then consider how you can make these treats healthier.
- Pick something from the menu that looks just as tasty but has less calories.
- Be mindful of portions
- Drink plenty of water
- Workout during the day before your treat
- Limit yourself to just ONE treat meal, not a whole day of treat meals
You've probably heard about the 80/20 rule where 80% of the time you eat healthy, and 20% of the time you may choose foods that are considered less healthy.
Maybe you are more comfortable with a 90/10 split, or maybe you would prefer 70/30. Regardless, taking care of your social and emotional health is arguably just as important as your physical health.
Here’s to healthy, yet sociable weekend.