If you’re like me, you tend to eat when you’re bored or excited, and nothing excites me more than getting to the end of the work-week in one piece. If you ask me, that’s cause for a celebration and a celebration is cause for indulging in your junk food favourites.
Junk food Friday is an occasion I instated years ago during one of my health kicks and even though I learned that engaging in a night of salt and sweets could undo an entire week of exercise, the occasion stuck.
In my opinion, there’s nothing wrong with a cheat day, but there are some things you should do to keep the guilt to a minimum and maximize the pleasure of the moment. After all, what’s a junk food Friday if you can’t enjoy it?
Make It Authentic
Don’t add in Macaroon Monday, Wendy’s Wednesday or any additional cheat days before your actual cheat day. At that point, you’re just begging for the guilt to eat away at you. Like the quote says, self-discipline is key.
Choose Your Junk Wisely
Pizza has it all: meat, cheese, carbs and deliciousness, plus, you can dress it up or down how you want with pineapple, beef, green peppers and more. Chicken wings are protein covered in oil and fatty meat, but protein none-the-less. Fries are the real junk food culprit, but if you choose your other junk wisely, you’ll find that a handful of fries are all you can tolerate. Overall, have a good mix of food groups to make it filling.
Here is where it gets sticky (no pun intended). Indulging in sweets, especially after going all-in on the junk is where the guilt really tends to seep in. First, see how long you can wait before eating your sweets. In most cases, the craving goes away and you can get by with just a tea or coffee. If you still have a craving after 30-45 minutes, opt for a slice of cake with a hot beverage. Cheesecake, carrot cake, chocolate cake, they can all be quite filling. You don’t want to make the mistake of going too light on dessert and end up with another craving soon after you thought you satisfied it.
Get Back On It!
The quickest and simplest way to eliminate cheat day guilt, is to go for a walk right after. That’s right, slip back into your health kick slowly but surely and almost unexpectedly. Walking is more of a leisure activity so it won’t feel like exercise and it will get your metabolism going enough to start burning those extra calories. Of course, going for a brisk, Friday night stroll is frowned upon, especially when you have 2-3 good movies lined up to watch, so you can always take your stroll on Saturday morning if you can live through the Friday night guilt you incurred, due to irresponsible indulging and ignoring tip number 2.
I’m not a nutritionist or personal trainer of any sorts, I’m just a regular, old, food lover like you, working on finding ways to make my love for food work for me and hoping to provide you with some helpful tips.
Now maybe you can help me! What kind of controls, checks and balances have you put in place to maintain a healthy lifestyle? Leave me a note in the comments below. I’m open to any and all suggestions.