I get asked a lot of questions about eating healthy, but this one is definitely in the top 3...
"Isabel, how do you stay so disciplined all the time? Don't you just want to eat bad food every once in a while?"
To be honest, the short answer is NO. I am not suggesting everyone be perfect all the time, but there is one VERY important reason why I will almost always choose to eat something healthy over an unhealthy option, and that is this...
Feeling bad, awful, tired or run down is NOT an option.
You see, after almost 20 years of eating the way I teach you in New Life Promise, I have found that when I do choose foods that are not so "supportive," I feel tired, bloated, and my head hurts... and if it's sugar, I need to take a nap.
The reality is, if I want to stay on top of my game, if I want to accomplish the very long to-do list that awaits me every single day, if I want to cook for my family and be available to play with my children...
... I have to eat the foods that will fuel me to do all of those things – not the foods that are going to drag me down, but the ones that are going to help me in my quest to feel great.
So, back to the cheat meal question...
I'm a very big fan of a cheat meal for most people, but my definition is much different from many other health and fitness professionals.
There are some people out there who will tell you to "go all out." Just eat whatever – fast food, potato chips, brownies – the works. That, to me, is just a recipe for disaster. Those foods will make you feel terrible, have you passed out on the couch for the rest of the day, and do nothing to support your weight loss goals.
How about saving your "cheat meal" for a dinner out with friends? Then you'll just order some good food that looks appealing to you without worrying too much about how it was prepared or what it comes with.
For me, that usually means ordering some kind of fish and not asking for too many substitutions. If it comes with something like pasta, which is filled with gluten, I will ask for a vegetable instead because gluten makes me feel lousy for at least 24 hours.
It's just NOT worth it to me.
The other time you may want to use a cheat meal is when you have plans to eat at someone else's home.
I am famous for always bringing a healthy food item to share, but let's say you're not going to do that. Hopefully, fast food is not on the menu and you can work with whatever they are serving. Make that your "cheat meal" and focus on having fun with your family and friends instead of the food.
So, to answer your question...
Yes, I do eat healthy MOST of the time, but it's not because I think I'm going to get fat or because I have superhuman willpower. And it's not because I feel like I HAVE TO. I do it because I want to feel good each and every day.
I want to wake up early and write emails and blog posts like I'm doing right now. I want to exercise and then get my day started by teaching my children. I want to have enough energy to work a full day, make a healthy dinner for my family, and play outside in the afternoon.
These are the things that motivate me to continue to eat healthy.
With all that being said, a cheat meal can be used effectively as a part of any healthy eating plan. Just choose those times wisely and remember why you began this healthy journey in the first place... to feel good every single day.
That's what it all boils down to... WE ALL WANT TO FEEL GOOD!
If you're looking for meal plans that include foods that are both healthy and delicious, look no further than the New Life Promise plan!