Having a cheat meal once or twice a week does not hamper your diet routine by a large margin. A couple of cheat meals in a week are recommended by health professionals to keep your mind and body following your diet routine.
Getting on a strict diet for various health reasons can take a toll on the mental and physical health of an individual. Depending on the kind of diet you follow, your body can start craving fats, carbs, or other forms of nutrients.
It is best to keep meeting this demand for nutrients. Otherwise, there comes a breaking point when one simply gives up on the diet routine and falls prey to overconsumption of such unhealthy meals.
To avoid pushing all your efforts down the drain, set aside a couple of meals each week to satisfy your craving for delicious foods without going overboard with the intake of salt, sugar, fats and oils.
Which are the best foods you should opt for a cheat meal?
Although fried, pancakes are your best bet if you’re looking to down a delicious meal without compromising your diet routine. The ingredients that go into the making of a pancake don’t hamper your health as much as very oily and greasy food.
So, if you’re looking for a break from eating salads and greens, get yourself a plate of irresistible, aromatic pancakes and eat away! However, you might want to keep an eye on the toppings. Refrain from using excessive butter and dressings so that you can keep the calorie count minimum while still being able to enjoy the goodness of pancakes.
Yoghurt is one of the best probiotics that you can consume for exceptional health. Not only that, yoghurt is quite satiating as well. A cup of frozen, unsweetened yoghurt, topped with a few fruit pieces, is enough to kill your hunger pangs for almost an hour.
Our gut health largely relies on probiotics like yoghurt to keep it functioning optimally. Having said that, consuming yoghurt can backfire on your diet routine if you add too much sugar or salt to it. Eat it just like it is, and you’ll soon see the benefits of this ‘cheat meal’ play out in your favour!
- Bananas with peanut butter:
Peanut butter is a strict no-no when it comes to regulating your meals to lose weight and get fit. But if you want to cheat for a meal, go for a peanut butter-topped-with-banana snack. True that peanut butter is not the best choice for a healthy meal, but it isn’t extremely hazardous either.
Moreover, banana is the best source of potassium and other minerals which aid in taking your diet up by several notches in the long run. Pay attention to your choice of bread since it can make all the difference. A thin layer of peanut butter spread across a couple of whole wheat bread slices topped with chopped bananas is just the right snack to gobble away at your desk or before hitting the gym.
Bananas work as the best food to increase stamina for running. In fact, many athletes often use bananas as a snack to munch on in between their breaks.
- Fried chicken nuggets:
Chicken is lean meat full of protein and good calories, being practically devoid of any fat. The trick is to shallow fry it in as little oil or butter, a simple coating wound be enough. The better alternative is to bake the chicken nuggets with a bit of seasoning topped with your choice of veggies.
While consuming fried chicken is not advised for people on a strict diet, you can let your guard down once in a while! Make sure you go for bite-sized chicken chunks so that the flavours can reach the depth of the chicken pieces, thereby satisfying your craving for appetizing food.
If fried in very minimal oil, lean meat is the best food for athletes muscles mass strength and durability. It works as the best cheat meal in this regard.
- Cheese sandwich:
As mentioned before, milk and dairy products are not the best meal choices if your goal is to improve your health. But if you’re looking to consume a cheat meal, go for a whole wheat bread sandwich with a few pieces of grilled chicken and sautéed vegetables.
Additional Read: health fitness
Cheese is a good source of calcium and healthy fat. Add a cheese slice to up the flavour a bit. Sprinkle your sandwich with a little salt and pepper, and you’re good to go!
Pasta, cooked in the most authentic way possible, is a healthy meal. Make sure to include plenty of greens in the dish and control the amount of butter and oil. You can also spice it up with a dish of baked potatoes on the side.
- Baked potatoes:
Baked potatoes drizzled with a bit of butter and sautéed vegetables is always a good option to satisfy your cravings for carbs. These are always a better alternative to deep-fried potato fries and nuggets since there is practically no unsaturated oil involved in its making.
You can sprinkle some flavoured cinnamon powder and salt over your plate of baked potatoes to give it that extra oomph without bringing down its nutritive value. Baked potatoes also work best as a side dish with omelettes or baked beans.
Milk and milk products are often frowned upon if you’re on a weight loss diet. However, downing a small glass of milkshake occasionally does not harm. Milk is a rich source of calcium and healthy fat which your body requires.
All you need to do is regulate the kind of milkshake you opt for. Prefer using skimmed milk instead of whole milk. Refrain from adding too much sugar, additives, or flavoured syrups.
The better alternative is to use unsweetened yoghurt instead of milk and churn a few pieces of fruit like apple or banana with it. Keep the calorie count minimal while making your drink as flavoursome and refreshing as possible.
- Chicken burger:
Burgers are not such a bad option for a cheat meal, especially if you limit the intake of sauces and dressings on it, and increase the number of veggies. Also, make sure that you cook the chicken patty in minimal oil and spices to prevent excess consumption of unhealthy oils and fats.
The choice of dough for the pizza can make all the difference. Opt for pita bread which is less calorie-dense. Increase the toppings of veggies on your pizza. Reduce the number of sauces, cheese, and dressings, and you won’t go overboard with your cheat meal.
Additional Read: Best Food for Weight Loss
Summing it up:
Cheat meals are a part of rigid dieting. They’re imperative to dieting in the right manner. Having said that, one must take care to not go overboard with the intensity and frequency of chat meals. Keep the consumption bare minimum so that you can satisfy your food cravings safely while still staying true to your diet plans.