Here’s the trick to getting cheat meals right, according to one personal trainer

If you are someone who eats a healthy diet, but also includes the occasional 'cheat meal', here are some tips from personal trainer Patrick Dale on how to include them in your diet in the right way.

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One of your resolutions this January has probably been to eat a healthy and balanced diet. All nutritionists advise that, in addition to eating a balanced diet, you should also leave room for one or two free meals a week. This is known as a cheat meal. You should also make room for those less healthy cravings, so that your healthy eating is more sustainable over time and even brings you more benefits, such as boosting your metabolism or increasing muscle mass. But you have to do it the right way, so you don’t ruin your good habits.

Personal trainer and ex-Marine, Patrick Dale, is a fitness expert at Fitness Volt and has published several books on the subject. Now, he has shared a very useful guide for you to integrate these cheat meals into your weekly diet in the right way, according to Forbes magazine

Make a schedule

It is important that you plan when these cheat meals will take place, so that you can keep track of them and it is easier to stick to them. Otherwise, you are likely to be tempted more than once.

Do not set more than one cheat meal

Patrick Dale advises choosing only one cheat meal, for example on Friday or Saturday nights. Try to stick to it, and don’t prolong the cheat meal and turn it into a cheat day, because it will be counterproductive.

Cheat meals are not binge eating

Many people associate the cheat meal moment with a real junk food feast in which you have free rein to eat anything and everything. The ideal is to maintain a balance without losing control. In other words, you can’t go from a healthy diet to an unprecedented binge, because it will end up making you feel bad. The fitness expert suggests sensible control in these cases.

Sport is essential

Diet and sport go hand in hand. The results of a healthy diet will not be successful if they are not accompanied by physical activity. Moreover, in the case of cheat meals, doing sport helps to ensure that some of the excess calories and nutrients provided by junk food are consumed by doing a high-intensity workout.

Put it into practice when you have the integrated routine

If you are starting to eat a healthy and balanced diet, it is best not to introduce junk food until you have 100% integrated these healthy habits. If you are used to fast food, your body will ask for it more often. In this case, Dale asks for a little more willpower at first.

Cheat meals, better away from home

Having temptation in the house will make it much easier to give in to it. That’s why Patrick recommends keeping your kitchen “junk food free”, so it’s harder to end up eating it during the week. So it’s best to eat out when you set yourself a cheat meal.

Don’t stop eating healthy

This advice goes along the lines of not falling into cheat day. When you eat this type of food, it is very likely that your body will ask for more and you will end up stretching yourself too long. Therefore, it is essential to think about a cheat meal on an individual basis, so that you can stick to a healthy diet for as long as possible.