The cheat meal.
Depending on your perspective and discipline (or lack thereof) the “cheat meal” can be either your best friend or your arch-nemesis.
The first thing you need to do is stop using the word “cheat” when describing a meal where you overeat or choose foods that are not part of your normal nutrition plan (note I didn’t use the word diet, as that’s another dirty word for another day).
Cheating is a bad thing. Why would you associate that with an action you willingly take?
It also sets a bad tone for your followup behavior.
After a cheat meal you may feel the need to swing wildly the other way and overly restrict your eating, which can lead to you unknowingly depriving your body of key nutrients.
Or, you may adopt the mindset of “I already cheated once this week so I probably ruined any progress I made so far. Might as well keep it up since this week is wasted and I will try to do better next week.”
Just two examples of the many ways the “cheat meal” can make things worse.
In a given week you are probably going to eat at least 15-20 meals. Probably more if you include snacks.
If one of them is overindulgent, it’s really not going to cause much damage.
But that’s only true if you actually know what you are doing for the rest of the meals that week.
And it’s still only true if you are getting enough sleep, drinking enough water, staying active and getting stronger, and your body’s hormones are in check.
Take a step back and review those last two sentences.
Do you have all of that handled properly?
If not, your cheat meal really doesn’t matter.
It’s just one bad habit in a string of other ones.