Jill Koegel, a registered dietitian and certified as a personal trainer, blogs for LiveWellNebraska.com
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Cheating is not a word I use in regard to eating healthy and exercising. It’s not that I’m perfect – far from it, in fact. It’s just that “cheating” is for diets. And I’m not a fan of diets.
Most people who diet feel like they’re on a program or belong to a special group. Then, when the diet goes away, they’re left feeling alone and confused. The weight comes back, and the next new diet comes along. It’s a vicious cycle.
When it comes to health routines, many people think one unhealthy move is the end of the world. Feeling guilty, they give the bad habit a label – cheating – then continue the behavior until they decide to go back on a diet. Again, a vicious cycle.
To change the up-and-down, back-and-forth pattern, stop thinking about cheating. Instead, create a new healthy pattern. If you normally do something one way, one instance of the other (less healthy) way isn’t going to set you back. Have your moment, whether it be a slice of pizza or bowl of ice cream, then go back to your healthy normal and and forget about feeling guilty.
This isn’t “cheating” because balance is key in nutrition anyway. Allow yourself to splurge just a little, and then get back to your normal. Once you’re there for an extended period of time, going back to it isn’t so hard. This means you’ve mastered a lifestyle change. You feel better, look better and your body works better. You’ll never want to “diet” or “cheat” again!
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