3 Reasons Why You Need a Treat Meal
YES, you really can have tacos or your version of a treat meal EVERY week. Even if you're not on an intentional weight loss journey, you may be in a rut of eating the same things every week, or subconsciously choosing "diet" type foods or restricting your calorie intake.
Do you ever find yourself feeling out of control around food? By this I mean do you feel that you can't have just a few chips or just one cookie? Are you afraid of keeping chips, candy, cookies and other 'junk' foods in your house for fear that once you start you won't be able to stop eating them?
This is a pretty good sign that even if you aren't intentionally trying to lose weight that you have some issues around food. Having a treat meal each week and learning to reframe your feelings about these foods can reduce feelings of guilt or shame.
The number 1 mistake people make with their weekly treat meal is letting it turn into a treat weekend, week or even month. Your treat meal is just *one* meal, not a 10 course all you can stuff in your face ordeal, or screw it I'm having a treat weekend.
If this happens to you frequently, you are likely restricting yourself too much during the week. Thinking you'll be *good* because you were *bad* over the weekend. You are not good or bad for eating certain foods. and foods are not good or bad. There are healthier for us foods like fruits & veggies and less healthy foods like chips and cookies, but food has no moral value!
3 Reasons Why You need a Treat Meal Each Week
1. Treat meals keep you from getting bored! Plain chicken breasts, salads and broccoli 8 days a week, ugh NO THANKS! Not only is that boring AF, but it's also really hard to stick to. Having foods you love, whether it's burgers, tacos or pizza once a week spices things up and makes eating healthier foods the other days much more enjoyable.
2. A little goes a long way! You know that feeling you get when you crave something, and all you can do is think about it? Instead of trying to fill that craving with a 'diet' version of whatever it is you're craving, have a bit of the real thing. I love chocolate, I usually want something sweet after dinner, so I have a bit of chocolate (1-2 squares) every day. This keeps my sweet tooth satisfied, and keeps me from falling face-first into a pan of brownies every Friday. Leaving my treat meal open for something like tacos every Tuesday.
3. Motivation! Knowing that tacos, pizza, burger, wings or brunch are in your future can motivate you to get your workouts in and stick to healthier meals most of the time.
If you're struggling to find balance with food (even without a weight loss goal!), I highly encourage you to read up on intuitive eating, remove 'good' and 'bad' labels when referring to foods and to slow down and enjoy your meals! You don't need to obsessively count calories, eat cardboard versions of your favorite foods or starve yourself to lose fat or be healthy.
Pinterest is a wonderful resource for healthy recipes that actually taste good and there are quite a few on my site under the nutrition category!
My treat meal is usually: chips and guac, 2-3 tacos, a margarita, and *maybe* dessert. This is what works for me, is it predictable, yes, but it's something I look forward to every week and I no longer feel out of control around chips or desserts.
What's your favorite treat meal?