Everyone deserves a reward meal, no matter where you are in your progress!
Reward meals keep you sane, happy, focused, and away from a breaking point where most people will give up. They help you to avoid feeling deprived from your favorite cheats and can give you something to work towards during the week.
Having a cheat is actually good for your metabolism when you are following a strict diet. The body has to work harder to process the high-caloric meal, which in turn boosts your metabolism. Following a low-calorie diet for too long without a cheat meal can stunt your fat loss, so you need to shock the system every now and then.
This depends on how far you are from reaching your goal. If you are far off or just getting started, maybe do this every other week. If you are maintaining or are close to your goal, have your pleasure meal once per week. So no more than once per week and no less than twice per month.
Keep your reward meals to ONE PROPORTIONED meal! Do not go overboard with your cheat meal and do not make it a cheat day. Use your judgment on what you would consider a serving size, which is usually half of a restaurant-style dish. If you think you may get served too much, ask for half the portion boxed up in advanced and feed it to your dogs or give it to a friend :) If you like to cook I would suggest making your reward meal at home where you can use fresh ingredients and know exactly what you are eating. Always eat at the table and when you get up, no more snacking or eating…The party is over!
• Large portions
• Fried foods
• Heavy sauces
• High saturated fats
• Just plain junk
• Homemade pizza with lots of veggies
• Spaghetti and meatballs
• Sandwich with thick wheat bread
• Hamburger on wheat bun
• Pancakes (wheat or buckwheat) and eggs
• Steak and baked potato