That’s the thing about self-control when it comes to your diet. For a short period of time, any Tom, Dick, and Harry can practice it. But sooner or later, this control is bound to break and take you straight to the junk food alley of the supermarket.
This is exactly why nutritionists all over the world came up with the idea of once-a-week cheat meals, which can be used to reward yourself after eating clean and working out sincerely all week.
Now, there’s no denying that the idea has helped many retain the restraint. However, sometimes, we tend to overeat to the extent of compensating and overcompensating for the calorie deficit maintained through the week. The result? No weight loss or worse—weight gain!
However, eating sensibly even while you’re “cheating” can prevent that from happening. So, here are seven healthy cheat meal snacks to the rescue:
1. A loaded pizza for the win
By loaded, we don’t mean ‘loaded with cheese’. We are simply talking about a wheat thin crust pizza topped with lots of vegetables, chicken, and egg pieces. Not only will it satisfy your junk-food craving, the fibre from the vegetables and protein from the chicken/egg will keep you satiated. And who knows… It may even eliminate the need for a dessert!
2. Have a home-made burger
Use multigrain buns, mash boiled potatoes and shallow fry them in olive oil, add lots of lettuce, tomatoes, onions, cucumbers, cottage cheese, and even egg or chicken if you like. Your home-made happy meal with high nutritional value and moderate calories is ready. You can even add half a slice of cheese and a teaspoon of mayonnaise if you like.
3. Enjoy your favourite chaat
Curd, imli and jaggery chutney, mint chutney, a shallow-fried home-made aloo tikki, some sprouts, finely-chopped onions, boiled chana, and tomatoes sprinkled on top. And your favourite tikki chaat is ready.
4. Give sushi a chance
Sushi can be a great source of healthy carbohydrates and amino acids from the steamed rice and protein from the fish. Even if you are a vegetarian, you can still benefit from all the good fat from avocados, fibre from asparagus, and other veggies used for the filling. With no oil or little masala used in its preparation, sushi can make for an excellent low-cal cheat meal.
5. South Indian food is great
Keeping the deep-fried vadas aside–steamed idli, dosa, or vegetable uttapam can be enjoyed with a big bowl of sambhar for an evening out with the family. This meal comes without the guilt of eating too many empty calories on your cheat day.
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6. Fine, you can enjoy your pasta too
But, conditions apply. First off, avoid white sauce and mixed sauce pastas simply because they’ve nothing else but cream. Secondly, load up the pesto or red sauce pasta with lots and lots of vegetables. And finally, stick to wheat pasta instead of refined flour pasta for some added goodness.
7. Eat desserts but keep don’t ignore portion sizes
Remember to keep the portion size of that cheesecake or halwa in control. Also, if you can find yourself a dessert made with stevia or jaggery, it can help you save on a lot of calories too. The best way is to make one at home and use clean, fibre and protein rich ingredients like oats.