With Halloween in our recent past and other holidays in our near future, treat hangover is a real problem, but when is a treat okay to indulge in? Let us help you know when to treat!
When you achieve victory or success
It’s important to reward yourself after you have done something well, whether it is in your professional or personal life, you deserve a prize! Believe it or not, studies have shown, rewarding yourself with food can really help you stay committed to eating better daily. It is important for our mental health that we celebrate our wins in whatever way, shape, or form we decide. If you love food, a treat can be a great way of doing this.
When you are active
It is promoted and taught by the most successful people in the world, as well as health and exercise experts, to get some form of exercise every day (usually at least 20 minutes of light cardio). If you are active, this is a great reason to treat yourself, as your metabolism will be on all-systems-go and your body will get rid of all those unwanted calories. Nevertheless, it is important to be smart with this. Five minutes of working out and then tearing into a box of donuts each day is not what I am recommending here. However, if you’re training hard, you can (in moderation) enjoy the food you want on those particular days.
When you eat healthily the rest of the time
I love eating healthily. Even though I am disciplined with my diet and love the way I eat, I have that sweet tooth, too. So, knowing I am eating really well the rest of the time, I feel less guilty if I want to treat myself every now and again. This works as a reward system as well (as I mentioned above). The more you can keep sugars out of your diet, the better, but it is very difficult when walking around the supermarket to not to pick up a few naughty bits (especially with the food industry encouraging us to get hooked on sugar and put on weight). If you are able to eat well around 90% of the time, you can certainly treat yourself and stay very happy and healthy.
When you don’t have a treat too often
If you only have a treat as a treat (i.e. every now and then), you are not really going to have any issues. If anything, it is actually better to have a treat in the morning or at lunch versus in the evening. This is due to the fact that your metabolism will be at its highest during the day when you are active, and therefore help burn those unwanted calories. That is why it is encouraged in the evening to eat less, including mostly protein and healthy carbohydrates, because once you go to sleep, your metabolic rate will slow down.
When they are healthy treats
There are many ideas out there showing healthy ways to indulge yourself. Please be careful with this, and do your research because the food industry tends to promote products as “healthy” when in fact they are not.
Anything you make from scratch will be better for you. There are many ingredients in packaged foods, and in some cases, you cannot even read or understand them. These are not going to be any good for you. When you know what your ingredients are, it is easier to be more aware and conscious of what you are eating: for example, buying your own Cacao powder, nuts, seeds, coconut oil, and honey. With ingredients like these, there are endless recipes online where you can make very healthy treats.
If you want any other specific ideas of ways to improve your eating habits, please let me know. As a Professional Athlete, I am constantly learning more about food and what inputs will create the best results possible.
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