Pacific Institute for Sport Excellence
You are almost at the end of the Health Club Challenge and the evolution of your eating habits.
Through the process, you have seen that choices fall along a continuum. Strive to enjoy your meals and eat in a relaxed setting.
Preparing food and nourishing your body should feel good.
Most people achieve long-term success by making small changes over time, such as swapping a food item for something with more nutritional value. Some, however, have tackled the change by clearing their pantries and giving the contents to a neighbour with the goal of starting afresh with new habits.
Whichever approach you take, it's important to take stock and assess whether you have been successful. If you have chosen the latter approach and experienced difficulties, you may need to take a less-aggressive path.
If you fall off the wagon, it's important to get back on: Be resilient, don't judge yourself, adjust your course and continue on the journey.
Don't expect perfection or you risk setting yourself up for disappointment. If you do it right most of the time, you have a ticket to not worry about the rest.
A strategy that can be helpful is to give yourself permission to have a cheat meal. A cheat meal is free of rules and allows the gastronomic experience to be restriction-free.
Just remember that the goal of the Health Club Challenge nutrition program is to create meals and snacks that are always pleasurable to the palate.
Be careful that the cheat meal does not become the focus of the week's nutrition so that you deem other meals less enjoyable.
You may find when you eat the cheat meal that it's not as good as you expected, because you're enjoying your daily choices and feel better when you eat healthier.
If you decide to have a cheat meal, give yourself the required break, avoid going overboard and get the next meal back on track.