Changing your eating habits is crucial to fat loss. In fact, it is more important than exercise (use caution with that statement!)
But far too many people make radical dietary changes and then expect to follow them 100%. The truth is that changing 20-30 years of dietary malfunction is not going to occur over night. So you have to keep some of those special treats in your diet to keep you progressing and to keep you from thinking that you'll never taste ice cream again.
You're going to miss meals, you're going to go out for lunch and "bomb" your diet. It's okay. Get back on the horse and get back to riding.
What's that you say? You don't get equestrian analogies? Don't worry, just keep chewing on it and it will begin to make sense.
Here is the truth: If you're looking for a reason to not lose weight or change your lifestyle, you'll find one. What is needed instead is to simply find ways for yourself to succeed. And if that means having a cheat meal 3-4 times per week, then by all means have what you like. But don't dwell on it. You obviously ate it because you liked it and thought it would be satisfying. The next step is to simply return to your modified eating habits.
Having a cheat day can actually be beneficial for you if you hit a plateau! When you have a cheat meal it acts to reset your metabolism and thus can get you back into fat burning mode! So even if you need to, schedule in a cheat meal.
For example, last night my wife and I went to Tahoe Joe's for dinner. We had a calamari appetizer, house salad with Italian dressing, then a steak, mashed potatoes and green beans. Did I eat all of it? You bet! Was it outside of my normal eating habits? Absolutely. I normally would have eaten the steak, salad and green beans, but probably would have stayed away from the calamari and potatoes. But it was one of my cheat days.
But this morning I hopped back on my eating plan and had scrambled eggs, black beans and cheese. I enjoyed last nights dinner as a cheat meal and then moved on. You can't dwell on it as if your hard work and dietary changes are now undone. Simply move on!
In other news...
A brand new study out showed that those people who keep track of their calorie intake using a PDA or cell phone application lost more weight than those who attempted to record meals using the paper and pencil method.
So what's the take home? Find an application for your iPhone, Droid or whatever, that allows you to input your food intake and start recording it! You can't change what you can't see!