HOW I EAT TREATS REGULARLY (+STILL HAVE ABS)

 

Long gone are the days where we have to decide between being achieving abs and eating pizza. This isn’t your average “eat in moderation” type of post you’ve read a million of. Below, I’ll share 4 very specific things I do that allow me to eat treats weekly while maintaining a fit body with visible abs.

I share this, most importantly, so you know you can have you cake and eat it too haha. But, seriously, if you haven’t found the balance between reaching your goals while enjoying treats, I want you to know it exists. That place is possible. You’ll get there. Do not give up. I am here to help you with that!

You know my healthy eating style. I am an everyday girl who loves her cheese, flamin’ hot cheetos and pizza. I place a huge importance on healthy eating, but I do need a nutrition approach that allows me to enjoy treats and meals that taste like treats regularly.

Below are 4 very specific things I do to enjoy treats regularly while still seeing great physical results. You’ll also notice that they go in phases. So #1 is really like step 1 or phase 1. If you’re struggling with healthy eating and finding a balance between treats and your regular, nutritious meals, start there! I even like to revisit step 1 after a vacation or after a weekend where I didn’t eat very well. Read on!

 

1. GIVE IN + REBOUND QUICKLY

This is the first step in breaking a toxic relationship with treats. I remember first doing this about 3-4 years ago. I used to have the mindset that treats were cheats. What was I cheating on? What would happen if I cheated?? I had to remember one good meal doesn’t give you abs just like one bad meal won’t ruin all your results. We first must achieve a healthy mindset surrounding food.

Here’s how I found to do that… give into your treat temptations (in moderation!) and rebound quickly. At first, your treat temptations will be a lot more frequent and then they will slowly but surely slow down. When you feel like you want chips, eat them. Yes, you really have my permission. Here’s the key. After you eat your treat, rebound quickly! This means once you eat your chips, be done and move on. Don’t sit there and feel guilty you ate chips. Enjoy and get going with what’s next in your life… back to work, off to call a girlfriend, take care of the kids, do laundry, etc. 

Now, I do say give in (in moderation!) because if you are craving nutrient-poor, processed foods at every meal, you may need to seriously work on self control. Practice that by telling yourself no and following up with a healthy action. But for this first phase, give in and rebound quickly. 

 

2. HEALTHY TREATS

After 2-ish weeks in the give in and rebound quickly phase, I started feeling like I could do better for myself. I knew I could enjoy yummy foods while keeping them healthier. Junk food isn’t the only tasty food, right?! I noticed that as my mindset towards healthy eating improved, I began to really see that. So, I started creating my own healthy treats and tasty meals.

I know what you’re thinking… healthy treats don’t taste “the same” as usual treats. You’re right. Our healthy, homemade pizza isn’t going to be the exact same as Pizza Hut but that doesn’t mean it can’t equally satisfy. Plus, when these are your everyday staples, your cravings totally decrease. Instead of eating grilled chicken, rice and veggies for dinner, a BBQ chicken pizza can be equally nutritious but so much more delicious. You see where I’m going here?! I eat “healthy treats” every day and it’s actually part of the plan.

Experiment. Feel free to steal all my recipes. Get on Pinterest. Google healthy versions of your favorite indulgences. Soon, you’ll be cooking and enjoying “treats” that are actually healthy.

 

Here are just a few of the many treats from the Eat Your Way Lean Meal Plan Cookbook that truly satisfy; I share these just so you can see, healthy treats and tasty meals really do exist and you can eat them every day!

French Toast

recipe in meal plan cookbook

Protein Chocolate Pudding

recipe here

Cake Batter

recipe in meal plan cookbook

Breadsticks

recipe in meal plan cookbook

Chocolate Chip Snack Balls

recipe here

Ice Cream

recipe in meal plan cookbook

 

3. PORTIONED TREATS

Okay, sometimes, we will want the original Pizza Hut Pizza, Lays BBQ chips or Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream not our own healthier creation. I work that in through 2 ways.

  1. Indulge – nothing more than just eating what I want. I enjoy treats like this this one or two times per week. To help me make this just a treat (instead of a day of treats) is enjoying a treat at a restaurant to make it about an experience. Anthony and I will go get ice cream. I’ll go with friends to a Mexican restaurant and enjoy all the tacos and queso.
  2. Portioned Treats – my entire plan for nutrition has to do with balanced, portioned meals. I portion out my meals with an eyeball yet strategic approach (it’s all outlined in my meal plan so I won’t go into it here). But the point is, I always include a carbohydrate in my meals, so if I’m in the mood for a treat, I’ll portion out a carbohydrate serving in chips or cookies or ice cream. I rely on my self control to keep the portion in check, so I can enjoy the treat yet stay on track.

 

4. 80/20 RULE

This is the final phase of how I enjoy treats regularly while maintaining visible abs. I follow the 80/20 rule, which means that 80% of the time, I stick to my healthy, nutrient-dense meals and 20% of the time, I am more flexible and enjoy treat. I eat 5 meals per day; if you apply the 80/20 to that, it means 1 of my 5 meals EVERY DAY has a little bit of fun, wiggle room for treats.

 

I hope this post helped you see that enjoying treats and meals that taste like treats can be a part of your everyday life. You can see great results – like abs! – while eating treats on the regular. This process doesn’t happen overnight, so stay consistent and persistent because you will get there!

Also, I just want to point out why I choose the (+still have abs) addition to today’s post topic. Having abs is not an end all to health. Having abs doesn’t make you any healthier than someone else. It’s just personal to me. “Having abs” was my very first physical, fitness goal. It was also the hardest one for me to achieve. So, for me, saying that I can eat treats while maintaining abdominal definition is a definite accomplishment for me. I was able to reach my goal while enjoying what I was eating and that’s really what it’s all about!  

XO,

Lauren

PS – I’ve been working my booty off to come up with post topics that are real and really helpful. It makes me so happy to hear how much you’ve been enjoying them. If you have any posts topics you’d like to see, feel free to comment here or on my latest Instagram post!

 

8 Comments

  • Reply
    Sara
    May 1, 2017 at 8:25 AM

    Your posts have been awesome lately! I love all the specific suggestions you give. Thank you 🙂

  • Reply
    Jackie
    May 1, 2017 at 8:30 AM

    Any vegan dinner recipes you can share? 🙂

  • Reply
    Amy
    May 1, 2017 at 3:31 PM

    and this is why love your plan:) i mainly just do clean treats but my portions are off! So something i need to work on! I’m also bulking and breastfeeding ha ha so i have to keep in mind that once i’m done both of those and my muscle is built up i will have abs again!

  • Reply
    Liz
    May 1, 2017 at 7:23 PM

    Loved this post! And I really like that you mentioned that the 80/20 rule can give some daily wiggle room but still help achieve physical results! Thanks for sharing your secrets!! And thank you for being real about the fact that cravings happen and life includes treats!

  • Reply
    Jeanette
    May 2, 2017 at 3:51 PM

    LOVED this article. I struggle with feeling OK with eating fun food and tend to binge when I do get the “cheating” going. Totally counter productive and an unhealthy approach for eating.

    Other topics I’m interested in learning more about is how to balance alcohol into a healthy lifestyle. Socially, its not always about the food as much as it is the booze! I know this is one reason why many of us struggle with losing the belly fat.

  • Reply
    Lauren Westbrook
    May 2, 2017 at 4:39 PM

    I love this!

  • Reply
    Kelly
    May 3, 2017 at 8:38 AM

    Love this topic!! I also like to call them treats rather than cheats because it’s a lifestyle and it’s meant to be enjoyed! Thankful for you sharing this Lauren! We all need to have a good relationship with food!! <3 Keep these blog posts coming! Love them!

  • Reply
    Lisa
    May 9, 2017 at 8:33 AM

    LOVED the post girl❤️. It’s so helpful because this is what I am struggling the most with…
    Xo, Lisa

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