Fitness blogger's photos prove cheat meals are totally OK

Public service announcement: One cheat meal or cheat day won't sabotage your progress if your ultimate goal is getting fit. In a super-honest Instagram post, fitness blogger Anna Victoria showed what she looks like before, after and the morning after eating a cheat meal—and explained why she loved every second of her treat-filled day.

ONE MEAL/DAY WILL NOT RUIN YOUR PROGRESS ‼️ I took the first photo before our day at Disneyland. As I mentioned in my prior post, we thoroughly enjoyed ourself and had all sorts of goodies like churros, caramel apples, ice cream, bread bowls and more. I was super bloated when I got home, but I just drank a ton of water and got some protein in before I went to bed. And guess what? I woke up this morning looking the EXACT same pre-cheat meal/cheat day. One unhealthy meal or day will not ruin your progress just like one good meal won't make you lose weight. 🙅 In the moment of a cheat meal or shortly after when the bloat struggle is all too real, we let our minds go into a downward spiral and think we've just ruined weeks of hard work. No, you haven't ‼️ In fact, that one cheat meal likely helped decrease cortisol (the stress hormone that causes your body to hold onto fat/prevents you from losing it) and can even help your body more effectively burn fat once you're back on track the next day 🤗So let yourself LIVE! You can go out and enjoy a meal with friends and family without letting it ruin you emotionally. We have to understand that food serves a purpose: to fuel and nourish our bodies. And in order to feel our best, utilizing food for this purpose about 80% of the time is what will help us feel great, inside and out. That leaves the other 20% for you to indulge and remember that life is also about kicking back and enjoying yourself! The 80% is about long-term enjoyment and satisfaction while the 20% is short term. We need a bit of both. Too much of a good thing can be bad, in both cases 😉 I know this balance is hard to strike. It takes time, trial and error. For me, I can't do little cheats through the week for my 20% because when my sweet tooth gets a little taste, it wants more and more. So I save my 20% for one big ol' cheat meal on the weekend and I know I have to commit to getting right back on track the next day (usually Sunday). That means self control the rest of the weekend. When you are struggling, remind yourself why you're here and that you're doing this for you, and your future self will thank you for it. 💗 #fbggirls www.annavictoria.com/guides

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"I took the first photo before our day at Disneyland," she writes in the caption. "As I mentioned in my prior post, we thoroughly enjoyed ourself and had all sorts of goodies like churros, caramel apples, ice cream, bread bowls and more. I was super bloated when I got home, but I just drank a ton of water and got some protein in before I went to bed. And guess what? I woke up this morning looking the EXACT same pre-cheat meal/cheat day. One unhealthy meal or day will not ruin your progress just like one good meal won't make you lose weight."

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Victoria also stressed how important it is not to let one indulgence derail you completely from your normal healthy eating habits. She encouraged her followers not to feel guilty or discouraged after enjoying some treats, or think that they have "ruined" weeks of hard work.

"You can go out and enjoy a meal with friends and family without letting it ruin you emotionally," she wrote. "We have to understand that food serves a purpose: to fuel and nourish our bodies."

The blogger is also a huge advocate for body positivity. When she posed nude for the Women's Health "Naked" issue, she said: "We get hung up on how our body looks physically, and it blocks us from loving ourselves emotionally. We need to accept that our differences and imperfections are part of being human and that they're nothing to be ashamed of."

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Victoria has used other Instagram posts to talk about "perfection" and why it's totally unattainable. She often posts side-by-side images of two-second "transformations," showing that even as a trainer, she still gets bloat and belly rolls. Cheers to this strong woman for encouraging others to love themselves, work hard—and enjoy a few treats along the way.

This article originally appeared on Women's Health