Fitness/Clean Eating · Stories

Cheat Meal or Cheat Day?

This is a hard one to decide because for someone so relatively new to this life style change, A whole day of eating whatever, sounds pretty damn good.

For the last several months it has been a learning experience to say the least. There are things we liked, didn’t like, worked and DID NOT work. Among those things we tried our damnedest to make a cheat day work but as we lost weight and then derailed our selves over and over again with a cheat day we realized that it just doesn’t fit our plans.

cheat meal

For instance as a woman, I tend to hold onto water weight a lot longer than a man. So I now know that if I go and gorge myself on mexican food, tortilla chips, salsa and cheese dip (My favorite foods) then I won’t be able to feel guilt-free about it for several days after. But isn’t the point of a cheat day not to feel guilty? Why yes, it is and that’s exactly my point. Due to all the sodium, I will be carrying around the extra weight for at least 3 days regardless  of what I eat, drink or the work out I do.

cheat meal 4   But, the hubby and I want this to last so we tried and tried to ignore the negative effects of a cheat day. Then my parents came and we all decided to go to Golden Corral for lunch one day ( It was our cheat day “YAY!”) and enjoy the company and food. We got our plates and drinks, I thought I was being smart for getting water out of all the options,  made the boys plates and sat down. Then came the time to make my own plate. How would I decide? I want pizza, fried chicken, fried fish, and french fries and steak and mashed potatoes and gravy. Holy crap there was so much to choose from but again I thought I was being smart and responsible by getting all my veggies first then going back to get one piece of fried fish and some popcorn shrimp.  It was AMAZING. I skipped the pizza and felt good about the decision but then came dessert time. My old friend turned nemesis. I ate TOO much. Whatever I skipped on the food end, I sure made up on the dessert in. Freaking dumb. I literally gave myself a brain freeze on ice cream. it was so amazing I couldn’t NOT get it and seconds, or put Oreos on top with chocolate sauce. Yeah, I went a wee bit over-board. I can admit that but the worst part is that the night before, my parents kept the boys so the hubs and I went on date night. I got chicken strips and cheese dip. I over ate then too. But my mindset was oh I’ve done good I can have a cheat day and it will be fine.

cheat meal2It wasn’t fine. A cheat meal is fine. A cheat day for us is a catastrophe. After that day I got sick to my stomach and plateaued for two weeks. I worked out harder, ate less and drank more water all in the hopes to lose the weight I had gained from ONE cheat day. I think that weekend I gained 3 pounds and those stubborn littles butts would not come off. I finally got them to budge after weeks of pushing myself almost too far. When they fell off I told my husband a cheat day won’t work for me.cheat meal 5 A cheat meal was better but even then moderation is key. You can honestly have whatever you want but in moderation. If I want a Oreo, I need to learn that one or two IS enough. If I want pizza, I can have a slice or two but NOT the whole pizza (as enticing as that may be.) Right now today I am struggling with a cheese burger craving out of this world. In fact yesterday we drove by Sonic drive in just to see what a cheese burger was worth calorie wise.  1040 calories for ONE regular burger from there. just the burger, are you kidding me. That’s almost my entire allowance of calories in one little burger. Bull crap. I said “forget this noise, I’m not eating that.” Honestly I think we are going to make our own burgers and try to make them a little healthier. We will see. HAHA

cheat meal3
It is ridiculous the way my brain works when it comes to food now. I never put much thought into what I or my family used to eat but now, EVERYTHING has a value and accompanies the question “What are you giving their or my body?” Regardless on the thoughts, cheat meals or cheat days, are completely healthy and necessary for long term results. From a psychology stand point; its logical. Its a reward waiting for you at the end of a long hard stressful week of making the RIGHT decisions. Kinda like that outfit (we all have one) that you look to for inspiration when losing weight. Its a short term goal that keeps your mind in check. I know for us we have to have ONE cheat meal a week. Usually on the weekend and its usually grill related. We love grilled or smoked foods so thats our way of keeping us sane without feeling absolutely crazy or deprived. You should never feel deprived when changing your life style. If your on a caloric deficit as we are, find foods that fit your budget but make you feel fuller longer.  Food can be your friend and there are so many tasty cuisines out there but one lesson I have learned is; Try it, try it all but don’t forget portion control and for my family minus the children, a cheat meal works better for us than a cheat day.

Happy Cheating…………

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