The Truth about Cheating(on your diet)

I realized this weekend marks one year of basically maintaining my weight. I am 6lbs less then what I weighed last year but also 6lbs from my technical goal weight. I try not to get hung up on the scale so I am not to worried about where I am but I felt the need to celebrate a little...with food. Which isn't always the greatest idea. But I had a cheat day yesterday.

We all do it. I mean how else can we live without having a treat or two? (Treats are different then snacks. Treats are the snacks you deny yourself like ice cream, cake, chocolate, potato chips...snacks are apples and peanut butter, carrots and hummus, zucchini chips & salsa, things you eat between meals.)
But how do we keep our cheat days from happening every day? How do we not let it ruin our day our week?

Four Hour Body Couple have some great ideas. Their fist tip is to have a general idea for the day. It's fun to think you will eat at your favorite restaurant but stay open to options such as pasta with shrimp OR pizza. It's fun to be sporadic but it's helpful to keep it within a time frame/picking a day.
Another great tip they have is to not feel hungry. If you are hungry then your are denying yourself something, like lunch or dinner. Make sure you eat. Obviously because it's a cheat day. Luke Starbuck, author of the article, says that after being a food pleasure with holder he realizes that "there's a great mental gain in just eating the entire Snickers bar, and on a slow carb diet, your body needs this as a reset. A nibble on 90% dark chocolate maketh-not a cheat day!"
He also throws in a bonus tip for those who are concerned about losing ground on a cheat day...i.e. you gain instead of lose. He says make a list of things to keep in mind before the cheat day. Make a list of activities to keep you focused yet relaxed. Such as incorporating squats, or a quick workout in the afternoon, even drinking lemon water, or grape fruit juice, or coffee can stimulate your digestive system. "All of these help your body use more food for muscles, minimize any food storage as fat, and still allow you to be totally relaxed about what’s going in your mouth."

Web Md has a GREAT article on cheat days. "Taking away a person's favorite foods can be the death knell to a diet, says David NW. Grotto, RD, LD, author of 101 Foods That Can Save Your Life. "I think splurging on a diet is mandatory, not an option," he says.
Grotto calls it "structured cheating." There's a difference between enjoying your favorite foods occasionally and eating everything you adore, he says. The key to maintaining control, he says, is deciding what you want and how much you'll have, and then to "eat it with full consciousness ... lick your lips, and then move on with your life."
Also plan a few healthy meals during the day, then you won't feel as if you have totally back slided. Be sensible though, keep your portion control in check. It's okay to enjoy what you love, just within moderation and with a tiny bit of a plan. 

We're headed back out to the farm this weekend so I know I'm going to be cheating quite a bit. Here's my plan though, walk as often as possible(I have packed work out gear/running stuff), drinks lots of water, no alcohol this weekend. (Did you know that 1 glass of red wine can slow your metabolism for up to a day? It is different for everyone though!!) Make sure I always eat a sensible breakfast. It feels good knowing I have a plan but yet I also know I'll be able to enjoy the master bakers cookies...if I can talk her into baking us some! 

So, my weekend won't be THIS epic!! But this was also pretty funny!


The recap is, keep a loose plan, pick a day, remember portion control, drink lots of water. And if you can, exercise a little on that day. But remember to ENJOY the day! No guilt!