Why I don't do Cheat Days.
Instead, I do Meat days.
What is so wrong with cheat days? Here is what the internet has to say about the benefits of cheat days:
Gives a break from measuring/calculating calories & macros
Replenishes glycogen for increased energy
When Trophy Body Sally and I planned out our 2022 transformation series, we happily included routine cheat meals to provide us all the benefits listed above, but as soon as the first cheat meal arrived, I noticed some very scary and unstable emotions surrounding the experience.
The next day I thought deeply about my cheat meal experience. I hadn’t put that much junk food into my body like that in years, yet since it was a cheat meal, I was supposed to eat ‘junk food’, right? Did this cheat meal provide ANY of the benefits listed above? Sure, a few. But not the important ones. As we all know, cheat days ride the line of a binge, and for those (me) who rarely if ever have the ability to eat one bite of a donut or one serving of icecream, it definitely becomes an overeating experience. Duh, isn’t that kind of the point? Well, in my last blog, I talked about how I never want to overeat or undereat. I’ve done too much of that in my lifetime and I am putting it behind me. Back in 2004 was the first time I ever had a cheat day and my memories of it weren't pretty. I was so full by the end of that day, I found myself face first on the carpet moaning, groaning and feeling absolutley gross. Yikes. Now, at this point in my life, I don’t even like eating one bite too much. It depresses me, dehydrates me, zaps my energy, reminds me of 2004, reduces my motivation and believe it or not, makes me MORE prone to overeating again soon. Maybe because it’s been hard for me to recognize how to correct a binge. That’s a very common question related to cheat days, “What am I supposed to do the next day? Act like it didn’t happen?” Well it did, and my tummy hurts, I feel bloated and I feel ashamed. Wow. What a disconnect to my self love and the truth. Some people may stay very level headed and see right past any temporary consequences of a binge. Not me, because I am...was...an overeater and that’s the last thing I need (kind of like how much an alcoholic needs a drink).
What can I do instead to fully satisfy my deepest cravings?
Bingo. Include it in my prepared meals. My cravings and intuitions always come at me in perfect timing. There is a chance my craving stems directly from watching someone eat something on youtube, or a commercial on tv, but I must allow all of these desires (stemming from my childhood), embrace them and release them. I have a lot of experience recreating ‘junk’ foods and making them healthy, so it is my pleasure to make these treats (whether they are savory or sweet) and include them into my meal prep and maintenance calorie window. Did any of you see me dunking my morning Banana in melted chocolate, or serving up two bananas with 2 TB of nut butter PLUS a square of chocolate? That's what I'm talking about. I get to have my cake (a lean, tight & fit Trophy Body) and eat it too. The second I crave it, it’s going into the next meal prep. Some foods I might not be able to recreate in my trophy way, but I can find a way to allow it as it is, experience it and move on. For me, this approach is sustainable, easy, and sound. There is no need for cheat days, but what about meat days?
Meal Prep #8: Days 31-35 (1/28-2/1)
Meal Prep #8: Days 31-35 (1/28-2/1)
Macros & Calories: 65% Carbs (376g), 24% Fat (63g), 11% Protein (62g), 2320 Calories, 72 grams Fiber
Hot Drink: Dandy Blend Tea or Cocoa Powder w/ 1 cup Almond Milk
Snack #1: 1 Packet of Trader Joe's Instant Oats (Apple Cinnamon) with 2 TB PB2 & Hot Water
Breakfast: Oatmeal Waffles (oats, pumpkin, baking powder, flax meal, water, cinnamon/salt) served with 1 cup Unsweetened Vanilla Coconut Yogurt & 1 cup Fresh Blueberries
Lunch: Trophy Lasagna (Corn Tortillas, Beans, Green Chilis, Tomato, Corn, Salsa, Onions & Bell Peppers) served with 1/4 c Nacho Cheese Sauce & Iceberg Lettuce
Snack #2: 2 Large Bananas (first), then 2 TB Peanut Butter and 1 square (1/2 oz) of unsweetened Chocolate (Simple Truth Organic)
Dinner: Brown Rice Pasta, Zucchini Noodles, Steamed Broccoli & Tahini/Vinegar/Maple Syrup Dressing (with added spices)
**Meat Dinner on Sunday 1/30: Chicken Thighs cooked in Veggie Marinara, served with Brown Rice and Steamed Broccoli (I also enjoyed 2 glasses of White Wine)
Fitness Log: 1/27-2/2 + 1 Song/day
1/27: Rest Day
1/28: 13,000 Steps
1/29: 1 hr Indoor Cycle
1/30: A.M. Full Body Light Flex Session + Evening Dancing
15 Minutes: Lower Body Moves
10 Minutes: Foam Rolling
30 Minutes: Evening Dancing