Here’s an unpopular opinion for you: cheat meals/days are stupid. I said it, I know, I might get some backlash considering it’s a pretty popular thing among dieters these days. I get it and believe in the idea of rewarding yourself for a job well done and your hard work, but often times a cheat meal is just setting you back. Don’t we all want to move towards our goals not away from them??
Let’s break it down…
Sunday through Friday I eat 1,800 calories a day of nutritionally sound food. Think lots of fruits and veggies, whole grains, eggs, beans and nuts. Little to no soda or juice, but lots of water. I work out Sunday through Friday for an hour each day burning anywhere from 500 to 800 calories. Taking into consideration my resting metabolic rate (or what my body expends without exercise), I would put myself in a caloric deficit of around 7,000 calories for the week, which equates to around 2 lbs of fat. Nice! Slow and steady weight loss over a period times leads to lasting results. The weight comes off and stays off because healthy habits have become a lifestyle (aka what we at TheFitGirls365 are trying to promote!).
So, remember that 3,000 calorie deficit over those 6 days from exercise I did (forget about resting metabolic rate for now)…
Now, Saturday rolls around I wake up and say today is a “cheat day”:
(I’m going to write it all down because a girl can dream :) and it’s definitely beneficial for me to see it in number form)
Breakfast: Iced caramel latte and sausage egg & cheese on a bagel.
Lunch: Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese.
Dinner: few slices of pizza, buffalo wings, garlic knots and a caesar salad.
Snacks: ice cream, potato chips
Total: 3,537 calories. If ate that all in one day, I would completely reverse all of the hard work I put in at the gym and be that much further behind on my weight loss goals. So what do I do to reward myself...because trust me we, all deserve it were hard working ladies!! I’ll treat myself to a pedicure every so often since my feet get pretty gross looking from running all the time. I’ll treat myself to a new workout top or pair of jeans, nothing better than working hard and fitting into a pair of jeans you used to have to squeeze into. I’ll go out with friends, while not the most forgiving calorie wise, there are ways to get around it if you do in fact want to have a drink once in awhile. Vodka and club soda or red wine are my go tos.
Rewarding yourself for a job well done with food creates an odd relationship with food. Eating well become a chore and you just end up dreading the week looking forward to that cheat day. You should always enjoy what you eat!!! I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, balance ladies, balance. Eating foods you enjoy, that nourish your body in the best way possible and being forgiving when a slip up happens here and there is in my opinion the only way to healthy weight loss. Calories in need to be less than calories out.