What are the positive and negative reasons to allow oneself a "cheat meal" every once and awhile?
I have been on a very strict low calorie, low fat and high protein diet for the last 2 an 1/2 months along with a strict cardio and weight training routine. I have not strayed but starting to feel the little temptations of a meal that reminds my taste buds the flavor of "being naughty ". The fear is that I have had very good success these last two months and I don't want to lost any hard work but at the same time that same fear makes me wonder if I should reflect on an other issue of being over obsessed with results and not learn proper "normal out of program" moderation etc. Any help would be much appreciated.
I would really suggest that you think about the circumstances that preceded you feeling tempted to reminisce about eating something that you really enjoy. Were you surrounded by friends, was it a television commercial, did someone say or do something that triggered the feeling of wanting to eat something really yummy?
When you have those feelings, write down or think about what is occurring or what might have occurred that might have triggered the desire to eat whatever you deem unhealthy. It's really important to be aware of our own hidden behaviors which at times may sabotage us.
Also, at times when we change a behavior, like changing the way we eat, sometimes we are over ambitious and change suddenly as opposed to changing the behavior gradually. To stop eating the things that you really enjoy cold turkey is a real challenge, so it is not surprising that you want to eat it now.
It's great that you've thought about it, you've shared it with us on this platform and now you can plan your cheat meal.
Before you eat it, though, I recommend that you write down all the wonderful behaviors and goals that you have adopted over the past couple of months. Then after you have your cheat meal you can review the behaviors and goals that you've made for yourself in order to get back on track.
I wish you success.
Negatives: If you do it a little too often, you accidentally fall back in to poor habits.
I always allow myself and my clients one cheat day per week (unless they are preparing for a BB/Figure contest). I have had feedback from my clients with their cheat day and it usually turns into a cheat meal...only one meal for the day and not the entire day.
We are only human and indulging in a food of our choice seems natural. I dont feel one can "blow" their eating program with one meal...rather a "blow" to their emotion/s of cheating.
Psychologically a planned cheat meal can work wonders. If you are feeling temptation, better to cheat and enjoy it than let it build up in your mind. Stifled temptations can turn into binges, and that would diminish your progress. By planning I mean you could decide ahead of time which day or meals you would cheat. So there's no guilt, it's planned and strategic. Then as you approach that meal, you go and get exactly what your body wants right then (don't try to guess ahead of time and then stock your house with something). Eat it and enjoy it. You don't have to overindulge. In fact, I'm betting it may not even taste as good as you remembered. Then it's over and you're back on track (that's the key).
I think the idea of re-framing the "cheat meal" into something less guilt-inducing is a good idea; something along the lines of "free reign" and less restrictive would be good.
You have to figure out how to get the results you want, for life (or alter what you can live with--results wise if it'll protect your sanity). Nobody could, or should, be a low calorie, low fat plan for long (of course, that needs to be defined and it would be based on the person). Your body, brain, and mood need adequate fuel, nutrients, and fat to function optimally. Plus, you want to have some fun!
I suspect that you are well aware of the most current research on what comprises a healthy nutritional lifestyle. It's not one meal. It's what you eat most of the time. And balance that with plenty of vigorous exercise.
Your dietary plan has to be a comfortable, enjoyable part of your lifestyle. If it's a rigor it won't last for long.
A planned adjustment of calories to stimulate metabolism is a whole other factor - however this should be filled with whole foods that are considered healthy and nutritious, rather than "junk".
Here is a fantasic article by a MS Nutrition/RD that shows you that eating outside the box of "clean" is so much beneficial than subjecting yourself to the torment of "diet" food.
Of course, you must be careful to avoid going overboard and thus I think planning ahead is a great idea.
So long as you earn your indulgence and partake in it in moderation, I believe the positives outweigh the negatives.
Dirty bulking is a way to get mass, as once a person gets to a certain size, weight capacity and height, they cannon physically lift beyond limits. The only way to go up in carrying weight is adding on pounds of your own. Eating dirty can get you extra fuel to burn.
Bad food aside, the best way to "cheat" is to not cheat, but to cheat smart. Dont want that grilled chicken, rice and veggies? Hit a local sit down restaurant and get something to satisfy those cravings without getting fast food.
How have you been doing?
I do not believe in a cheat meal for myself; although, I do allow the discretionary calories for those in transition from a poor diet. There are times you will be obsessed with your program and other days you are more relaxed.
One cheat meal a week will not hurt as long as you do not overdo it when you are still doing a safe exercise program. I must say that a balanced lifestyle is the best way to go; meaning, a balanced diet to go with a balanced exercise program.
Talking to your doctor at a checkup is also a good idea to make sure you are not silently hurting yourself. Take care.
U answered yourself. If you want to live and on a very regimented diet, schedule or anything else, the "cheat" presents a multipurpose.
I offer "cheat days" to relax away from the strict regiment BUT, still with a responsibility of not over blowing the program in a day or two (don't set training back by a week),(in the application).
*You will learn about or boost your self discipline (+/=)
*learn how "U" respond to utilizing this strategy(=/+)
*If you are actively challenging yourself consistently w/variety in your program your nutrition should be adjusted with it. *If your stuck on achieving a certain goal (weight (-), body comp (+) allow yourself some freedom...BURNOUT can be right around the corner for some & if your dedicated to your program like you say you should be fine(b honest w/self).
I personally don't see a negative when used "responsibly," rather than a bailout or excuse...
The negative, it becomes a habit that becomes not a biweekly thing but a weekly and then later a daily thing. It can be a slippery slope