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.
Positive: because you deserve it. You’re dedicated to your work-outs. You’ve learned to discipline yourself through your training regimen. You deprive yourself of a lot of things to maintain your strength and health. I don’t know how old you are, but it doesn’t matter because you never know when it’s your time to punch out and go to the Big Gym in the Sky. So, treat yourself to something you like every now and then and don’t feel guilty about it–just don’t go on a binge, you’re too disciplined for that. Treating your taste buds to a burger and an ice-cold beer is as important as treating your muscles to a day off.
A planned cheat meal is a very good idea.
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.
If you have been on a long term calorie restricted diet then a cheat meal is not going to diminish your results physically or throw you off track. If anything, your metabolism may actually be ratcheted down a little, and so it’s either going to be a blip on the radar screen and your body may gobble through it and move on, depending on how lean you are, or you may actually even see a fat loss boost from it. There is different information out there on how much or how long you would have to cheat in order to see a difference.
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 don’t like to think of any meal as “cheating.” That sets up a mindset that you are doing something “wrong.” Budget some fun into your eating plan and you’ll never be “cheating.” If you want to spend a day’s worth of calories on beer and pizza, just know that your body will react, especially since you’ve been so restrictive. It might not be pretty, either, lol.