Why cheat days do more harm than good

Cheat days, the day where you can eat what you want guilt free?

Unfortunately very often when we get to the cheat day we have been anticipating all week long. All we're thinking about is what we're allowed to eat. What bad food can we indulge in. Because calories don't count on Saturday's?

So we get the pizza and the ice cream and gorge ourselves. Feeling pretty guilty in the process because we're eating this “bad” food. The next day we feel awful and bloated so we spend the day recovering. And then Monday we get back on track while anticipating the next cheat meal. Can anyone relate?

I did this for a long time and although I thought it was helping me satisfy that craving. It turned into a toxic relationship with food. I didn't know what to do with spur of the moment dinner invitations, it would ruin my cheat day(I thought).

Then the constant thought of “what am I going to have'' or “I can't wait for Saturday” was exhausting. And when I look back on it, sad.

It did not give me a healthy perspective of food or fitness. It fueled my toxic relationship with food. It also led to horrible binging habit because my body needed more food. It needed more carbs and dairy and my body was showing signs I needed more of it but i ignored it. Because fitness is meant to be miserable? And I can't have bad foods and be fit. So i thought.

Our bodies need carbs, fats and proteins. We need dairy for hormonal balance. Side effects of not eating enough are irritability, unable to lose weight, afternoon slumps, hungry all the time, or irregular bowel movements. You could be under eating and then shocking your body every cheat meal. Causing fits of uncontrolled eating.

I experienced all this. This wasn't the way I wanted to live, that wasn't the reality I wanted.

Looking back it makes me sad to think all the time I spent idolizing food and making it a priority above a lot of things. And what makes me mad was it wasn't even benefitting me. During the week I needed extra calories and I was never giving myself enough.

There is no one size fits all in this. I have had clients who run their weekends differently then during the week. BUT cheat day is not in their vocabulary. This can lead to excessive guilt and shame.

If you are incorporating cheat days currently, give some thought to it. Does it align with you and where you want to be? Is this what you want to teach your kids? Are you struggling with some of these things?

I encourage you to not label food as good or bad. But recognize how it makes you feel. There are more nutrient dense foods than others and we should gravitate towards them. But it doesn't mean you cant have other foods or that it will derail you from fitness progress.

So to get out of the habit of cheat meals or binging cycles. You want to make sure you're eating enough. And don't label foods as good or bad and if its means having pizza instead of rice and chicken one night. You will be ok. Don't let fear of food control your every step and take up too much room in your life.

Don't cheat, do it right. If you feel like you can't break out of this cycle alone or need extra support. Check out my 12 week renovation program where we can tackle this together.


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