Cheat Meals….cheat days…..treat meals or whatever you call them!
I don’t know where that dang term came from, or where it started. I used to say it too. It didn’t really enter my vocabulary until I started prepping for physique competitions. As a matter of fact, I didn’t even get one cheat meal or a cheat day during my first few preps. They were forbidden. And since I am a head down, grind it out chick, A type personality, it didn’t bother me. I sure did need one because I was so lean and burning through hard earned muscle. But that’s another story.
Damn it, I didn’t cheat on someone’s paper. Where did this freaking concept come from? Remember, as a kid or a teenager, you just ate the food? There were never days that were called cheat days or meals – you just enjoyed treats every now and then.
Don’t get me wrong, I do understand the concept of the cheat meal or treat meal and how it came to be. I just can’t stand the analogy of it, the wording. The elusive cheat meal is meant to help your metabolism keep running efficiently during a dieting phase, as well to help your psyche because dieting for long periods of time sure can do a number on you mentally and emotionally. Raising your caloric intake higher than it has been can do wonders. But you see, if you were not eliminating food groups and cutting your calories too low you wouldn’t have to “Cheat!”
The word cheat. See, if you weren’t on diet, you wouldn’t need or have to cheat. Diet means restriction or elimination of food. So enters the word “cheat”, because when you eliminate something in your diet then you have to cheat to have it. What an asinine thought/term that has created fear mongering towards food.
Nowhere in the dictionary is the word cheat associated with eating and food! Here take a look: http://i.word.com/idictionary/cheat
It does say in regards to cheating, which can be applied to eating, is that the word “Satisfy” is antonym to the word cheat. That is surely what we want, is to “Cheat” when we are dieting and restricting things. We want to be satisfied, and we aren’t getting that through only having three or 4 foods for weeks on end.
We have taken a good thing, or lively hood, a primal instinct, eating and turned into something to be feared. Not good!
There is way to eat, to lose weight and still enjoy some of the foods you love. It’s called Moderation! It’s called Balance!
You see, when you eliminate foods that you like such as bread, dark chocolate, or maybe just a simple glass of wine every now and then, your brain goes into overdrive thinking about it continually. Why put yourself through that torture when you could just take the edge of with a few of those so called forbidden items sprinkled in your plan throughout the week. Where is it written in stone that you have to wait to the end of the week to eat something that you enjoy? Again, fear mongering and black and white thinking in relation to food.
What if I told you that you could have your cake, cookie or slice of pizza or two and eat it while trying to lose fat? You can and it works! Now, I’m not saying the whole bag or whole bottle of wine every day. I like to use and have been successful with IIFIYM or flexible eating. I know what you’re thinking, that flexible eating thing is just an excuse to eat junk, but it’s not. You’ve just seen all the fun foods that people post on Instagram. There’s more to it than eating junk. It’s a way of eating that is flexible and moderate. NO, it’s not an excuse to eat crap or junk, whatever you want to call it. Again it’s way of eating that doesn’t go to the extremes. Give it a try and stop eliminating whole food groups and feeling guilty about foods you enjoy in moderation. How about not depriving yourself and binging on a whole bag of cookies at the end of the week and add 1 or 2 cookies in your macros? Sounds like a win win, and gets rid of the cheat binge mentality.
I look up of a few people in the industry that explains and shows how flexible eating can be very beneficial for you and sustainable. Check them out here: http://www.soheefit.com/this-is-what-flexible-dieting-actually-looks-like/ and here: http://www.flexonline.com/nutrition/7-reasons-take-control-your-macros
Would love to hear your take on cheat meals! Do me a favor and hit me up over here: https://www.facebook.com/thebeautyofstrength/
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Yours in Health and Happiness