Rethinking Cheat Meals
Cheat meals are great for those special occasions where I have no control over the menu. I try to eat the healthiest thing around, keep my portion in check, don’t go back for seconds and track my food. Seems simple enough.
But my cheat meals are no longer for special occasions. A few months ago I tried a cheat meal once a week. I read how weekly cheat meal can boost your metabolism as well as help with cravings, but planning is the key.
It made sense. I mean it’s not realistic to go through life always passing on dessert. I just needed to be smart about it. Dessert everyday is a no-no. But once a week won’t kill me…or so I told myself.
Here we are 3 months later and I’m not happy with the results.
By definition a cheat meal allows you to eat something unhealthy – pizza, beer, brownies – but within moderation. Cheating to me means I can have carb heavy foods once a week. The problem with that is it screws with my body. By reducing carbs, I’ve hit the reset button on my hormones and enzymes so that my body uses fat as the primary source of fuel. Adding carbs back into the mix, even just for one meal, really messes with my metabolism. Plus, eating unhealthy foods in moderation is tough for me. No matter what I have for a cheat meal, I always feel hungry about an hour later and end up eating more than I normally would. D’oh!
Truth is I didn’t plan how to handle a weekly cheat meal. I didn’t create any good habits to make sure I didn’t let a weekly cheat meal get out of control. I thought I knew enough to handle it. Ha! For some reason, my rules when having a cheat meal on special occasions went out the window when I cheated weekly.
For example, when a cheat meal was rare, I’d eat one slice of pizza with a healthy, medium-sized salad. Today, it’s 3 slices and skip the salad. Just plain boneheaded.
When that basic rule was gone, it’s easy to see how my weekly cheat meal turned into meals. It’s amazing how one little thing can really spiral out of control. I found myself drinking a lot more wine, eating fast food, and giving in to my sweet tooth.
The last 5 days have been absolutely horrible. I had a major chocolate craving two nights ago. How bad was it? I actually drove to the store for a chocolate bar at 10:00 p.m. Last night the hubby and I went out for drinks (not good) and I ate bread (bad) and a large slice of apple pie with ice cream (delicious, but really bad).
This morning I awoke feeling groggy and bloated. Thank god I have a spin class this morning to whip my sorry butt into shape.
The good news is the scale hasn’t really moved the last few days. So far, I’ve increased my carb count (with junk) but maintained my weight. The bad news is I think that might change by Saturday. The horrible news is I haven’t lost any weight. Crap!
So I’m starting over with the low carb lifestyle. That means I’ll have 2 days of major sugar/carb cravings as my body adjusts back to the high fat/low carb diet. Cheat days are once again relegated to those once in a blue moon special occasions where I don’t have control over the menu.
No more gimmicks or tricks. When it comes to losing this last 75 pounds, it’s time to stick to what’s tried and true.