Megan Johnson McCullough — Avid gym goers crave the designated cheat meal. When it comes to food, it’s certainly human nature to have the urge to let loose every now and then. These cravings come in different capacities for each of us. Some can have that ice cream cone once a week or couple slices of pizza. Others go big or go home. In the long run, the cheat meal can be set up to either help or hurt you on your fitness journey.
The “cheat” is a tricky concept. We naturally label foods “good” or “bad”. Cheat meals typically revolve around “bad” choices, making the element of guilt arise. We can judge ourselves harshly. We might feel deprived or feel like the “bad” food has been earned. Extremes can also be a problem. Having not had pizza for a long duration, one might overeat feeling like the opportunity wont’ arise again any time soon. Not everyone can turn down available food left in front of them. For some, the cheat meal has become a total cheat day. This self-allowance has turned into snacks, drinks, and large meals that are all “bad”. Others are able to recover from this and now the day has become a week or longer. Junk food is addictive.
Here in lies the problem… good old self control. One actual serving size of many foods is just a tease. The belt buckle doesn’t always know what’s good for it until it’s too late. A cheat meal has become a binge. 5,000 calories have quickly accumulated. These high fat foods don’t contain ingredients conducive to our health either.
Do understand that a cheat meal is not mandatory when following a diet or exercise plan. It is form of -resetting the mind or a reward for the week’s diligence. Here’s the catch, if you just let yourself go for it, then you have to consider calories, fats, and sugars from beverages too. I’ve had coaches tell me at the one meal you get have whatever you want and however much you want. I’ve had other say have smaller cheats during the week so it’s not this accumulation all at once. So now we are talking stomach capacity. We work so hard and yet reward ourselves with one of the very problems that are the reason we might be working out in the first place.
What are we teaching ourselves? If we had the self-control to eat what we wanted in moderation all the time, then we would even need a cheat meal. Wouldn’t that be nice. We live in a diet crazed world of the latest and greatest gimmicks. Balance seems like an impossible feat. It is possible and it possible to not even have a cheat when you change your lifestyle and learn to control choices each day without guilt, with the recognition that food is fuel not emotionally related, and when you make an effort to burn some calories to at least earn some back.
Megan Johnson McCullough Every BODY’s Fit – (760)201-6784 – www.oceansidefitnesstraining.com