On The Importance of Cheating

“It was 9pm and my stomach was grumbling. As I sat there, uncomfortable and obviously hungry, I wondered if I could afford to break my self-prescribed rule of not eating after dinner with a banana and almond butter. But could I really fit more carbs into my daily macro intake that day? I decided to log all my food for the day into my FitDay.com journal to see where I stood.

…I had only consumed a total of 1061 calories and 44g of carbs that whole day. No wonder I was hungry! I had no idea. Oh right, I had accidentally skipped lunch… I immediately scarfed down food in an attempt to remedy the situation.” 

That’s a true story, folks, and it reminded me that limiting myself to an ‘ideal’ daily intake could become a slippery slope to an OCD eating disorder, or just plain under-eating. Where am I going with this?  Well, first and foremost, listen to your body. If it’s hungry, go eat! If it’s craving something, try and satisfy that craving. Sometimes, just sometimes, that craving is for something that you would not consider ideal for your dietary needs. But, you know what? Sometimes you just gotta feed the soul, and the soul is a fan of the junk food. As the Holiday season of food temptation draws near, I encourage you to get a plan — and that plan will include allowing yourself to indulge a little.

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This post is on the importance of cheat meals. But… I actually really don’t like that word, “cheat”. Let’s re-phrase that: “this post is on the importance of eating ‘sometimes’ foods”, as Cookie Monster would say. Sometimes it’s [mentally] healthier to give in to the sugar craving rather than to continue to strictly shun the Oreos. 100% Paleo, 80% of the time.

food choices

Will you enjoy every savory morsel? Yes. Will you feel like crap after? Probably.  Will that crappy feeling encourage you to not do that again for a while? Most likely.
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So go ahead and enjoy the egg nog, wassailpumpkin pie, and the peppermint bark, and regret not a single sip or bite, because food SHOULD be enjoyed.

What are the coach’s go-to cheat meals?,” you might ask.

  • Elizabeth: “take-out Chinese food, or Mexican food, and/or ice-cream (preferably in milkshake form).”
  • Jenni: “Pizza. Tortillas. Warm bread at Outback.”
  • Forney: “A cheat meal implies that you have restrictions on what you can eat.  You can’t cheat if there are no rules. Training day = eat everything in sight.”
For hard gainers, eating is a full-time job.

For hard gainers, eating is a full-time job.

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