Knowing how to recognize and avoid cheat days can mean the difference between accomplishing your fitness goals or losing the battle of the “bulge.” What can you do about it?
Ever hear the old saying, “It’s like taking one step forward and then two steps back?” What does that mean? It means to make a small achievement to only go back and fail twice as much you gained, right? Same is true with cheat days on your diet! How is that?
I too struggle on giving myself permission to fail. The yo-yo effect as you might have called it. I lose a bunch of weight. I enjoy the feeling of how my clothes feel. I can even see the difference! But then I go on vacation or the holidays or special occasions happen. Boom! I feel all fatty, bloated and sluggish. What gives? I feel so defeated. How can we avoid that feeling and failure?
Let’s say you wanted to lose one pound per week. One pound of fat is equal to 3,500 calories. So, you have to cut 500 calories a day (500 x 7 days) to make your goal, does that sound right to you? If you wanted to lose more, you cut more. Makes sense, right?
Now, let’s say you worked hard by working out, changing your diet (water for soda or whatever) and watched religiously what kind of healthy foods you ate for a whole six days. Then, on day seven, you give yourself “A cheat day”, or as I call it, permission to fail.
Now here is what I want you to realize. Think of your calories as money. Every calorie you lose is a “calorie dollar” you earn (losing is gaining in my books!). So, by a week’s end, you show have at least $3,500 saved up! Awesome right? So here’s the kicker… how do you feel about losing that hard earned calorie money? Not good, right?
So, for every meal that is over your loss, you are paying back. Losing money (and time)! Think about it. You worked hard for those 3,000 calories but on your “cheat day” you helped yourself to a 1,800-calorie meal. You just lost $1,800! You net-earned only 1,200 for the week, not even half a pound! Your body just absorbs those calories like it always does, uses what it needs and stores the rest as fat. Sucks right? I don’t know about you, but I really like to keep what I work so hard for, don’t you?
So, how do we avoid “cheat days” or permission to fail days? Do you think changing how you view them might make a difference? Makes sense right? I would have to agree.
So, let’s stop giving back our hard-earned calorie cash and get rich on success! Stop giving yourself permission to fail only win. Adopt a calorie counting method (such as using MyFitnessPal) for all your meals and activities. It really helps. I love it and I know you will enjoy it too.