Embrace the Cheat Day

There’s plenty of science proving and refuting what a calorie bomb does for your overall weight management. A cheat day. I’m not a scientist so I won’t even try to pick a side. However, there is a psychological aspect that I can attest to, because it’s how I survive from week to week.

Buttermilk pancakes, whip cream, fruit, pecans

Weight management is a life-long journey. If your goal is to drop a few pounds for a wedding then a crash diet, a cleanse, or a program is probably all you need. Hit the gym a few times to squeeze into your fancy duds and go back to your regular routine once the cake is cut. If you’re like me, and you not only need to lose a lot of weight, but you need to keep it off…well…for the rest of your life, then you need something that you can sustain. A program that requires special gadgets, bowls, and pre-packaged food will work, but do you really want to do that for the rest of your life? Will you really be able to keep that up every day? Do you have the time to crush it in the gym everyday for the next several decades?

Give me carbs or give me death! Bring out the pizza!

Eating healthy doesn’t have to be boring. But, really, if you’re used to eating fast food, pizza, ice cream, fried foods, cheese, cheese, cheese, on a regular basis, healthy food isn’t as exciting. I love brussel sprouts and flax seed, but it just isn’t the same as french fries and a chocolate shake. If you start to dread your next meal, because it bores you, you’ll go right back to the unhealthy habits that landed you couch deep in that bag of Oreos.

Extreme weight loss and sustained weight management is about developing healthy habits. Yesterday we got a bag of “fresh milled oats” from the new Fresh Thyme grocery store, and, I even shocked myself, I uttered the line, “I’m excited for oatmeal on Sunday.” As soon as I said it I started to laugh, because I abhorred oatmeal until this past summer. I associated oatmeal with Oliver Twist and turn of the century orphanages. But, slowly, and over the course of two years, I’ve developed healthier habits. Now I’ll pass on the cookie in the break room because I know there’s something I want more that I’ll have later. I’ve learned to like oatmeal, because it means I can keep my pizza.

Don’t waste calories on mindless eating or forgotten meals. That triple shot venti mocha? That’s about half of your day’s calories. If you really want it and that’s what’ll get you through the day, drink it! But don’t forget about it.

Most days my household eats really healthy. Oatmeal for breakfast several days a week. “Buddha bowls” usually once a week. Fruit instead of candy. But, on Fridays, every Friday, we have pizza. Typically on Saturday or Sunday morning we have pancakes or waffles. Those heavy meals, comfort foods, are what help me to stick with it throughout the week. When my jaw gets tired of chewing through that clump of kale I can look forward to those meals later in the week. Over the journey of my weight loss the pizzas have gotten smaller and the toppings have gotten lighter. I limit the amount of syrup on my waffles, and I don’t slather the top with butter anymore. I’ve kept my comfort foods, but I’ve developed healthier habits of eating them. 

In order to lose weight and keep if off you need to develop a healthy love of food. I love to cook. I make breads, cakes, cookies, pizza, pasta, basically, lots of carbs. What turned me off from just about every diet plan or process was that I would have to give up the food that I love. When I discovered LoseIt! I found that I didn’t have to give those foods up. I needed to fall in love with food rather than abuse it.

If you go over your calorie limit for the day it’s not the end of the world. Don’t beat yourself up over it. Weight loss is a journey and on that journey you need to take some breaks. Those foods you love? Keep eating them. If you’re like me, I was eating those foods in bulk, and I was eating them everyday. So instead of giving them up and dreading meal times, eat what you love and love what you eat. Just don’t eat your family because that’s cannibalism.

Bon Appetit buttermilk pancake recipe!

LoseIt screen shot

4 thoughts on “Embrace the Cheat Day

  1. Love this! Don and I have stopped eating out as much as we did. I am cooking more and we are eating less. Tonight we are having angel food cake, strawberries, pudding and cool whip!

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