Thank you so much for all the birthday wishes on my last post. It was a great weekend that was filled with so much food! Italian, Mexican, sushi, desserts, alcohol, Chinese and fast-food. No pictures because I was too busy stuffing my face but let's just say this is the most I've eaten in a L-O-N-G time.
Don't get me wrong, I indulge in stuffing my face at least once a week - in fact, I promote having a high calorie filled meal once in a while - but this weekend was gluttony overkill and my body is hurting from it.
My goal of seeing the 120's by the end of this month are pretty shot but is it because of my one weekend of bad eating? I think so.
With the end of January comes the end of many New Year's resolutions so it's a good time to revisit cheat meals and their place in the weight-loss journey.
Notice i said cheat MEAL, not cheat DAY (like the two days I just had). In my opinion, there is a huge difference: one will keep you sane on this journey and the other will destroy you! (Okay, not really destroy you, but if it helps keep the cheat days away, then yes, it will DESTROY you)!
I've touched on this subject before and as we know, weight-loss comes down to calories in vs. calories out. A cheat meal once a week will put you over your calories for one day, but if your nutrition and exercise are on-point the other days of the week, there shouldn't be that much damage done. For example, I've steadily lost about a pound a week since November and you better believe I take full advantage of my cheat meals (half a medium pizza... sure).
Some people might say I could have lost more than a pound a week if I didn't include the cheat meals, and that's true, but I'm comfortable with my progress so far. It's not a race to get to my goal weight... it's about finding a balance that I can do FOR LIFE. Including a cheat meal once a week is my way of balancing out my cravings and I believe it helps my body "recover" from a week of lower calorie days... simply put, it kinda shocks the system to keep it guessing.
On the other hand, depending on how bad your cheat days are, it can have major consequences. Let's take a look at my birthday Sunday:
Breakfast: pancakes, eggs, bacon, toast (839 cals)
Snack: yogurt and almonds (200 cals)
Lunch: Chinese dim sum (estimating 1000+ cals)
Snack: popcorn (300 cals)
Dinner: pizza and Mexican (1200+ cals)
Dessert: ice cream (350 cals)
TOTAL calories for the day: 3889+ calories
That's over 2300 cals just to maintain my weight... not even lose weight! That also means all the hard work I put in to create a nice calorie deficit is washed clean within a day, setting me back another week to reaching my goals. Totally not worth it if it wasn't my birthday.
Some tips to stay clear of cheat days: Cheat meals vs. cheat days: Part II (coming soon).