Hot Wings, Double Cheeseburgers, Doughnuts — all treats you might not expect to find on my healthy eater's food log. However, for one eagerly anticipated day during the week or month, my no-no’s become the indulgences of choice for myself and many like me that are on strict diets and regimens. “Cheat days,” or planned days of nutritional splurges, have become increasingly popular as a way for health-conscious individuals to enjoy our favorite foods without the guilt. The treats are seen as a way to keep my spirits high and help maintain adherence during the week.
While I am all about making healthier decisions and better choices when it comes to the food we eat. I do believe in something called "Balance". Training from Monday to Sunday, on Friday or Saturday I tend to allow myself to have tasty and satisfying meals. Some times I do Chinese food (I am a big fan of Shrimp & Broccoli), or I will have Popeyes (the chicken tenders are my favorite.). Or I'll take a trip to my favorite restaurant 5 Napkins where they make THE best buffalo wings.
Cheat days are very beneficial for me considering my special circumstance. If you haven't read Type 1 Diabetes + Me! Where I discussed finding out I have Type 1 Diabetes and how eating junk food helps me out a lot when I need a pick me up from the decrease in my blood sugar. Due to my way of living and training so hard in the gym. My blood sugar tends to drop more frequently than the average trainee. Now while I could just have a healthy snack and be fine within the next 30-45 minutes after consumption. At times my blood sugar drops so fast that I have to eat the first thing in sight. Which can be anything from Starburst, Pringles or a Pepsi? All in the name of staying alive!
back to you guys.
If you are just starting out being active and have a goal as to how you want to look, and you do not possess a large amount of discipline. You should probably cut out cheat MEALS altogether. As in no burgers and fries, Buffalo wings and ranch, or nachos with quesadillas to follow (I am making myself hungry writing this.) Instead of cheat meals, reward yourself with cheat TREATS. An Oatmeal Raisins Cookie, Reese's cups, or a bag of Lays. If you are always splurging and having these full blown cheat meals it will make it harder and difficult for you to see any results from your training. Having a nightly binge on ice cream and donuts doesn’t necessarily qualify as a cheat meal so much as a bad habit. Although cheat meals can be beneficial, spread them out through a month. Dr. Greenberg, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist in Mill Valley, CA, indicates that the frequency of splurges can change depending on where you are in relation to your goal. Someone closer to their maintenance weight may be able to splurge more often than someone just starting a diet.