Why I’m Quitting the “Cheat Meal”

If you’ve been following around here for a while, you know that I LOVE to eat.  Is that sad?  I am one of those people who LIVES to eat, not EATS to live.  #SorryImNotSorry

My ideal life would be eating whatever the heck I wanted (brownie batter, cake, fries, crackers, you name it) all while never getting tummy aches and still being lean.  DREAM ON right?!

If you are a lover of eating like me…then you get it.  If you aren’t, you probably didn’t make it to all the way to this part of the blog post 🙂 .

Anyway.  Yes, I love to eat.  And because I love to eat, and eat in large amounts, the “cheat meal” mentality can seem really great at first, but end up being really detrimental.

When I first turned over a new leaf of clean eating combined with BBG last spring, I hardly “cheated” on my nutrition at all.  It took those first few months of 100% dedication to really focus and reset myself.  Honestly, I was so motivated by the results that I was seeing during those first few months that I didn’t mind the lack of indulgent foods.  But after starting to count macros in the summer, the person coaching me (who I no longer use) suggested incorporating a weekly cheat meal.

I started having weekly cheat meals and continued this practice for many months.  I still saw results, but mentally it was not healthy.  I would obsess over the upcoming cheat meal and then end up still feeling pretty guilty after.  This led to a few binges after which I felt EVEN WORSE.  A couple of those binges lasted for days…I just felt trapped.

After talking it out with my NEW macros coach (hey Josh!) I decided that rather than having a weekly “to hell with it” cheat meal, fitting those “indulgent” foods INTO my every day eating as much as possible was going to be better for my long-term goals.

Of course, there are still special occasions where I indulge and will go over my macros, but those don’t occur every week.  I save those special times for when I either cannot fit the foods into my macros (ex: a huge slice of cake from my favorite bakery isn’t going to work unless I barely eat all day), or have some sort of event pop up unexpectedly (ex: a happy hour with friends planned spur of the moment that includes foods that won’t fit within what’s left of my macros for the day).

I’ve found that by incorporating this new practice, I’m only eating outside/above my macros about 1-2 times a month, rather than using a cheat meal once a week.  When you break it down into calories, this makes a huge difference!  Let’s say your weekly cheat meal adds 3,000 extra calories to your week.  That’s 12,000 calories a month (which is 3.5 pounds btw).  By incorporating indulgences into my macros, I’m only eating an extra about 2,000-4,000 calories per month – which is NOT going to affect my progress at all.

What about you?  Do you have a weekly cheat meal planned out?  Or do you try to fit everything you want into your daily macros?  I’m genuinely interested and want to hear what works for you so please do share!

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