What is a “cheat day”? Can I afford to have one?
These very common questions these days in the fitness and nutrition world. A “cheat day” most likely means something different to each person you ask depending on how they apply their overall knowledge of fitness and nutrition and what’s their personal experience with it. In my opinion, those who are well experienced and know their bodies understand what cheat meals and cheat days are in perspective and what works for them in particular. For the most part, it qualifies as a departure from clean eating (as the basis of someone with a lifestyle who is significantly into fitness, wellness and health).
My recommendation for the average person would be to have such a healthy clean eating lifestyle through consistency and commitment, which go hand and hand and isn’t as hard as some people think it is. But the main things to avoid are useless sugar/processed foods, salt, fried food, dairy and alcohol. Outside of that, it’s a go! So for a cheat day, if you end up staying away from those things you’re on the right track. If not, where you indulge in one of the food types that is recommended to avoid, I would then stick to one or two cheat meals a week. Either way keep your cheats to preferably a Saturday or Sunday on the weekends.
If you’ve not been eating clean and ready to get start on healthier lifestyle, here are my recommendations to gameplan a way to get into. This will then lead into constructing your cheat days. First off, eat off or get rid of the rest of the bad food in your house, cabinets and refrigerator. While doing so, start to grocery shop for items that are clean. Secondly, once that is done, take two full weeks (14 days) of consistent clean eating, healthy foods only. This is change your palette from cravings of bad foods. Next you’re ready to have your first cheat meal but only one and make it midday; again I suggest a weekend day. Now you’re ready to roll. Eat clean during the weeks, have two cheat meals the following weekend and repeat for a month until you’re ready to do it with one cheat day on the weekend.
Anyone with a consistently clean and healthy diet can afford to have planned cheat meals or cheat days in moderation. They can even have added value as a shock to your body’s system, giving you a boost as an occasional departure from the clean eating.
For me, personally and in line with my current goals, I don’t not have “cheat days” but I instead allow myself two “cheats meals” per week; and it would normally be a burger with mostly whatever I want on it, but it is definitely not a slice of pizza or fried chicken, as I a getting ready for a National Physique Competition show this Fall 2017.
Some of my personal favorite “clean cheat” food recipe suggestions –
- protein pancakes or waffles with sugar free syrup (add cinnamon for even more health and flavor benefits)
- curry chicken thighs (skinless & boneless)
- ground lamb burger with pesto or chimuchurri seasoning
- “candied sweet potatoes” (baked then mashed w/ added cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, coconut oil & Splenda)
- lamb chops with roasted rosemary garlic red potatoes
- steak or chicken fajitas (no cheese or sour cream)
- adding homemade guacamole (healthy fats) to dining options
- baked sweet potato fries
“True wisdom is knowing what you don’t know” – Confucius
Yours in Health,
DiamondKut Fitness, LLC
(718) 930-5294, (305) 204-1740
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