Cheat Days? Lets Break This Down…
Cheat day… Are you tired of that term or are you wondering what the heck it means? I’ve got you! It’s basically a day of your choosing that you “treat” yourself to a meal or dessert that you normally wouldn’t have. If you are really trying to stay on track with your fitness goals, you are most likely choosing the route of having a cheat day versus treating yourself every now and then with a little something. Some people go as far as treating themselves for the full day or just having one treat. For myself, it’s usually a meal or dessert. I’d probably get sick if I tried to go a full day eating anything my heart desired, either way do you boo! Now that you know what cheat days are, let’s dive right into why cheat days usually turn into a week or sometimes just falling off of the wagon.
Cheat days turning into a “cheat week” is not something that only happens to YOU, I promise. I have several people come to me saying “It all started after I had my cheat meal…” I’m like, “Same” It has happened to me several times and I’ve learned some tips and tricks on how to realize when this is happening to you. But first let me tell you something, if you’ve gone further than a week and it is more of a “cheat month”; DO NOT GIVE UP. DO NOT. It’s never too late to turn that page and start a new journey, trust me…
Almost every time this happened to me, I would get so frustrated with myself and wonder how I allowed myself to get to that point of just “giving up”. Each time I wondered how I went wrong and if I could ever retrain my palate to eating the way I did before I let that ONE cheat meal ruin my whole week. I used to think “maybe my body just needed to start over”, “maybe my body felt as if it needed to be challenged”, “am I just tired of eating clean?” etc etc.
Here’s the moment of realization I had that changed everything…
The more that you try to cancel a certain food out of your diet, the more you want it… Right? Its kind of like when you tell a child that they can’t have something, they want it even more. It is crazy how that works but it is so true. My weakness is dark chocolate and the way I used to cure that sweet tooth before was with a protein bar. I knew that if I wanted something sweet that I would have to work for it. With protein bars being made more for on the go kind of snacking (and also Quest bars aren’t cheap enough to have 3 times a day, just saying) I tried to only allow myself to have only one a day or two MAX. On days when I felt that the sweet tooth was hitting me hard, waiting to eat my protein bar until after a workout would motivate me crush my workout.
Now I get it, for people like my Husband this may seem silly because he rarely ever has a sweet tooth. I on the other hand could have the same food every day at the same time and not be bothered by it. Take away my dark chocolate and I don’t know if we can be friends anymore. Well, I got to the point where I did just that. I would only “treat” myself every now and then… maybe once a month. Now I’m not going to play the victim card here and say that I was miserable. Having my protein bar or protein shake totally took care of any sweet tooth moment that I would have. It was perfectly enough. However, I did notice that once I would treat myself just that ONE time a month, I would continue to do so and use excuses like “well it is still the weekend, I’ll get back to it Monday” or “just one more treat won’t hurt, it’ll be a month until I have another cheat meal”. This happened to me for months until it all just clicked for me. As a result to restricting myself so much, the most common outcome would be this same pattern of having a cheat meal repeatedly until I noticed they weren’t a “treat” anymore.
Scheduled Cheat Meals?
Whether you like the idea of having a routine or not, it is usually the easiest way to keep yourself on track. What used to be a cheat meal for me before becoming Vegetarian has changed now. My favorite thing to do would go on a date night with my Husband and eat my favorite burger and fries at Hopdoddy’s. I would have their turkey burger which was amazing but served as a perfect cheat meal for me then. Now, a cheat meal would be something more like a dessert. Maybe a slice from Whiskey Cake? Or a delicious protein packed dessert that my Husband made for me once.
My Secret Sweet Treat!
What you’ll need:
- Quest Bar: Cookie Dough Flavor
- Arctic Zero (Or Nadamoo as a Vegan option) “Ice-cream”
*My favorite flavor for Nadamoo is their Birthday Cake Cookie Dough.
- Cocoa Powder
- Miniature Dark Chocolate Chips (totally opt.)
- Small bowl & plate
- Make your “Cocoa Drizzle” before everything else because it all has to move pretty quick once you’ve heated that bar up. You don’t want it to get too hard since it’ll cool off pretty quickly. To a bowl add 2 tbsp of honey, slowly stir honey while adding 1/2 tbsp of cocoa powder little by little. If you add it all at once, the cocoa powder will clump. Once its reached your desired thickness, set it aside.
- Take a cookie dough Quest Bars and flatten it out to the thickness of a cookie, Add a scoop of the Nadamoo “Ice-cream” once you’ve warmed up the protein bar for about 10 seconds. If you warm up the bar for too long, it’ll get hard and super chewy like taffy… don’t OVER HEAT.
- Add your prettiest version of a drizzle with the Cocoa Drizzle you made in the beginning and sprinkle a few dark chocolate chips on top.
- Enjoy this protein packed dessert that’s kind of healthy. A lot healthier than what you could buy at a store or restaurant for sure and it only took a few minutes to make.
Just remember this…
What it boils down to me is just finding healthier alternatives to things that you hate to love. It makes life so much easier to continue to enjoy the things that you love but know that it isn’t going to hinder any goals you have for your health journey. For example, if pasta is a food group that you just can’t live without well I’ve got a solution for that. With technology and creativity we’ve gotten pretty far with finding healthier alternatives. Just to mention a few we have Whole wheat pasta, Lentil pasta, Spinach pasta and more from brands like POW! Pasta and Simply Legumes. Sure it will not taste the exact same, but your palate is truly trainable and you learn to love the new things. Besides, would you rather have to cut it out of your diet as a whole or make a few adjustments here and there?
Let me know what you think of post like this one! I’ll be more than happy to help you find healthier alternatives for food groups and recipes that you love. Ninety percent of the time there is something out there that is just as tasty and a lot better for you.
Thank you for taking the time to stop by, see you on the next post.