Shape Up Saturday Series: 5 Reasons Why You Should Have a Cheat Day

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We all know I’m all about that healthy lifestyle.  After 8 months of this I’m still at it!  This is the longest I’ve ever followed a
program, and it’s probably because I treat it like a lifestyle instead of just
a diet.  If you’ve been following my
Shape Up Saturday series since September you know that I’ve gone over so many
healthy things like workouts, recipes (I have a turkey burger recipe coming up
in the near future so stay tuned!), etc. 
A lot of people ask me, so do you only eat healthy food?  For the most part yes, but I do allow myself
cheat meals here and there.  Even though
my workouts aren’t still full blown workouts and I have to do the modified
version for a lot of things I stuck to my nutrition which has helped me
maintain weight, then lose some, and then even gain some in muscle. 
There are certain things in this world that just don’t have
a healthier alternative that tastes good, I’m going to just throw that out
there, or it physically cannot be made with ingredients that are fixed approved
(like my mom’s pierogi, they have to be made with regular flour, the other ones
don’t allow the pierogi to stick which means all of the stuffing falls
out).  Or how about my two favorite junk
foods; Taco Bell, and NJ pizza.  I’m
sorry, but there’s just nothing that compares to those two things.  Yes, the healthy alternatives are just as
delicious, but there’s something about the extra fat that just gets me,
especially around that time of the month haha. 
I think since I started this journey of mine in June I’ve had Taco Bell
3 times, and pizza about 6.  So see, even
if you have a cheat meal, after a while you don’t even crave those foods anymore
because of how they make you feel afterwards. 
Alright, let’s get into my 5 reasons why I think you should allow
yourself a cheat meal every once in a while!
1.  Reminder
This is probably number one on my list because every time I
eat junk food now I feel like garbage for the next 2 days.  It’s almost like a hangover, but a food
hangover.  My body is so used to eating
food that isn’t processed and is all made at home and fresh that when I eat
anything that is outside of that it just makes me feel bloated, heavy, and
tired.  There is salt and sugar in
literally everything and the amounts are insane.  The salt in junk food makes me bloat like you
cannot believe and I instantly weigh a lot more than usual.  Cheat meals are a reminder of why I continue
to meal prep, and why I eat healthy and exercise.  

2.  Keeps You On Track
This kind of goes hand in hand with the first reason, but
having a cheat meal keeps me on track. 
It won’t keep everyone on track, I know some people who have one cheat
meal that turns into a cheat day that turns into a cheat week, and so on.  For me however, it keeps me on track.  If I wasn’t allowed to have a cheat day, then
this would be a strict diet that I would fail at and say screw this, I want
that Snicker’s bar, and bag of ruffle chips, and burrito, and before you know
it I would be right back at the 185+lbs that I started with.  I say 185+ because I don’t know how much I
weighed since I didn’t get a scale until after about 2 weeks of working out and
starting the 21 day fix.  So allowing
myself to have a cheat here and there but getting right back to it the next day
is fine in my book.  There’s only 129
days until summer so I need to stay focused and my eye on the prize so that for
the first time in my entire life I feel 110% confident in my bathing suit.

3.  Reward
I know that a few weeks ago I talked about rewarding
yourself with something other than food so you may say I sound hypocritical but
hear me out first before passing judgment. 
Sometimes people are more motivated by that piece of pie than a pair of
new yoga pants or a new pair of sneakers. 
Sometimes treating yourself to a burrito from Taco Bell (can you tell I
love Taco Bell) is a little more financially feasible as opposed to buying an
entire workout outfit from Lulu Lemon. 
Or maybe you didn’t have a cheat day for two months and you wanted to
reward yourself with an awesome cheat meal.  

4.  No Healthy Alternative 
Sometimes for certain foods, there just aren’t healthy
alternatives.  For example, my mom’s
pierogi, even though they are homemade from scratch you have to use regular
flour.  My mom has tried using other
flour and the dough doesn’t pinch together to seal this Polish dumpling
shut.  Certain junk foods just taste
better with their junkier alternative.
5.  Special Occasions
The upcoming Valentine’s Day is considered a special occasion.  My first Valentine’s Day with the boyfriend
(even though I’m not a huge fan) we went out to dinner to The Melting Pot.  Now if you’ve ever eaten there, there’s
really no healthier alternative.  I mean
why would you order just a salad when you go there, that’s just pointless.  Or for example when I first started the 21df
I went out for a graduation party but since it was my first round and I was
determined to lose a specific amount of weight I didn’t cheat and had my shake
while everyone else ate hibachi and sushi. 
Talk about being an outsider! 
There are certain occasions where it’s ok to have a cheat meal.  I usually tell all of my challengers that for
the first 21 days don’t cheat because it takes 21 days to break a bad habit and
start creating new ones.  
   
**Please note, I am not a nutritionist or personal trainer.  Please consult with a professional prior to doing any of the workouts on this blog.  These are the workouts that I do and work for me, however if you are concerned with your form or if you are able to do these please contact your doctor.  Please also check with your doctor or nutritionist if the food/recipes that I’m posting are ok for your diet.