The Importance of the Cheat Meal

Let me be completely honest with you: just because I am a certified personal trainer, and a Leader/Leader Mentor with Weight Watchers, it doesn't mean I don't enjoy food.

Something to remember is in August of 2010, I weighed 20 pounds more than I do now.  I used food to comfort, to relieve boredom, to socialize.  I never thought of my food as fuel.

Then I became pregnant at 35.  I gained SIXTY pounds with my pregnancy.  Let me tell you, losing 60 pounds at 36-37 is MUCH harder than taking off 20 pounds at age 32.

But I did it.  It took me a good 18 months to take off the pregnancy weight, but I did it through determination and A LOT of hard work with my fitness and nutrition routine.

But again, let me be clear.  Mama loves the food.

Personally, I follow a pretty strict set of rules when it comes to staying on my clean and healthy lifestyle.  Our household eats clean, whole foods, and as little processed crap as we can.  You won't find unhealthy snacks in our house (cookies, potato chips, etc..).  You will find a lot of fruit, almonds, string cheese, and other goodies that help us stay on plan.  Our meals consist of a lot of whole grains, lean proteins, fruits and veggies.  It isn't often that we indulge.

But what we do allow ourselves is one cheat meal a week.  Just one.  Here are my rules:

To be honest, it's really this simple.  What I tell my clients CONSTANTLY is your weight loss/maintenance journey is 80% nutrition and only 20% fitness.  You can run 2 marathons a month, or cross-train until you want to throw up, but if what you are putting in your body is garbage, you are only hurting yourself.  At our house, our one cheat meal a week is also a special treat.  We make sure we choose something we wouldn't normally eat at home.  Two weeks ago, it was Thai food.  This week, it will be sushi.  Two weeks from now, we plan on getting some Indian food.

And it's true: allow yourself to indulge.  Enjoy it.  If it's planned in advance, and if it is something that doesn't happen often, you will appreciate that meal so much more.  A member in my meeting this morning said something very smart.  She said "Why is it when we sit down to eat a cheat meal, we think we are never going to eat again?!" So true.  

So I challenge you to try it this week.  Stay on your healthy track for 20 out of your 21 meals this week.  Then allow yourself just one meal where you let your hair down.  Enjoy!