Eat More. Be More.

Is It Okay To Cheat?

One of the questions I get regularly is, “When is your cheat day”? My honest answer is, “Whenever I want”! I know a lot of people on a “diet” schedule a cheat day once per week. I don’t. I know, sounds self-righteous. Stay with me here.

Flickr image by Matt Hinsta

Flickr image by Matt Hinsta

My logic is simple: If I schedule a cheat day each week, I will eat bad one day every week. That is counterproductive to my goals so why would I do that? I know the answer is because it helps you stay on your diet the other six days knowing that a cheat day is coming up. Bull.

If I have a cheat day on Saturday, it’s that much easier to eat bad on Sunday after church with friends because “I already ate bad yesterday and I’ll get back on it Monday”. Now TWO out of seven days are cheat days. I didn’t want to get on that slippery slope again.

I came up with my own plan based on the intended goal of a cheat day. Here’s the deal: I can have any food I want, any day, and at any time. No restrictions. The only caveat is that I have to question myself about how much I REALLY want it first.

My First Temptation

About a week in I was driving to work and started craving my old fast food breakfast I used to eat several times per week. I asked myself how bad I wanted it and several things happened.

1) I realized this was my food addiction talking.

2) I tried imagining what I’d feel like after I was done eating. I knew I’d regret it and be disappointed in myself for caving.

3) There was a healthy breakfast next to me that was already paid for. Why waste $6 on staying fat?

4) After I finished breakfast, I wouldn’t care what I’d eaten. Healthy food or crap food, I’d be full and wouldn’t care how I got there.

5) I thought about how soul crushing my workouts that week had been. No way I was undoing all that work for 5 minutes of eating. Screw that.

Has it worked? In the first four months, I think I had three true cheat meals! Funny thing is, those meals, and the ones I’ve had since, are probably still healthier than what I used to eat for every meal. Even when I give myself permission to eat bad, I don’t want that same crap I used to have.

I still love food, maybe even more than I did before (just look at my Instagram page. But I also use it as a tool to fuel my performance and goals, not as an anti-depressant. I let the gym take care of my stress relief, while my meals take care of me in the gym. Tweet this!

As you’ll hear in an upcoming post, weight loss isn’t about going on a “diet”. Diets suck. And fail. Repeatedly. Transformation is about lifestyle changes, daily decisions, and commitment.

Have you ever tried dieting and allowing for cheat meals? Did it work?