I have been on a journey getting healthy and fit for about 5 years now. On a regular day I eat a well balanced organic diet, and I rarely drink, but every once in awhile I really get a craving for wine and chocolate. Once I have one day off the wagon I tend to have a couple more bad days. Is it better to plan a cheat day? Or are cheat days even a good idea in the first place. If they are OK, how many cheat days is too many? I still have about 25 lbs to lose to get to my goal weight, and I know that a couple bad days can add about 2 lbs back on the scale. I would really appreciate any advice. Thank you so much and tell Perez he is a god send for this site!
Cheat days are going to happen, and it is okay! Relax, and enjoy it. The most important thing to do is to get back on track the very next morning! I have found that many people are either "perfect" with their diet and exercise program or out of control! One cheat day, or a day of indulging in high-fat food, often leads to thoughts such as "I blew it anyway so who cares," and the next day you have a burger and fries, and so on, leading to a week of no exercise and over eating!
I listen to my body and it tells me when I will cheat. You know those days when you HAVE to eat a burger or chocolate cake and nothing else will satisfy your craving? For example it may be a Saturday night and I am craving a burger, I go for it, and Sunday, get back on track. I enjoy it, forget about it, and move on. Do not dwell on it and feel guilty! The next day, I will have an egg white and vegetable omelet for breakfast, a salad with chicken for lunch, and maybe salmon and rice for dinner. The problem with planning cheat days is that if you plan that Friday night you will eat pizza, but on Friday night, you are not in the mood for pizza, you want sushi (which is healthy), then do not force yourself to cheat!
I would say one cheat day a week is reasonable, do not cheat all day long, and get back on track eating healthy the very next morning! Going for a walk the next day or working out would be even better. Taking care of your body is a life long responsibility! You will not go the rest of your life without indulging! So accept that you will crave some wine and chocolate, and that is fine, because let's face it, enjoying wine and chocolate is a wonderful part of life-in moderation of course!
– Lisa De Fazio, MS, RD