Cheating

onjures up all sorts of negative thoughts and emotions

I’m talking about cheating in the form of diet/nutrition.

The first time I heard this concept was in 2012. I had become seriously obsessed with the TV show: Extreme Weight Loss with Chris Powell. This guy would take morbidly obese people and in a year they would shed over 100 + pounds, it was crazy. I was addicted to this show, as I was morbidly obese and in desperate need of a change in my life. So I bought his book and learned how he was achieving radical weight loss in these people. At that point in my life, I was about 300 lbs. and somewhat exercising at the gym. So I was ready for something radical. I poured through his book and started implementing his carb cycle approach right away. It was the first time, I tracked EVERYTHING that entered my mouth. It was tedious, but I did it. On his plan, Sundays are “off” days, no exercise and a “cheat” day. In his book there aren’t really any rules on cheating other than, if you are craving it during the week, write it down somewhere so you remember and eat it on Sunday. I understand his philosophy….you are really very low calorie, high protein all week alternating between an 1100 calorie day and a 1500 calorie day, so on Sunday you aren’t going to eat more than 3500 calories in that day. So in the week that I did carb cycling, I ate EXACTLY the way the book recommended, 5 times  a day between 1100-1500 alternating days, exercised for 1 hour a day (all cardio) and then had my “cheat” day on Sunday where I would easily eat 4 donuts in the morning and continue eating crap the rest of the day. In that week, I lost 11 lbs.!! I was sold. The rub came in with the continued need to be super strict with my diet. I just wasn’t able to do it. Also, the more I thought about the whole cheat day I couldn’t imagine eating all the crap you felt deprived of all week, that it was ok to eat it all on Sunday. Just couldn’t wrap my mind around it.

Fast forward 2 years later, I’m down 95lbs without carb cycling, being consistent with exercise and tightening up my nutrition. I’ve tightened up my nutrition so much that I’ve left very little room for any “cheat” item. I think this has worked against me in that I freak out and binge on things that I feel deprived of. Oreos, popcorn, candy.

Recently, a fellow bariatric friend told me, she designates 21 days a year to set aside for “cheats” She explained that she still eats clean on those days but has a little more freedom on her designated cheat day. I really like this concept and am currently implementing it decided to start this on Jan 1, 2015 to give myself the entire year to incorporate this idea well. I took my first “cheat” on Jan 7 because we were travelling home from visiting family and we were going through a town I went to college in. I decided to have a Mexican lunch at a restaurant I had frequented while in college. Hindsight, it wasn’t a fabulous “cheat,” not very satisfying. Hindsight, it showed me that I need to put more thought into what I want to cheat with and make sure it’s something that I will feel satisfied afterward and make sure it feels worth it. I’ve just nicely scheduled all my days out for the year and the goal is 21, I currently have 14 on the books, so we’ll see how it shakes out for the rest of the days. In the meantime, I am excited to have adopted this concept and look forward to some structure to having those “forbidden” non-clean foods in the year……here we go.

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