Everyone's favorite day of the week or month, cheat day.  For some of you this means eating more calories than what you normally would, some it would be smashing your face with a large pizza and others it would be eating 5 slices of cake versus no cake. It could be you deciding to eat dinner out instead of meal planning, it could be grocery shopping for cookies on aisle 6, it could be frying your chicken instead of baking it, it could be not attending the gym for the week and throwing down bons bons in front of the t.v or it could be as simple as replacing your banana smoothies with chocolate milkshakes instead.  Everyone has their own thing when it comes to this "cheat day", I think I have witnessed and heard so many different types of cheat days on instagram, on twitter, in person, reading blogs, and I am just like.. am I the only person who does not have a cheat day? What brought this topic of discussion on was the question someone sent me on tumblr, "what's your opinion on cheat days/treat days? how often?" and I seriously was singing hallelujah in my head because it was a question that I would enjoy talking about with all of you (not to say the other questions were not good, they are always good questions).  I am going to copy and paste my reply and then we can speak about these cheat days and what they mean to me and how I would like to see people maybe go about them and as ALWAYS, feel free to share your opinions, thoughts, and feedback with me, love hearing from all of you; especially on this topic. 

 

My reply:

Ahh “Cheat days”, I don’t believe in Cheat days. I mean for people that compete, that makes sense and for elite athletes, sure they have “cheat days” because they are on a strict diet and training routine. In that aspect, I agree it would be cheat days. For people who are not elite athletes or competing in competitions that require them to be on a strict diet and training routine, then I would say there is NO cheat day, it is called eating whatever the heck you want and in moderation and not regretting your decision later because you know you will kick butt at the gym and because you are allowed to eat whatever you want as long as you know how much of it is appropriate in order to meet your specific goals. Yes, I might be that 1 percent who doesn’t call it cheat days when I am stuffing my face with pizza, I just call it “my life” choices and dealing with the outcome (with that being, feeling horrible the next day and making a better decision the next time I have this same opportunity) - Shay-lon

 

Now in my opinion this pretty much sums up my thoughts on cheat days. To dig in a bit further in case someone wants to know where I am going with this whole answer is, not everyone is an elite athlete or competes in competitions that revolves around eating a VERY strict diet, having a VERY strict training routine and living a VERY strict lifestyle where anything they do reflects on how well they will perform in their competition or sport of choice. Now this doesn't mean your favorite athlete isn't slamming Mcdoubles at McDonald's but you have to realize they may get away with eating 10 cheeseburgers because they have a strict workout routine that eats up the majority of their calories and consumes more than half of their time in a day depending on the season and depending on the sport at hand. The average person cannot slam 10 mcdoubles and workout for 30 minutes and expect to get the same results as their favorite player, not to mention the majority of Americans who do live this lifestyle have been doing it for quite some time and after awhile it puts wear and tear on their health and bodies if they are not careful about how they go about it. In their cases they do have "cheat days" because they cannot go far from the path when leading up to competition day, game day, etc.   Every athletes cheat day is different, not all of them do things the same way and the ones new to this lifestyle, will soon have to follow suit if they expect to get wins and excel, it is called "routine", you fit in this routine where you start off eating as you should because your coach and or health specialist is giving you expectations to meet and if you want to win, then you follow them.  Then they come to a period where they have breaks, they have time to allow their bodies to rest and allow for them to eat something that they normally could not eat due to competing, BUT this doesn't mean they can sit on their couch and watch netflix all day and not have to keep active at some point before they start back up on their normal routine of eating what is expected and not straying from the path. An elite competitor and/or athlete has a very different lifestyle compared to the general public in a since that none of us are having to lose 50 pounds in 8 weeks for a show .. then turn around have to gain it all back and keep the process going for as long as they choose to compete or perform. Sure they fall short just as we have, but their competition is their job and if they don't do well at their job, they get fired, just as we do so when they have cheat days, that is their safe haven sometimes. 

 

Now when it comes to normal average folks like ourselves, we do not need cheat days to eat pizza, chocolate chip cookies, peanut butter ice cream, ect. We have a choice in how we go about it and how much of it we eat, in my opinion people make excuses when they create cheat days so that it makes them feel better about their eating decisions. Why are you having to make an excuse of eating at subway instead of making your own sub at home, why are you having to make an excuse for eating chocolate birthday cake instead of eating the carrot cake, and why do you feel like you need a cheat day to eat wings and pizza with your family instead of making a salad with a side of toast with avocado spread? No one needs to make excuses for their actions, take responsibility for what you choose to put in your body and deal with the outcome, you can either eat what you want with few regrets and kick butt at the gym (make a better decision next time or be okay with your decision and keep doing what you do best)  OR you can eat what you want, cry about it and give up because you make a mistake. Life is rough, and eating shouldn't be a huge life decision, it should be a basic routine; if you have to mentally argue with yourself as to whether you should eat two brownies or 10 carrots, I think you need to do some re-evaluating in that department. I, myself eat whatever I want and I don't regret it later on and I don't regret it tomorrow night and I don't hate myself because of it, I take my consequences and do what I have to do in order to keep on the right path to meet my goals. I have made mistakes in eating too much too and eating something out of moderation, shit happens and honestly I knew what I was doing and didn't care until I realized the aftermath was not worth it. Sometimes it takes something like that to open our eyes to things, and sometimes it reveals that we have a weakness and we make those weaknesses into strengths later down the road.  Cheat days don't need to exist in order for us to eat food, no matter the food. It takes discipline, determination, moderation, and understanding to know that everything you do in life has a consequence of some sort, some good and others not so good.  If something you eat is going to take away your sanity and make you feel less than, then take the time to think about why and figure out ways to overcome that.  

 

I will be the first to say that I eat relatively healthy ( I stay within my macros) but when I don't feel like staying within my macros, then I leave it and eat what I want. I have chosen to take responsibility for my actions and now I don't get upset when I eat 8 slices of pizza instead of 3, I just deal with it and if I don't like the outcome, I try to not make the same mistake, but it is human nature to make mistakes. "Your eating should go along with your goals but it shouldn't hinder you from living". -Shay-lon

 

Thank you for reading!

 

Your fitness blogger,

Shay-lon xoxo