Does Your Weight Loss Plan Allow for a Treat/Cheat Meal?

To celebrate my daughter’s birthday she chose Chili’s. Is that allowed? Something critical to incorporate into your eating plan is the opportunity to have a “Treat” or “Cheat” meal. Going into it you know that you will have more calories than what is standard fare for the ideal meal plan. Remember, this isn’t to say that you go totally out of control and order appetizer, huge meal, and dessert; you can still overdo it, and it would be tragic to counteract your work for the week with that single meal. I have learned to plan for it, and normally know what I am going to have before entering the restaurant.

I am successfully under 200 pounds now using a planned “treat/cheat” meal strategy, and that means I am down nearly 80 lbs. from my worst weight of 276. Over the course of retooling my eating habits, I have discovered that my body does not have the same cravings it used to. I still love rich foods, but I am more easily able to manage the portion of them that I eat, and can enjoy the food without being obsessed with having as much of it as I can. This was a process, and didn’t happen overnight; I’ve blown my cheat meal before by turning it into a “cheat day”. It’s not over if that happens, but I got to the place where it was no longer worth it to me to take that step backwards, and realized that as my body was adapting to healthier habits, it was not reacting so well to an overload of rich food.

I will endeavor to remember that tonight, and encourage you to do the same! Where will your next cheat meal be? Have you found the balance of incorporating it successfully yet?

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To Waste or Waist?

If you grew up in a home like mine, there was ample appreciation for what we had and it was unconscionable to allow food to go to waste. Translation? You cleaned your plate, and did not allow food to go into the garbage. While well intention-ed, this approach to eating fails to take into account the possibility of not having a well balanced meal, or have portions in excess of what we actually need. Add to to this the pressure of needing to validate family cooking by going back for seconds, and you have the makings of some potentially bad eating habits.

Of course, in high school this wasn’t such a big deal with football and plenty of activities to counteract the massive calorie intake. However, enter college, and then marriage with that same mentality in place but no exercise to balance it and it can create a bit of an issue. I was able to compound this problem further by looking at every plate put in front of me as a challenge as to whether I could finish it or not. With so many restaurants offering outlandish portions it became extraordinarily unhealthy for me when we would eat out.

As I have recounted in my other posts, the inevitable results of these eating habits landed me at 276 lbs. Fortunately I was introduced to a challenge group from a college buddy and by following the program with Shakeology and Les Mills Combat I am now within striking distance of breaking through the 200 barrier! I now plan that when we go out I may very well eat half my meal and bring the other half home.

This got me to thinking: why do I force feed myself when I know that I’m done with my meal? Then it struck me! I was still using the same eating philosophy from my childhood. I began to actually think through this idea of “Leave nothing to waste!” It occurred to me that just by shoveling what was left into my face does not mean it has benefited my body. Whenever I eat in excess, the bottom line is that it goes to MY waist, which means by eating it the food has gone to waste twice over!

Please know, I am not abdicating that we should get in the habit of throwing food away. I believe that if we reprogram ourselves to learn our bodies better, we can be better prepared to know when we are best served by ordering smaller portions or being ready to take food home. There are those occasions when it doesn’t work to try to bring the food home due to spoilage or distance from home. While it may be aggravating to throw perfectly good food away, what’s worse is if we waste the food twice over and pretend that by eating it we made a good decision. I am learning to listen to my body better. I encourage you to do the same, and when appropriate allow some food to go to waste so that it won’t go to waist 🙂

How Necessary is Nutrition?

When I first planned to lose weight, I figured I would simply apply the formula I knew would work. I would simply ensure that I burned more calories than I took in. The problem with that is I gave no attention to where the calories I received would be coming from, and worse yet my body would not necessarily feel “full” because it was not receiving the nutrients it craved. The led to some really bad cycles, and wondering how I could make so little progress in weight loss. I used workouts as an excuse to treat myself to whatever I wanted to eat. It did not take long to discover that I was easily able to “undo” whatever benefits I benefits I would get from my workouts.

When I joined my first challenge group, I learned that 70% – 80% of my visible results would be directly related to my nutrition. What was the question again? How important is nutrition? About 3 to 4 times as important as your workout. The good news is that if you have coupled Shakeology together with your workout program, you are poised for tremendous success in your fitness goals!

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