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Episode 195: I Had a Horrible Cheat Day... Now What?!? Part 1

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We've all been there... you're so good all week, avoiding the vending machine, ordering salads for lunch, cooking healthy dinners, saying no to dessert, and then it finally arrives:

Cheat day. 

And you think to yourself...

I deserve this.

It's just one meal. 

I'll get back on plan tomorrow. 

This is the last time I'll have this for at least a week, better make it count. 

And so you get the burger and fries. And the milkshake. And the soda. And the day is already ruined so that night you also order pizza. And pour yourself a glass of wine, or 3. And there was that pint of ice cream in the freezer - you need something sweet after all that savory pizza. 

Finally the day is done and you're laying in bed regretting everything. You feel bloated and uncomfortable. You shame yourself for not having any willpower. And you vow that this cycle won't happen again. 

But here's the thing, that moment of annoyance with yourself won't stop the cycle (I think we've all had too much to drink and swore we'd never drink again only to be back at it 2 days later).

What you do after the cheat day is what will either perpetuate or halt this pattern that's keeping you stuck. 

So... what should you NOT do??

1. Do not skip meals.

I get that it's tempting to make up for the excess food by skipping food. But skipping meals creates a ripple effect that only makes your weight loss/health journey more of an uphill battle.

It puts your body under stress (read: cortisol, the fat storage hormone). It increases in the hunger hormone ghrelin which pushes you to overeat later on. It destabilizes blood sugar which can cause weight gain and cravings. And it reinforces the all-or-nothing mindset with food that's at the root of your current predicament. 

2. Do not detox with a juice cleanse. 

There are so many things about juice cleanses that don't work. First of all, you're removing possibly the most beneficial part of the fruits/veggies (fiber) and turning something healthy into a total blood sugar spike. This can lead to issues with your metabolism, energy, hormones, and cravings. 

And juicing doesn't even detoxify you! Yes, it can help your body release stored toxins, but we need protein to bind those toxins up and carry them out of our body. Without protein, the toxins just circulate, wreak havoc, and then redistribute. 

3. Do not make up for it in the gym.

First of all, when you've had a binge, yes you can burn off some of those calories in the gym but a lot of the metabolic damage is already done. 

Plus, long term we don't want you associating moving your body with something negative like a punishment for not eating well. That's going to rob you of any motivation to workout consistently, which is a big part of the journey towards health. 

4. Do not keep eating crap because the day/week/diet is ruined.

I'm going to steal this question from Jillian Michaels: if you got a flat tire, would you get out of the car and slash the other 3?? I'm going to guess not. Instead you're going to change the tire and keep it pushing. 

Stop creating a bigger uphill battle for yourself than you have to and quit thinking about the day as an absolute. As a pass/fail. Every single choice you make counts.

Despite how you may feel, your body isn't vengeful. It isn't holding one choice against you. 

5. Do not tell yourself you'll never cheat again.

We're setting ourselves up for failure every time we make these sweeping declarations. And every time we fail at fulfilling them it eats away at our confidence in our ability to make changes. 

Not to mention, what are you going to do the second I tell you not to think of a purple monkey? You're going to think of exactly that.

Same thing happens when we tell ourselves we're never going to eat sugar again. Suddenly it's all we can think of until our willpower breaks down. At which point we binge because in our head this is the 'last time' we're going to eat those delicious foods.

What should you do instead?? Tune in next week to find out!



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