On diet ‘cheating’ and how I should have planned better

I wish I could start this post with more inspiring news than ‘nothing has changed.’  Unfortunately, reporting anything other than complete and utter lack of any progress would involve a lot of creative truth-bending.

I’m about 1 month into this process.  I’ve done pretty well on a few fronts – taking a multi-vitamin and fish oil 3 times a week, drastically cutting my diet soda intake close to zero, and actually exploring a few new food options.  (Tea, nectarines and apricots, as I have discovered, are delicious)

However, as noble as these small changes are, they circumvent the problem I have of just eating too much to lose weight.  This is where my post from last week about learning my hunger cues is supposed to come into play.  I just don’t have it down yet – I think in this regard my previous experience with intermittent fasting has actually done me a disservice.  It’s really easy to just not eat for a period of time, then eat basically until I can’t.  No real hunger cues aside from ‘if you eat another bite, you’re probably going to regret it in about 30 seconds.’  That one is pretty easy to listen to.

I’m realizing I should have thought this part through much more than I did before beginning.  I was feeling pretty arrogant after my last successful attempts, and thought I could just go for it.  What I didn’t take into account is that ‘eating clean’ is a fairly new concept for me to implement into my life, as well as the concept of listening to my stomach.  It was pretty foolish to assume that I could just adopt a ton of changes at once seamlessly and flawlessly.  I may be a ‘fitness professional,’ but that doesn’t mean I find this stuff easy to follow either.

(Funny aside – every client that I’ve spoken to about how much I miss Diet Coke (oh God do I miss diet soda) has seemed surprised and even a bit appalled that I of all people have a problem with something generally deemed ‘unhealthy.’  It blows my mind that people see me in a light of a super-healthy person, or someone who simply follows good eating dogma with no problems.  And of course always finds exercise enjoyable and easy.)

On that happy note, here is my lack of progress in numerical and visual form:

WLC3

photo 1 photo 2 photo 3 photo 4

On Cheating

People often ask me what I do for ‘cheat days’ when dieting.  I don’t really like that concept in general.  To me it speaks of tight restriction for most of the week, with one day where you just bomb out and really let loose.  Scheduling in a ‘fuck it’ day doesn’t seem like a healthy, sustainable, long-term plan to me.  What if you go out for a friend’s birthday on a Wednesday, but your cheat day is Saturday?  What if it’s your anniversary the same week as Christmas?  What if you’re on a 3-day vacation? Etc, etc.

Basically I try to make the process as stress-free as possible.  When an occasion arises where I will probably need to off-track my diet a tad, I simply do so.  When nothing particularly special is happening, I don’t.

Now, this works for me because I don’t have the world’s most active social life, so typically this evens out to two or three less-than-ideal meals per week.  If you have social events every night of the week, this probably wouldn’t work so well.

Just because it works for me (well, at least for maintaining weight!) doesn’t mean it will work for you – I’m just hoping to give you some good ideas.

Thanks for reading, as always leave me any questions or comments below!

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About katwhit

Coffee shop blogger by day, personal trainer by night. My interests include lifting weights, puppies, teaching people how to lift weights and dogs. Head on over to my blog and you'll find: reviews of best-selling diet books in extensive detail, critiques of various fitness publications, and even the occasional rant on the latest TV fitness segments.
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