A 17 year old girl, fitness enthusiast and dedicated Olympic style weightlifter and non-competitive Irish dancer. I'm determined to live a healthy lifestyle and take care of my body whilst influencing other young people to do so. I never doubt my ability to achieve something; I just change what I'm doing until I succeed.
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Depending on your own personal lifestyle decisions, you may not have cheat days or know what one is. Some people may choose to eat whatever they want whenever they want, eat one cheat a day/week, follow a 'if it fits your macronutrients' lifestyle, or not eat cheats at all. Personally, I choose to have one cheat day a week (a total of 4 or less a month, depending on how I'm feeling and how much I'm exercising). Sometimes I won't allow myself to have a cheat day one week if I feel as if I haven't had a valid excuse not to workout or if I simply do not want one. However, I must admit that some days I'll find myself eating small unhealthy treats in the middle of the week instead of waiting until Saturday. But again, I may choose a different day in the week to have my cheat day. In my eyes, its completely a personally choice! Carry on reading to find out more about what I class as a cheat day, what happens during the day and some unhealthy but addictive cheat foods I enjoy.
What I view a cheat day as
I view a cheat day to be a day which consists of consuming some (not all) food or drink items which may be unhealthy or seen as bad to eat when trying to eat healthy. These food/drink items being consumed may be high in sugar, carbohydrates or saturated fats, this means you should try not to consume large amounts but an enjoyable amount (so don't make yourself feel sick because you've been resisting cravings all week, this is a mistake I made at first). They're usually the items which have long lists of chemical names on the pack of product packages, names which are long and that you're probably unfamiliar with. Although these items are not good to consume regularly, if you're craving something I would say go for it! If you're working hard enough, you should be able to reward yourself and if you view a reward as a cheat food, then go ahead and eat your favourite treat. A cheat day could contain mixtures of unhealthy and healthy items as you don't want to have a sugar crash or eat so much junk that you feel sick. Also, many people may view cheat days differently to me depending on how they eat. For example, someone who doesn't eat carbs in their diet may not eat carbs on their cheat day or may eat many carbs (if that's what they wish to do).
An example of what happens during my cheat days
Here's an example of how my cheat days usually go:
Saturday morning (8:00am - 12:00pm)
Firstly, I'll eat a healthy breakfast which usually consists of fruit with either yogurt, weetabix or porridge. Then, I'll usually go to Irish dance or Weightlifting, if I can't do these things I'll go for a run. During this, I'll usually have a snack (raisins or granola bar) or drink some water (I wont have any cheats in the morning).
Saturday afternoon (12:00pm - 4:00pm)
When I arrive home from the activity I've done, I'll have lunch. This usually consists of some form of fruit and veg, bread, protein (quorn meat) and possibly cheese. Now is when I'd have a small cheat with my lunch, this may be: crisps, a chocolate bar, a small packet of sweets or an ice lolly. A good hour or two after my lunch I'll usually be revising, completing homework, writing a blog post or I'm out with my friends/family. Whilst doing this I'll have three snacks which may be a mixture of unhealthy or healthy treats. An example of unhealthy snacks I may have are: biscuits, cookies, donuts, crisps, energy drinks, chocolate or fizzy sweets. An example of healthy snacks I may have are: fruit, veg, crackers, nuts, seeds, toast or a cereal bar.
Saturday evening (5:00pm - 9:00pm)
Sometimes on a Saturday evening, I may go out for dinner somewhere with my family (but not often), however if we do go out I'll usually eat something similar to the following: A roast dinner, pasta, pizza (minus any sauce or meat, literally cheese and bread), salad or if there's anything else I feel like eating. If we don't eat out somewhere I'll have a pretty standard meal at home usually consisting of vegetables, fish or quorn meat, rice, pasta or bread. After my meal, I'll often have a dessert which may consist of some cake, ice cream or simply sweets/popcorn or pretzels (It varies depending on what I've eaten previously, sometimes I won't even feel like dessert). After this, I'll often chill on my phone, watch a film or tidy my room. Just before I begin my workout for the day, I may eat a small snack which may benefit my workout or can be classed as a 'pre-workout' food.
Saturday night (9:00pm - 12:00am)
Once I've finished my workout, I'll probably shower and perhaps have an apple or a small packet of dried fruit. Then I'll relax, get myself reading for bed, fill in all of the food I've consumed on to my Lifesum app and fill in my bullet journal for the day. I use lifesum to measure my macronutrients and to see if the food I'm eating meet my macros. I'm not strict with fitting in with the numbers but it is very helpful to understand the amounts of fats, carbs and proteins you're eating and is great to track if you're eating too much or too little. For example, from my personal calculations (depending on my weight, height, gender and physical abilities) I limit myself to eat 2,280 calories a day. This adds up to 1140 carb calories, 684 fat calories and 456 protein calories. Here's a link to the Lifesum app/ website, I recommend checking it out:
My favourite cheat foods
Some of my favourite foods to eat on my cheat days are:
Kinder bars - Quite small amounts of chocolate
Double peanut butter magnums - Great dessert when it's hot
Airheads - I took these on my DofE too, taste great
Cookies - Always been a fan, my favourite brand is Nougatelli or Oreos
Cadburys daim chocolate bar - I usually have half or a quarter of a bar
Pringles - Nice, but I can never manage to eat a lot
Caramel galaxy bars - My favourite chocolate bar
Thanks for reading this post. Please note that this is just my personal cheat day and that I encourage you to find what is best for you when wanting to have a cheat day.