The cheat code everyone loves! A day of eating what ever we want! We see it online in the form of funny memes and gifs like, “It’s ok, it’s my cheat day” or Will Ferrel as he devours candy with spaghetti in the movie Elf. As far out as Homer Simpson wearing a cheat day T-shirt that says, "Today is my Cheat Day!"
A cheat day is the favorite day for body builders and actors like Dwayne Johnson. The important question is how to enjoy life, utilize cheat day, and continue towards your fitness goals.
As a food loving fitness enthusiast raised in a very traditional Mexican home and former college athlete, I can attest to looking like a Mobster with a table full of plates all to myself. How did I eat everything in sight and stand up with ripped abs? How does Michael Phelps eat 1,000 calories in one sitting afterwards washing his clothes on his abs? The key word is consistency.
Consistency is the quality of behaving or performing in a similar way, of always happening in a similar way. The reason why I can eat 3 Large Pizzas by myself is because I have conditioned my body, through consistency, how to fuel itself efficiently.
My favorite analogy for everything in the human body is a car. In this case, let’s say you have a Ferrari that always gets the best oil, gas, and love. It runs amazingly!
One day you forgot your wallet on the way to get an overdue oil change, you start to run out of gas, in the middle of nowhere, and you have to use Uncle Buddy’s super leaded water gasoline. Yes It’s bad, it’s going to make the engine run like crap, and might damage something BUT, it’s still going to Ferrari and once you get the right fuel, it’s going to be back to flying.
It is simple, enjoy all things and also enjoy all things in moderation. Our bodies love consistency so if you constantly do something, your body will adapt your body to that. For example if you kick box everyday and eat lean, you will have a body like a lean kick boxer. If you sit all day, everyday and eat unhealthy, you will have a body like a sitter.
My sister, a former athlete, is the queen of cheat day. She says, “I only workout out so I can eat what I want.” I love this answer to fitness because she has found her real motivation. The hardest mental block of fitness and nutrition is finding out why you are truly doing this.
Why did you get up early or stay late to suffer through this torture? Simple, you are motivated to achieve that goal and everyone is different. There are so many goals and once you find it, put pictures on your phone, wall, car, and anything you can think of. Search deep and ask yourself, “What is the one thing I’ve always wanted to do with my body and why has that ever been important?”
A goal without a plan is just a dream. That is how I can order the right side of the menu at my favorite Mexican restaurant, I have a plan. Your workouts should be consistent with your nutrition.
8 cheat day rules for success.
- It is a cheat MEAL, not a DAY.
- Schedule a cheat day around your fitness program.
- Cheat day is only on a day you work out.
- You have hit 1 personal record that week.
- Your diet has been flawless.
- You have a signed permission slip from your trainer/mentor.
- You are going to workout the next day.
- Enjoy it! Chew slowly, push your tongue against the roof of your mouth to engage every taste bud, and pick the best of the best to indulge.