Most of us are not a stranger to buying a block of chocolate as a “cheat meal” aiming to have a row or two but end up finishing the whole block. Or perhaps you are more likely to go out for a treat meal and instead of just ordering one unhealthy meal, you also order a sugar-loaded cocktail or soft drink and dessert. It’s fine to treat yourself but when does a “cheat meal” become a “cheat week”, or even “cheating yourself”? Don’t let your weekend habits throw you off track; here’s why you should ensure “treating yourself” doesn’t turn into a “cheat week” – all in moderation, right?
- You’ll feel sluggish and gross.
Remember those post-workout feels or that burst of energy you get after a healthy meal or greens smoothie; overeat or stuff yourself with too many sweet and salty treats and you are guaranteed to feel drowsy and lethargic. When you overindulge your body has to overwork to break down the large amount of food you consumed. This will make you feel tired and sluggish, which no doubt will make it a lot harder to get a workout done. Too often we associate nutrition with looking good but don’t forget the most important part – how you feel. Don’t worry, there’s no need to put away that Friday wine or beer, chocolate or cheese and crackers just yet (whatever floats your boat); if that’s your treat go for it but don’t continue this habit all weekend, otherwise you’re more likely to fall off the bandwagon.
- Say goodbye to workout progression.
Do you love to challenge yourself at the gym? Whether you are prone to a HIIT session, prefer to lift heavy or like to try your hand at Boxing, RPM or another class, you need to be nourishing and fueling your body if you want to improve. If you overdo the treats you’ll be craving junk food, have more headaches and you’re less likely to have the energy for a successful workout. We are all human though, if you just got back from holiday or simply went off track this week turn things around. Plan your weekend ahead and make sure you find the time Sunday to meal prep healthy, easy and satisfying meals. Do this and you’ll be smashing your nutritional and fitness goals in no time.
- Undoing results – physical effects.
It may only be a week but a lot can change in a short space of time if you overdo it. If you go from eating a balanced, healthy diet and working out regularly to filling your body with junk food and skipping your gym sessions, you’ll quickly see that you will lose tone or put on weight. If you eat unhealthy for too long your body will start craving unhealthy foods and it will take a lot more effort to start over.
- Change of mental state – all or nothing.
These days it’s easy to develop an all or nothing mentality whether this is your career, studies, home life, relationships, savings, or your health and fitness. When you go from eating a nutritional diet to over-eating takeaways, sugary treats and salty snacks your mental state will suffer. If you develop a “go hard or go home” attitude with your diet it can make it difficult to get back on track to your healthy routine. Sometimes it’s easy to reward your efforts with a cheat week but you are better of planning a “treat meal” and making the most of that instead. If you know you have a tropical getaway or overseas trip coming up, make sure you start thinking of ways you can get back to your usual routine when you return home – then you’ll be all set when you are back to reality.
Are you finding yourself in this situation after a “cheat week” or even “cheat month/year”? You can get back on track, here are our top three tips:
- Plan your meals (meal prep) and workouts every week.
- Set some short-time and long-term goals (keep yourself accountable).
- Don’t be afraid to seek help from the experts (Food Coaches, Personal Trainers and Instructors).
If you want to find out more about or services here at Glenorchy Health and Fitness contact us on (03) 6272 4849 or visit us at 51 Chapel Street, Glenorchy.
By Tahlia Higgins.