You've been following your meal plan to the T and you're looking lean as ever! Your show was an absolute success and now the craving are kicking in. You've just been cleared by your coach to have a few cheat meals before getting back into training mode. BEWARE - these are dirty cheats, not refeeds! During a refeed, you simply increase your carb instake for the meal or day. This helps to replenish energy stores and eleviate the stress of dieting for long periods of time. Refeed carbs should be complex ONLY (bummer right?)
So back to the dirt! We've compiled a short list of cheat day tips before indulging in your next cheat meal to help with post-show rebound. Visit our "Cheat Meal Feels" Pinterest gallery below for Cheat Meal Inspiration.
- Reward Without Guilt - You've worked your glutes off for months in preparation for your latest show! Countless hours in the gym, a more strict meal plan, and sometimes foregoing social events to ensure your goals are met. A cheat meal should not come with guilt. Allow yourself to enjoy the moment and savor ever chocolate covered piece. This is precisely why the term "cheat meal" has such a bad reputation. You haven't cheated yourself one bit, in fact, you've earned this reward. This is your reward for all of your hard work! Rest assured that all of your hard work will not be undone with one gooey ice cream sundae or pizza pie. If you think back on all the hard work it took to get your goal, you'll be less likely to over indulge. Work smarter, not harder!
- Have an indulgence plan - Don't indulge on a whim! We've all been there, the day was just like any other day, you planned to succeed, Tupperware in tow, and you found yourself in the line of fire, faced with a treat that just wasn't part of the plan. You had a choice, you could have said no but, you gave in! By planning for these indulgences, you eliminate the guesswork and post cheat meal regrets! Perhaps you have a champion metabolism that allows for a few more indulgences or you've found that you do well with fewer indulgences, maybe on special occasions. Whatever the case, know in advance exactly how you'll handle these situations.
- Exercise Control - It's no secret that prep requires a great deal of consistency, hard work, and dedication. The same way you angelically measured your protein, carbs, and fats for your weekly meal prep, don't let everything you know and practice about portion control go out the window. This should NOT a free for all event that turns into an all out binge. Too much of a tasty thing, isn't necessarily a good thing! Prolonged calorie restriction can lead to overeating during the off-season, leading to excess fat gains and a less than positive vibe! If you find you're struggling in this area, re-evaluate your prep plan. Perhaps you can incorporate cleaner cheats into your plan periodically or gradually cut carbs instead of slashing them drastically for improved satiety.
Get On With The Get On - Don't use your treat meal as an excuse to continue eating poorly. Enjoy your meal (every millisecond of it) and get on! A cheat meal should not turn into a cheat day or worse, a cheat week. You're likely active and your metabolism is firing off throughout the day but, there comes a point when you'll set yourself back tremendously if you don't back away from the table! Continue leading an active lifestyle (a treat meal isn't a vacation) and maintaining your routine so, you're able to fall right back in when it's time to hit your next goal or prepare for your next show. There is this thing called balance, and if you master it, you'll not only look great but, feel great and enjoy doing it!
Browse the gallery directly below for CHEAT MEAL FEELS! Visit the CSCJ Pinterest for more competition inspiration!