Letting Go of the Cheat Day, and 3 Things Every Parent Must Know
One of my fellow RD’s, MaryAnn Tomovich Jacobsen, runs the blog Raise Healthy Eaters. This blog is dedicated to providing credible nutrition advice to parents. As a parent myself, I am focused on making sure I’m providing the best nutrition for my daughter. A huge part of this is raising her to have a positive relationship with food and with herself.
This week marks the beginning of MaryAnn’s new series: Eating Disorder Prevention: 3 Things Every Parent Must Know. The goal is to provide parents with the information we need to raise children who have a healthy relationship with food and their bodies. I hope you will join me in reading along with this series and gain valuable information on raising a healthy eater.
This is week 9 of the 12 Weeks No Diets Series.
This week I wanted to talk about letting go of the cheat day.
There are thousands and thousands of diets out there that have a “cheat day”. We are supposed to follow rigid guidelines all week and then have that one-day where we can eat whatever we want. What this can do is eventually lead to an all out binge day (trust me, I’ve been there). We feel we have to eat everything we can’t have during the week on that one-day. This leads to a last supper mentality where we think to ourselves “tomorrow I’ll start over again”. The problem is that this mentality can spread to days other than our “cheat day”. If we go off our diet, it’s so easy to “just call it a cheat day”… which leads to a full on binge, which leads us back to the thinking “tomorrow I’ll start over again”.
Letting Go of the Cheat Day
Another common way of thinking is to eat healthy all week and “splurge” on the weekends. I definitely went through a phase of thinking this way. Don’t get me wrong… I enjoy a good splurge every now and again… it’s the quantity of the splurge that matters. Eating healthy during the week and allowing ourselves to eat out more on the weekend is perfectly healthy, but what we need to watch is the amount of food we splurge on. We still need to listen to our bodies, listen to our hunger, eat food we truly love, and stop eating when we’ve had enough. Remember… it’s all about the portion sizes. If it tastes so good you want to keep on eating, keep in mind that you can take the rest home to enjoy the next day.
How to Splurge the Right Way
Be realistic in terms of the calorie content of your food. I’m not going to encourage full on calorie counting, but think of calories in a very loose and realistic way. If we order a dish of fettuccine alfredo, we know that dish has upwards of 1,600 + calories. Realistically, we do not need to be eating that much food. Think about the bread, side salad, and wine we’ve already consumed prior to our dish arriving. This can put us way over a 2,000-calorie dinner. Have a game plan and assess the menu before you order. If you really want the fettuccine, you can pass on the bread and/or wine, or, you can order it all and have a small taste of everything, but in reality, you’re not eating much food at all. It’s the amount of food we eat that matters the most.
Never Deprive Yourself
If we let ourselves eat the foods we love whenever, we don’t need to have a designated day to enjoy them. Eighty percent of your diet should be healthy, and 20% is whatever else you want (healthy or not). As long as you are honoring your body, eating when you are truly physically hungry, and being mindful of your portion sizes, you can easily reach and maintain your healthy weight all while allowing yourself you daily “cheats”.
Don’t forget your workout of the week!
Click here for Jessica’s No More Resolutions Workout!
No More Resolutions will run for 12 weeks along with No Diets in the New Year
There are beginner, intermediate, and advanced workouts for everyone!