I’m Cheating

I’m trying yet another new thing!

I’m going to have a cheat day once a week.

Saturday.

Oh blissful Saturday, full of deep-fried fatty sugary wonders.

Cheat days are allowed in lots of ‘diets’ but not in others. But I’m not on any ‘diet.’ (Note on semantics: ‘diet’ in ‘quotes’ refers to a prescribed eating plan, versus diet, no quotes, to mean the food that you eat.) I’m just trying to make good food choices. Cheat days are something I have misgivings about. Afterall, if you begin to eliminate things that don’t serve your body well, and then reintroduce them once a week, aren’t you just re-triggering the cycle of need?

In the past, when I’ve felt more in control of my diet, I actually lost my taste for very sweet or deep-fried instant anything. I didn’t crave those things. But now I do. A LOT.

The idea behind a cheat day is that once a week (or whatever you assign) you get to indulge. This means that you have deferred gratification. “I will skip out on the afternoon tea this week, but I know that on Saturday I can have a slice of cake and a cup of tea with sugar in it.” In theory, it means you can wait because you know it’s coming.

I have a friend who has four cheat weeks (or a few days) a year, approximately three months apart. Easter, July for her birthday, October for Hallowe’en and Christmas through to New Years Day. I was going to do this with her, but I haven’t gotten a single week under control, so I thought I would start with Sweet Saturdays first.

Actually, I didn’t want to have a cheat day at all really. I just wanted to make good food choices most of the time and try to eat a balanced diet (80/20) most of the time. But I don’t feel like that now. It’s not working. I feel off-kilter. I crave too much sugar and fat. If I defer my desire, maybe it will slowly diminish and I’ll end up at the point where I don’t crave those things as much, and even Saturday cheat days won’t matter.

Hopefully.

So why Saturday?

Well two reasons:

  1. When I work a netball Saturday, I am surrounded by this food. I am cooking it and serving it and I’m not even hungry, but I want to eat it. I pick at the hot chips (french fries), I have lollies, chocolates, several steadying cups of tea, and so forth. To resist all those temptations when working at 9 hour shift is pretty hard.
  2. When I am at home alone on a Saturday, I tend to bake and eat. Well, that was before my oven died. But still, the little Betty Homemaker comes out and a slice or cookies or cake likes to find its way out of the oven. And into my fat belly! Nom!

So, since Saturday is a day that I often indulge anyway, why mess with a good thing?

So, I’ve gotten through day one, Sunday. My snacks were Almond paste and honey on a wrap (two during the day), and an apple. Meals included Mat’s delicious Gout Wrap – eggs, beef, cheese and tomato for breakfast, rice, veggies and veggie sausages for dinner, and Ryvita crackers with guacamole as mid-day meal. (We had a very late breakfast so had a light late lunch.)

One down! Five to go!

Have you ever used Cheat Days to get on track with your eating and control cravings? Did it work for you or not? What do you think?

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