This week I had one of those days where I could not get full no matter what I ate. I was just hungry. As in bottomless pit, pre-pubescent teenage boy hungry.
I was frustrated. My macros are targeted right now to maintain my weight. My workout intensity during the previous two days had been high, so I chalked it up to that and eventually gave up trying to stick to my macros. I let myself eat whatever sounded good. I didn’t feel great about it.
Sometimes there are going to be days when stuff gets to you. Work is annoying. People at work are annoying. You’re inexplicably hungry. You’re PMSing. You stubbed your toe and suddenly your entire world has crumbled.
And you know what? Suddenly getting to the gym and counting your macros seems entirely unimportant. You have better things to worry about, and besides, that brownie looks good.
People put a lot of emphasis on allowing treats in your diet and fitness plan. I’m a huge proponent of this (hello, flexible dieter here!). But this week brought to the forefront another aspect: You should have your treats because you’ve planned to, not because you’re comforting yourself or because you’re feeling out of control.
The psychological effects of the latter practice can be quite serious. If I’ve had a terrible day and that is the catalyst for me hitting the bakery on my way home, I don’t feel good about eating those sweets and I’m more likely to regret having done so. On the other hand, if I’ve had a great day, am feeling positive, and have planned a cheat meal with an indulgent dessert, I feel excited and happy when I’ve finished the last bite. (Okay, slightly sad that it’s over but you get the point.)
Planned cheats also make me feel like I’ve achieved something and make me feel good about doing it again. When I’m stuffing my face because I’ve let negative emotions overrule me, I don’t feel so hot about it. That memory surfaces the next time I want to cheat on my diet.
None of us is perfect. I had an unplanned cheat this week, and I’m sure it won’t be my last. The key is not to beat yourself up about it. Go do your workout. Get back on track with your next meal. Do whatever helps you relieve stress and KEEP GOING. Never let yourself get to the point where you feel guilty for eating. Love your body. Work with it rather than against it.
Check out this week’s video to see how I dealt with my unplanned cheat, and to see some leg day footage targeting quads, hammies, and glutes!