That day after you cheat like a monster
I just spent a weekend not caring about calories, not going out of my way to working out, and eating whatever the hell I wanted, including but not limited to: a chocolate pinata filled with churro pieces and fruit, brunch, two orders of fried cheese curds, and a mess of fajitas and queso.
Weight loss is tough when you travel, take a vacation, go to conferences, have a wedding, etc. There’s pressure to have that extra drink, splurge on a dessert, eat the buffet table out of crab legs, etc. So the goal is how to manage that, and include it in your weight loss. It’s not feasible to skip out on a weekend, or conference, or what-have-you, just for your weight loss, and that’s damaging to that idea of willpower and what you’re giving up for this weight loss “gain.” It’s very important to find the balance on your trip, but then to also be able to come back to your diet after that trip, and not fall back into bad habits.
Today I’m back on the diet, and dealing with that voice in my head saying “yea, it’s OK to keep cheating, go ahead and skip the protein bar for lunch and run to McDonalds.” I’ve done a few of these weekends, seen my weight jump up 4-6 lbs in three days, and managed to get myself back under control. The key, once again, is those trackable numbers.
Before the cheat weekend, I set a metric, and I write it down. Plan on being a few pounds heavier than you are right now, and start adding more exercise into your routine that following week. Odds are good you’ll have some calories to spare and can burn then off.
It’s also important to ease yourself back into the diet. Large, healthy portions of food that keep you full without breaking the caloric bank are key. Get a large berry salad for lunch, grill up a bunch of veggies in spices for dinner, etc. It’s important to ease back into the healthy diet without shocking your system, and triggering that “I’m punishing myself now” feeling. You should very much feel like this is a continuation of your weekend, but with healthier options. With any luck, you’re at the point where all that friend food or the pound of chocolate made you feel terrible inside, so you’re ready to return to that healthier option.
IF you absolutely keep craving that extra sweet: try fruit with a little lite whipped cream, watermelon slices, or hot chocolate as a treat for finishing that extra tough workout. Or if you’re craving another burger, or fries, or something else greasy: increase your protein intake through shakes, or grill up some zuchinni, broccoli, and other veggies with a little steak seasoning. Top with ketchup or mustard or bbq sauce of the lower calorie variety, and get the cravings for that salty, spicy grilled flavor covered.
If you’re craving carbs, I honestly have no idea how to help you. I wish I did. I crave them all the time.