Thursday, 1 October 2009

Keeping it balanced

Hey guys,

Can you believe it's Thursday already??? I mean, seriously, where does the time go? I'm back with the plan today ... in fact I've had such a busy morning, when I didn't have any time to eat at all, that I've just been able to have a luxury lunch of panini and Tyrells crisps and a bit of me-time in a coffee shop ... mmmmmm! Feeling a lot less stressed now I've stepped away from my desk for an hour!

The Importance of Being Nutritionally Balanced

One thing I forgot to talk about yesterday was my nutrition report, which I got back from the gym on Tuesday. I was super excited by this, because as it turns out ......


Oh yes, I am! I was reading it at the gym with a big grin on my face, because the basic gist of the report was keep doing exactly what you're doing now. Sweeeeeeeet!

For the week they reviewed - which was in fact one of my less brilliant weeks because it was the week I was stuck at home with a completely caned back and hip - I was bang on an adjusted calorie target of 500 under basal metabolic rate. Their target was a daily allowance of 1437, and I was averaging 1407. Booyaka!!

My carbs were at 99% of my suggested RDA - whooop! My proteins were a touch over, my fibre intake a touch under - just need to balance those a bit. My sat fats were under, which is definitely good, my trans fats were a bit over. That last one's something to watch as trans fats are the really nasty ones - however I take comfort in the fact that I was eating much less fresh, home-cooked food that week and more prepared stuff from the supermarket / takeaway - so that explains that - I suspect on a normal week, my trans fats would be quite a bit lower.

Basically though, I've arrived at a place where I eat a nutritionally balanced diet, even on an off week. Awesome job, Sue!! I shall now perform that lesser known manoeuvre - the pat on your own back.

Cheat days

I'm intrigued by this, as I know quite a few people have cheat days after weigh in, and the lovely Lindsay was talking about it earlier.

Now I understand the concept of the cheat day, but I have to admit, it's just not for me. I can't imagine having free-reign over what I eat, for a period each week, and not having to pay attention to the points, because I'd certainly have to pay the consequences on the scales.

I think the problem is that I'm far too logical. Throughout a normal week (we'll ignore holidays or special occasions, because they're a bit different), I approach the whole WW's thing in a very logical manner. Generally, I look at each piece of food and decide whether I want it based on it's impact on my numbers for the day vs. the gratification I'll get. Basically the outcome is how much I want it - and if I really want it, then I'll have it, and work around it.

The outcome of that is that I get everything I want throughout the week. And I decide everything else is just too high a cost for what it is, and I'm not bothered about it.

So here's the thing - why would I then have a cheat day? There's nothing I can't have at any other time during the week. And if I didn't want it then; if I didn't consider it worthy enough of my points on a normal day - why would I suddenly want to eat it on a "cheat day".

The concept of a cheat day kind of feels like going to a shop in a sale and buying everything just because it's a bargain .... whether or not I actually genuinely wanted it before it was a bargain. All you end up with is a load of stuff you didn't really need, and the cost usually adds up to be far more expensive that you'd intended - far more expensive than if you'd just bought the one or two items you actually needed / wanted at full price. Do you see where I'm going with this? A cheat day, for me, just seems like an excuse to eat a load of stuff I don't really want, just because I can.

On the flip-side I can understand that those people who have cheat days are quite possibly much stricter than I am during the rest of the week and need to blow off steam sometimes .... I just don't think I could function like that.

Do you guys have cheat days? Or even cheat meals?

And how do you cope with the constant switching on and off of your point-counting brain? I find mine's pretty much constantly switched on, even when I'm on holiday, or supposedly off plan for some reason - I just can't forget the numbers (even if I then choose to ignore them lol).

Overall, what I discovered, thinking about cheat days, is that I've been doing this so long, that I don't need a day off as I've just fallen into a pattern. I have what I need as I go along, and just try and balance any splurges . Every couple of weeks, I relax up a bit, last week was one, but I never think of giving up on the plan altogether, and that's just how it works out for me.

What I really discovered though, is that I'm happy now with how I eat. And that kinda feels really nice.


Becky said...

Its really interesting that you say this as we discussed this in class this week. My leader asked ppl to raise your hands if you track the for the rest of the day after you have weighed - the 2 ppl that DO track after Wi have lost the most weight!

My Own Two Feet said...

I do not have 'cheat days', but I do have a strategically placed high calorie day immediately following my weigh-in. During this day I will take in calories that are actually OVER my basal metabolic rate. I will have ONE free meal during that day though.

The purpose of the high calorie day is actually quiet scientific. Research has shown that a single day of 'overfeeding' can reset your body's leptin levels (the hormone that essentially controls your body's starvation mechanism) to regular levels. Simply put, it will reboost any metabolic slowdowns you may have encountered during the period where you are eating under maintenance.

I hope this helps the 'logical' side to be able to make an informed decision in regards to refeeds/cheats/high calorie days.

Jack Sh*t, Gettin' Fit said...

The concept of "cheat days" have always baffled me, too. Using food as a reward for weight loss seems to be pretty counter intuitive, if you ask me. Besides, eating crap just primes the pump for your body wanting to be fed more and more crap. Good call on that one!

Becky said...

Hi Congratulations I have awarded you the "Lovely Blog Award" you truly deserve it, love Becky xx

kate said...

firstly well done on your balanced diet :)

the idea of 'cheat days' doesn't seem to promote a healthy relationship with food. this is something i certainly struggle with particularly after hard training sessions. i'm trying to re-learn not to see food as a 'reward'. it's not that i don't want to have pleasure from eating but i need to work on some issues first. 'cheat days' would be my downfall!

Joanne said...

I have never understood the logic of having a cheat day, i for one wouldn't want to spend all week trying to claw back points.
Plus, i think if you feel the need to 'cheat' you are not eating the right foods anyway, you shouldn't feel so deprived that you need to cheat surely?