Monday, June 27, 2011

Clean Eating Challenge: Step 6 -- Implement "The Cheat"

Well, how was your week?  Was it super hard not to cheat at all (other than maybe a food storage item here and there)? 

This week you get to cheat!  Woohoo for cheats! 

Alright, there are a few ways you can do this.  There's the 'cheat meal', the 'cheat day', and the 80/20 rule.  Let me explain...

Cheat Meal:  This is where you eat clean all the time except one meal per week.  A predesignated meal (maybe a Saturday lunch or something) that you decide you will eat whatever cheat meal you feel is necessary for you to get your 'fix' of junk food for the week.  Maybe you need a combo meal from McDonalds or something.  Or maybe your favorite pizza joint is calling your name.  Or maybe one of your snacks is going to be a decadant dessert of some sort.  Whatever floats your boat.  

The designated day could change depending on your weekly plans.  Maybe you have a party planned on Tuesday.  Make Tuesday your Cheat Meal day. 

Cheat Day:  This is a whole day during the week designated to eating whatever you want and not worrying about it.  Be careful with this one though.  If you are afraid that designating a whole day will throw your chi off with the clean eating, don't do it!  Stick with the Cheat Meal or the.....

80/20 Rule:  This is where you make sure that you are eating clean at least 80 percent of the time.  The other 20 percent is whatever you want.... and sometimes 'whatever you want' turns out to be clean anyway.   

This is the 'cheat' that works for me the best because, although I started out trying the Cheat Meal plan, my life seems so out of control at times.  We frequently have friends over or are invited to a get together with family or friends and I know that the food options won't always be clean.  Anthony and I both try to eat mostly clean in those situations by filling up on fruits, vegetables, water, and whatever other clean options are available before diving into the nasties.  And often times, that is enough to keep us satisfied and we don't need the yucky stuff.  This coming from the girl who has a hard time saying no to food in general, let alone the sweets and processed crap. 

One thing that we hardly ever give in to these days is soda.  That's one thing that we have given up almost entirely whether we're cheating or not.  The only soda we've consumed at all since beginning our journey several months ago was in the form of a root beer float... twice. 

I try to keep it more on the 90/10 side.  Just please keep it at least 80/20 if this is the cheat plan you choose.  Don't go any less 80% clean. 

And always remember to eat only until satisfied no matter what you are eating.  The 5-6 meals rule also applies. 

Another important thing to TRY and do is make your cheats homemade.  If you can, try not to eat the processed foods.... ever!  It really is ok to have treats once in a while but if you make your own chocolate chip cookies rather than buying Chips Ahoy, you really are doing yourself a favor.  At least you know what went into it and you can name all the ingredients.  Every once in a while a processed treat is necessary, I get that.  Just try to keep it in check. 

Well, I hope this week goes well for you.  Keep me posted on your progress. 

In case you missed the past Clean Eating Challenge posts, click on the "Clean Eating Challenge" under the labels on the right. 

And if you wrote down or printed out the ranch dressing recipe, I hope you caught it after the correction.  Nothing major but there was a slight error. 


LeShel said...

I woke up this morning stressed about what this week was going to bring. Can you say manna from heaven? Thanks for an easy week. I know I can't do the cheat day because that would send me in a tailspin. I like the 80/20 idea and think I'm going to roll that way.

Brooke said...

I think the 80/20 rule is the easiest for busy moms and families. Especially with summer being here. I think we're all extra busy at this time of year. The biggest trick will be keeping the 80/20 rule in check at Christmas time... EEK!