Cheat Days and Finding Fitness & Nutrition Balance

Now before we get into cheat days, cheat meals and all that jazz, I want to give you a little background about why I chose to write about this topic…

girl post-workout selfie

If you’re following me on Facebook, you probably saw my impromptu contest I started during a routine squash game with my 2 very good friends. I make VLOGs a lot on my Facebook page, and this time I wanted to make things interesting. So basically, I let you guys guess how many sets I would win and whoever guessed the right amount got to ask me any question they wanted.

::Drum roll::

…and this is the question that I got from Rene Weisinger.

Oh and in case you’re wondering, I only won 2 sets in 1 hour and 30 minutes. My friends are so good, they seriously kick my ass. Okay back the question…

What do you think about cheat days and how many are reasonable in a week when I want to push my progress? how do you handle your balance between nutrition and sport? Do you do more sports when you had more cheat days? Where do you get all your motivation from?

soooorry more than 1 question 🙈

So since this is a few questions, I decided to answer them one by one for you Rene. 🙂

What do you think about cheat days…

Personally, I do not do a cheat day. When people ask me this question, I often reply with: “Don’t cheat, live!” What the heck does that mean? Well, there are so many opportunities in life where we can stray from our eating patterns. So, it’s not necessary for me to carve out an entire day devoted to eating all this “forbidden” food. In fact, I really like to focus on what I can have, my #CanList, and the foods that I love and that are healthy.

Normally I am eating super clean and unprocessed. But then there’s my birthday, my friends birthday, Christmas, a wedding, a friends kids birthday…you catch my drift? And no, I don’t take my Tupperware container of food with me out to dinner with my friends or something.

One thing I have experienced with people I have worked with is that after a cheat day they feel a tremendous amount of guilt. “OMG I shouldn’t have eaten that, I feel like shit!” And, for me, that doesn’t sound fun. I don’t want to obsess over what I am eating all week and try to be perfect (which is impossible) just so I can “deserve” my cheat day. Then feel guilty about it later? No thanks!

and how many are reasonable in a week when I want to push my progress?

Instead of having an entire cheat day, why not sprinkle in some of your favorite foods throughout the week so you don’t deprive yourself? So this might mean a small piece of dark chocolate 4x per week instead of a giant cake on the weekend…or maybe 1 -2 slices of pizza with a salad instead of the WHOLE pizza.

When it comes to how many are “reasonable” that depends on the individual. For some people, they have their crazy cheat day and then they feel like crap and are low-energy, bloated and gassy for 3-4 days afterwards. You’re not going to get the progress you want when you take half of the week to feel better. For some people, they only may feel bloated or have a “food baby” for a few hours and then it’s gone. It all depends on what works for you. But, you have to figure it out.

How do you handle your balance between nutrition and sport?

Well, I make a plan every night for the following day. For some people planning the whole week works great, for me it doesn’t. When it comes to planning my food, I make a bunch of quinoa, sweet potatoes, cut up a bunch of veggies, hard boil eggs and prep all that stuff on Sunday. Then, in the evening after work each day I prepare my food for the next day.

When it comes to my workout, I put it in my calendar just like a meeting. Yes, I actually schedule my workout for the following day. That’s the only way I am going to fit it in. Plus, if I am traveling I have to make sure I get in my workouts before I leave and adjust my plan accordingly depending on my destination. Some hotels have gyms, some don’t.

I meal prep 99% of the time and I ONLY skip a workout when I feel really exhausted and I know that my body is telling me that I need a rest day. Remember, I have been on my fitness journey for almost 9 years so I have made a lot of mistakes and have learned exactly what works for me. This is SUPER important to find your groove and schedule and timing that suits your unique lifestyle the best. But, I will warn you, this does require a lot of trial and error and some serious detective digging into your own life to master it. You can do it, but you have to decide to do it.

And, the way I balance it now probably won’t be the way I balance it in the future – life is always changing so you have to always adjust.

Do you do more sports when you had more cheat days?

No, I never try to do more training so I can eat more or eat more expecting to do more training. Again, this is just way too much thinking about food. I train and eat healthy to be as healthy and strong as possible, not because I ate a piece of chocolate cake 🙂

When it comes to the holidays, and I know that there will be some extra calories and wine with my family (who I only see 2x per year) then I definitely make sure that my workouts are on point. I don’t workout more, but I make sure that those workouts are super kick ass and consistent. And, if I am going to have a little bit extra or have some dessert, I try to have it after a great and intense leg workout. Then I know that all the extra calories (protein, carbs, etc.) are going right where I want them. (usually to the booty!)

Where do you get all your motivation from?

That’s a really great question. There’s a lot of things that motivate me so I will make a list for you.

  1. My personal progress makes me super motivated. When I can lift heavier, hold a plank longer, see some extra muscle definition I get super excited.
  2. My mom & my dad! My mom is the fittest woman I know and she runs her own business and is my definition of a BEAST! My dad always has the best advice and words of wisdom and always pushes me to do my absolute best. He taught me to NEVER quit or give up – this helps me stay motivated a lot.
  3. Fit moms totally motivate me too. Even though I don’t have any kids and I don’t really want any in the near future, when a lady can have kids, work, be a sexy wife and kick ass – that is SO cool to me and I seriously have the utmost respect for women like that. I used to train a lot of ladies like that when I was a personal trainer in California and I was seriously in awe of how they managed to stay fit and in shape among all the chaos.
  4. I keep my #SupportSquad on point. If I feel any negative energy from someone or feel like they are bringing me down I immediately cut them out of my life. I love having positive friends and hard working people in my inner circle who believe in me and whom I believe in.

Well, I hope that answered all your questions Rene 🙂 And I hope all of you benefited from his question as well. Make sure to follow me on Facebook, Instagram & Twitter for more contests and tons of health and fitness tips.