I would say 75% of the time I eat clean. Why 75%? Because regular pasta, white rice, even a tablespoon of butter, bottled barbeque sauce, and most salad dressings are not considered clean. I firmly believe a steak as well as a pork chop should be seared in butter. White pasta has a different mouth feel, and starchiness when compared to its whole wheat counterpart, the same goes for rice. Sometimes I just want blue cheese dressing and barbeque, and super lean meats tend to be expensive.
Food is always one of the first things to pop into our head when we think of holidays and traditions; it sparks conversation and brings people together. Food is a driving force for not only our bodies but our soul. These are the reasons that I cheat.
I ate completely clean for a while, do you know what happened? Any time I stepped out of the realm of clean, I got sick. It was not fun. Something as simple as steak, or fish pan fried in butter would send me straight to bed trying not to vomit for the next few hours. I came to the realization that unless I plan to compete in fitness competitions there was no need to live like this. That’s when I implemented a weekly cheat meal. Usually homemade calzones, chicken parmesan, mac & cheese, seafood with butter these are my favorite comfort foods. Do you know what changed? My attitude, I was happier, and my body actually seemed in better shape, I had a lot more energy, and my measurements, including body fat percent barely wavered. I honestly think that having more energy could be contributed to the better mood. Also having a carb heavy meal once in a while will help your metabolism stay up so you can continue to burn more calories overall.
I don’t want to give anyone the wrong idea in thinking a cheat meal consists of a trip to McDonalds followed by a stop by pizza hut, and rounded out with a gallon of ice cream, because it’s not any of those things. A cheat meal for me is a lean sirloin steak topped with a little mason butter, a salad with blue cheese dressing, and a side of garlic parmesan pasta or mashed potatoes. It could also be a night out, with linguini & clam sauce, or Buffalo wings and a beer. One single average sized meal, where I don’t over eat, and I usually try to stick to something lighter during the rest of the day.
It’s about balance. I cheat to keep everything in balance.
I eat to satisfy, not only what my body needs but my soul. I am capable of cheating now and then to enjoy my food because most of the times I eat clean, and I am active. I do keep track of my measurements, including my body fat percent, so I know when I need to tone it back (the month of December for example) and eat a few more veggies.