I read THIS ARTICLE this morning. Here’s a brief snippet of it:
Q: I cheated on my diet. How long will it take to show up on the scale?
The Short Answer:
Probably never and even if it does, it’s most likely temporary fluid retention caused by excess salt or sugar intake. In the extremely unlikely event that you binged so massively over the weekend that you actually gained body fat, there’s nothing you can do about it now, so quit being neurotic and Googling articles like this one—instead, get on with the business of reversing the damage.
There’s a long answer in there too, so go and take a look, because it’s interesting. However, it got me thinking about “cheating on my diet” and all the talk I hear about “cheat days” and “cheat meals” where you go all out and don’t bother watching what you’re eating, and take no note of the syns on your plate.
The way I see it is this:
The problem comes when you cheat, then you don’t gain, so you cheat again, and again, and again, till eventually you slip back into your old bad eating habits and the weight piles on and you wonder what happened, because you’re on a diet and should be losing weight, not gaining it! Right?
Giving yourself license to have a treat once in a while is fine, but giving yourself permission to cheat does damage in the long run, and the only one who’s being cheated is YOU.
It’s made me re-evaluate how I’m approaching the Slimming World plan. Yes, there are times when I’m gong to have a gain, and it will be pretty much out of my control – bloating and water retention due to illness or shark week are prime candidates – but outwith that, I have up to 15 syns every day to use however I please – that’s 105 over the course of the week. If I want to have chocolate, I can have chocolate. If I want to have a scone or a piece of cake, I can have that. If one day I find I’ve had 16 or 17 syns, I make sure I have no more than 12 or 13 the next day. More often than not, I come in around the 10 to 12 syns mark on a daily basis. Sometimes it’s lower, sometimes it’s higher, but really, when I look at it like that, I have no real need to go outside my weekly syns allowance.
So now I ask myself (and everyone reading this), are we just making excuses when we have a “cheat” day or meal? Why do we feel a need to make those excuses? Are we really committed to shedding the excess weight, or are we subconsciously scuppering our attempts because we’re just not ready yet? Isn’t it time we found other, better, healthier ways to reward and treat ourselves than putting large amounts of unhealthy food into our bodies?
Food for thought, yes?
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this, so please do leave a comment below!