Most health educators will tell you that cheat meals are not a big deal. That you can occasionally splurge, no problem! They even go so far as to share their experiences when they take a day or even to eat whatever they want.
It goes something like this…
“I gave myself permission to eat whatever I wanted at this event. I had junk food and sugar and all these foods that I normally don’t eat — fried foods, gluten, dairy, all the carbs! And guess what? It was okay! I was fine, and I didn’t gain a bunch of weight overnight. I feel like I have such a healthier relationship with food because I can eat this way every so often and not feel guilty anymore!”
Ugh, give me a break.
Here’s the deal. Cheat food is not going to make you fat overnight. And you might not even notice the effects of the fried food or large quantities of sugar or “little bit” of gluten. But your body? It feels all of it.
The inflammation caused by “cheat foods” has a lasting impact. And you probably won’t feel it the next day because inflammation takes time to show up. But there are consequences to every bite we take — for better or worse.
My story this weekend goes a little differently. Like I said yesterday, I’ve been traveling. It can make eating healthy tricky when you’re out of your normal environment. I did the best I could — no gluten, mostly veggies, etc.
But I did eat some dairy.
Not on purpose! But on a few different occasions, it snuck into my food, and I didn’t realize it until later.
And I feel like I’ve swallowed a bowling ball. I was bloated and uncomfortable all weekend. My digestion is out of whack, my stomach is not happy, and I feel like I’m in a fog.
I also did eat a good bit more sugar this weekend than I’m used to, so I believe that’s a contributing factor — especially to the brain fog.
Was the food tasty? Of course! Tasting good is of #1 importance to most people when it comes to food. So the food was good. But how do I feel now? Not so good.
The Truth About Cheat Meals
If you’re on the cheat meal train and giving yourself free reign on food choices once a week or whatever schedule. notice how you feel afterwards. It could take up to 10 days to feel the effects of inflammation, which makes it tricky to connect the dots.
Keep this in mind. If you eat a cheat meal every Friday night, it takes 3-5 days for your body to heal and recover on a base level. (Depending on what you’re eating — like fried food or vegetable oil, it could take more like 3-5 months.) So now Saturday, Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday your body is in emergency mode trying to deal with your cheat meal from Friday night. By Wednesday, things are a little better. But now you’ve only got 2 days until you eat another cheat meal!
This means that your body is almost constantly in a state of emergency from that single cheat meal per week. After a while, it can’t sustain the constant struggle and the cycle breaks down even more.
You’re not doing yourself any favors by splurging, even on occasion.
Now, I’m going to have to spend several days eating especially nourishing foods to heal my gut from the little dairy binge I had.
And that’s the part of the story that no one else is telling.
Well, like I said yesterday, I forgot to pack my scale, so I don’t have any number so show for today besides my sleep. You probably already have the idea that this weekend has thrown me off track in a few ways (hellooooo dairy!). I’ll be home all day tomorrow and be able to get back into my usual weekend rhythm since it’s a holiday.
Finally a full night’s sleep! I got way more REM sleep last night than any other night in the last week. Being in a rested state really helps me get into REM more. Wake time flexibility helps, too. I didn’t start getting REM sleep until 4:20 AM.
I had 4 wake-ups throughout the night. I think this may have something to do with what I ate. My digestive system was struggling.
|Total Sleep Time||9 hr 14 min|
|Time In Bed||9 hr 57 min|
|REM Sleep||1 hr 36 min|
|Deep Sleep||2 hr 31 min|
|Bed Time||10:07 PM|
|Wake Time||8:04 AM|
|Lowest Resting Heart Rate||48 bpm|
Tomorrow is a holiday! That means no work and sleeping in. *praise hands*. I’m very much looking forward to it.
Talk to you then! Much love,