Today is my first cheat day on the Four Hour Body, or Slow Carb Diet. I’ve been looking forward to this cheat day all week, mostly because I’ve been using it as a way to justify not eating the bad things I would normally eat or drink. The times that I felt like I wanted to have an alcoholic drink or something else that isn’t good for me, I’d tell myself that “I can do that on my cheat day so I should hang on a while longer.” And so far, it’s worked!
I’m a bit nervous going into the cheat day because on most other structured diet plans I’ve been on, there was no such thing as a cheat day. It was all or nothing. Either I ate healthy or I was off the wagon. It seems counter-intuitive to me to have a day where I’d going to throw all my hard-earned training and discipline out the window in exchange for eating whatever I want. While part of me is nervous, the other part of me is kind of excited that I am getting to have a day off, because dieting isn’t easy. The timing of all this actually works well because I have a business event tonight that I have really been looking forward to, and there’s going to be a lot of non Slow Carb-compliant food and alcohol to be had.
The Psychology of the Cheat Day
The thing about cheat days is that they really allow me to have something to look forward to on non-cheat days. But on the cheat day itself, I’m going to be eating some things that are not so good for me. This is an opportunity for me to listen to my body and to understand how it responds to some of those things. I believe, in some cases, there will be no response, meaning I’ll feel fine. In other cases, some things I eat might make me feel different, uncomfortable, bloated, low-energy…any number of things. I’m actually more interested in this type of “research” than I am in actually eating off-limits food, which tells me that this diet might already be working for me. The thing that’s really important for me to recognize is the connection between what I eat and how I feel, because how I feel is a reflection of how my body reacts to the things I put in it.
The cheat day has taught me that for a long time, I ignored what my body told me when I ate badly and neglected exercise. However, today’s cheat day is kind of a swinging the other direction because it will let me feel the experiences of eating how I used to and really understanding how it makes a healthy body feel. With that information, I have the power of choice to decide if that eating habit is something that I want to continue. Even though I haven’t reached my cheat day yet, I’m already predicting that in future cheat days I’ll willingly choose to eat right as opposed to eating badly, due to how gross I’ll feel when I go off the diet. We’ll see, though.
I start today with a bit of nervous energy around my cheat day, but I’m excited to experience it. I’ll update you on how it went and how it made me feel in my next blog!