Firstly, I would like you to refer to these meals as your ‘reward’, oppose to a ‘cheat’. I prefer to use positive references during our journey to a healthier mind and body. You’re never going to ‘cheat’ yourself but instead, you are going to reward yourself for your amazing hard work and determination that you decided to do for the better of yourself. We are trying to change our lifestyle so we can be in optimal health and in return, our bodies will look the way we treat it. Reward meals are given for the scientific purpose of restoring our glycogen (sugar) ‘tanks’ in our body. We’ve been so 100% on our diet for a complete 6 days that we have depleted (because we used it all up during our intensive exercise regimens), that on the 7th day, we need to restore our glycogen (sugar) ‘tanks’, so that we can continue to give our best for the next 6 days. We’re also rewarding ourselves for our fantastic behaviour for a mental reason to help is stay on track. For example, you really want that cheesy pizza but you are dedicated to your health and wellness so the thought of knowing that if you don’t give in to your craving at that moment, that you can truly enjoy that pizza as a reward on your 7th day and have no regrets about it! Remember, we keep referring to it as a reward MEAL – not reward DAY!
You want to schedule your reward day in a strategic manner. Either eat your reward as your post workout meal; preferably after a large muscle group has been exercised (legs is usually the best option), or a muscle group that you would like to feed the most (I have a goal to build ‘glutes that salute’ so I would choose to eat it after a glut day but maybe it’s different for a male who would like to build a big chest). Or, if you eat it in the evening, choose a day where you know you have the NEXT day free and no obligations other than to exercise and put all those extra carbs ‘in all the right places’.
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