By Ava Africa

Setting a proper perspective on C.H.E.A.T. days

Hearing or seeing the word C.H.E.A.T. arouses mixed emotions for me. It sparks excitement for the evil voice inside your head, much to the dismay of your good conscience. Talking about this topic will take a long period of time so I am CHOOSING to FOCUS on talking about how C.H.E.A.T-ing can help you in managing your weight.

We, as athletes, are famous for being a special breed of self-motivated and disciplined human beings. Truth be told, that is just what we are – human beings. We fail and falter – and C.H.E.A.T. It is my mission, thus, in this article to assist you in your quest to stay in the game despite our C.H.E.A.T.-ing tendencies.

ms_blog_cheat_1

Photo from: http://www.eatthis.com/10-cheat-meal-strategies-weight-loss

First step is to KNOW YOUR PARADIGM about C.H.E.A.T.-ing. Personally, when I C.H.E.A.T. (sweets are my weakness), I begin to feel bad about myself. This would then lead me to think like this: “Let me start (eating healthy) again tomorrow.” This would become next week, then next month, then next year. It becomes a vicious cycle that is challenging to break but POSSIBLE. For those who can relate, I created a mnemonic that would help shift your paradigm on C.H.E.A.T.-ing:

            Choose

            Healthy

            Eating

            And

            Triumph.

You may want to start working on DEFINING what C.H.E.A.T. days mean for you and how they should look like for you to achieve your weight management goals.

Second, be honest about where you are in your fitness (and intrinsic metabolism). This is where
your body composition (i.e. body fat and skeletal muscle percentages) comes in. I summarized a C.H.E.A.T. chart that you can follow depending on your current fitness status.

ms_blog_cheat_2

When you belong to the first and second body types (SM<37% for males and <28% for females), you may want to focus on BUILDING ENOUGH MUSCLE in your body so that your body fat will naturally shed eventually.

A friend of mine who successfully managed her weight gave me a new perspective and I will share it with you. When I heard that she was managing her weight, I told her this: “I heard you QUIT eating fatty foods.” How she responded left me speechless and changed my idea on successful weight management. This is what she said: “You know, I AM NOT A QUITTER. I did not quit eating fatty food groups. I just decided TO CHOOSE to eat the type of food that will build by muscle and burn my fats naturally LONG TERM.” To our conscious mind, these may mean the same thing but to our subconscious mind, this may probably be the BIGGEST REASON for you to C.H.E.A.T. Our minds were wired for success and progression. Using these words will build more confidence and motivation. Why am I sure? It happened to a number of my friends, so I’m sure it is POSSIBLE FOR YOU.

Third, look for a coach/accountability partner. You may want to look for someone who can encourage you and knows what you’re going through (i.e. he/she was able to C.H.E.A.T.).

ms_blog_cheat_3

Photo from: https://www.acefitness.org/certifiednewsarticle/2892/study-shows-health-coaches-effective-in-helping/

Keep going back to WHY you want to manage your weight. Keep it simple and keep your mind filled with thoughts of WHY YOU CAN


Ava Africa is a sports enthusiast who regularly engages in different sports such as swimming, tennis, and running and was member of the Ladies’ U18 Football National team. She is also a weight management coach and has helped a number of people attain their desired body shape by designing easy lifestyle changes to follow.