Incorporating “Refuel Meals” into your diet
Some call them “cheat meals” but I like to refer to them as “refuel meals”. These are meals that are essential and a key component to your fitness goals and success. It is important to refuel not only your glycogen stores but, more so, your mind but your body, and pallet. A “refuel meal” will not hinder your progress but rather only help! Note, I do not call these meals “cheat meals” because I do not believe you are cheating yourself or your fitness plan. When you use the word “cheat”, you automatically think you are doing something wrong, which shouldn’t be the case.
When I say “refuel Meal” I am not talking about a full out binge but rather something that your body is craving or something that you like but is not on your typical daily diet plan. Let me first clear something up, did you know that junk food or “bad foods” are not what make you fat but rather it is the added calories that put on the extra weight we are afraid of. If all you ate was 1500 calories of junk food, most likely you will not gain weight. Is it healthy, no but you are not in a calorie surplus. Now, mind you, you would only be able to have small amounts of this unhealthy food and why would you want to do that?? Excess calories is what causes weight gain. People think that it is a cheeseburger or pizza that causes you to gain weight but in reality, it is the added calories. A typical cheeseburger has way over 1000 calories so that is about half, depending on your personal needs, of your daily calorie allowance. Now, if you know that you are going to have a “refuel meal”, you can alter your food choices that day and the day after and allow for your special meal. If you know how to follow a set program and allow for a meal to “refuel” your mind body and soul, the meal will do nothing but help you with your progress and recharge your batteries!
When you do decide to have a “refuel meal”, I suggest still making wise suggestions. First of all, I suggest a “refuel meal” 1-2 times a week and keeping it still within reason! Where at all possible, I suggest continuing to modify the meal. For example, If you are dying for a burger, maybe remove the cheese and mayonnaise and ask for a side salad instead of the fries. If you are craving pasta and whole wheat is an option, maybe you go for the whole wheat over white pasta. You see you are allowing yourself the burger, or pasta, and just making the best choices to still keep the calorie count and unnecessary fats within reason. I also always suggest eating your “refuel meal” at home. You can make the most amazing burger on a whole wheat bun and with sweet potato fries. You can also make a super healthy pizza with tons of veggies and grilled chicken. You can get a lot more bang for your buck when you eat at home. You are still having a fun “refuel meal” of your choice, but you know what you are putting in it and can still alter the meal to be much healthier than a meal out. With that being said, going out to eat is also a fun way to feel like you are being social and able to go out, without worrying about being super strict. If you do choose to enjoy a refuel meal out, I still suggest you make smart choices. For example, If you are ordering pizza, maybe you ask for thin crust and only eat a few pieces rather than an entire deep dish pizza.
Depriving yourself completely of your favorite foods is a perfect way to make yourself miserable and risk the chance of falling of any fitness program. Isn’t it funny how we want things we “can’t have”. Suddenly if you tell yourself you “can” have this or that, you oddly don’t want it anymore. When you restrict yourself of foods, you want them and when you have them you can go overboard because you don’t know when you will get them again. Allowing yourself the opportunity to “refuel” your mind and body can keep you enjoying life while still reaching your goals. Imagine being able to eat pizza and still obtain the body you desire. Yes, it can happen and it is possible.
It really is all about balance between staying fit and achieving your goals while still enjoying life! With proper balance, you can stay within in a reasonable calorie intake and still enjoy those foods you have always loved so much.
Download my Ultimate Shred 365 HERE where I have Refuel Meals worked into the plan to keep you On track while still enjoying the finer things in life (like Pizza and Wine)!!!
5 Benefits of Refuel Meals:
1. Motivation to stay on your meal play throughout the week, giving you something to look forward to.
2. Free your mind of the stress that you “can’t” have something.
3. Spike your metabolism with the added calories.
4. Feel like you are still able to enjoy life, without restrictions.
5. Enjoy the things you have always loved but may feel like they are “not allowed” on a track towards reaching your goals training/diet plan.
A few pointers for the days you plan a “refuel meal”
I would follow these pointers on the day of and the day following your Refuel Meal:
-Be sure to take account for that in the rest of your meals that day and make a conscious effort to still eat every 2-3 hours but eat foods lower in calories such as your lean proteins and tons of green veggies.
-Be sure to get in your exercise for that day and if you ever do HIT training or take an intense boot camp class, a day you are enjoying a “refuel meal” is the perfect day for that type of training! Not only will you feel better mentally but your metabolism will be revved up and burn right through that meal, like nothing.
-Be sure to make a few simple changes to your meal, as I suggested, still modifying it slightly so that you are not getting any excess calories or fat that doesn’t make or break the meal.
-If you can, make your refuel meal at home! Get creative, find a good recipe, have fun and enjoy the process of cooking and enjoying your meal!
-Get right back on track after that meal and the day following. Don’t allow yourself to fall in the trap of one “refuel meal” means a “refuel weekend”.
Keep your refuel a meal and then continue with your fitness plan the following meals and the following day.
Plan Wisely and refuel your mind, body and pallet!! Remember, it is all a part of the journey, enjoy!