The Benefits Of A Cheat Meal

The Benefits Of A Cheat Meal

Some advice and a recipe for those days you want to cheat on your summer diet plan.
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With summer already here for a lot of us, many people are starting their crash diets and cutting back on everything good in the world like doughnuts and burgers. While I'm an advocate for conscience eating, I think it's important to give your mind and willpower a break every once in a while and have a good cheat meal.

There are a lot of different ways to look at a diet, from the IIFYM “system," to carb cycling, to carb back loading, to ketogenic. Whatever method you choose, it's always good to follow an 80/20 or even 90/10 rule. 80% of the time you stick to your preplanned diet and meals, and the other 20% you can cheat a little bit. This 10%-20% is enough to satisfy your sweet tooth or cravings, but not a large enough deviation from your diet to cause any major derailments.

Losing weight by cutting your calorie intake always comes at a cost. The leaner you get the more severe you have to cut back on your food intake, particularly carbohydrates which are in almost everything. There is a difference between trying to see some abs for watershed and depriving your body of the nutrients it needs. It's important to systematically decrease your caloric intake as your body adapts, and also cheat occasionally to refuel your body and mind.

A high carb cheat meal can help raise leptin levels in the body and lower ghrelin levels. By balancing these hormones you can help normalize your metabolism, hunger and energy. This metabolic increase from a cheat meal can last for days which will help the overall fat loss during a diet.

The most important thing about cheat meals is that it's not an excuse to go crazy and eat a dozen doughnuts and a cake. The worst thing you can eat to ruin all the progress from the previous week before the cheat meal is foods high in sugar. A proper cheat meal should be balanced in calories and carbs. Pizza, burgers, or pasta are great options for a cheat meal that is high in carbs but also contains some fats and protein.

Cheat meals should be scheduled into your diet plan weekly or bi-weekly just like the rest of your meals. It should be planned in such a way that you feel like you have deserved it and won't feel guilty about breaking from your normal diet plan. If you have cheated here and there on your diet all week, you don't get a cheat meal; those little deviations here and there were your cheat meal. Weekends are usually the best time to plan a cheat meal, just make sure your cheat meal doesn't turn into a cheat day.

Here is an example of a great cheat meal:

Protein Pancakes

  • ¼ cup raw oats
  • ¼ cup cottage cheese
  • ½ scoop protein powder
  • ½ cup egg whites

Mix it all together, pour it in a pan, and you've got pancakes with 3 grams of fat, 23 grams of carbs, and 35g of protein with less than 300 calories.

There are a lot of great ways to keep yourself going during a diet and strive for the body that you want. Simple, planned, and healthy (somewhat) cheat meals are the best way to keep your body and mind strong during a cut. With the internet you are only a few clicks away from endless recipes and resources that you can use to your advantage to become the best version of yourself.

Cover Image Credit: http://media.tumblr.com/tumblr_meijftcNTc1qg1vd7.jpg

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A Senior's Last Week Of High School

The bittersweet end.
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Well, this is it. This is what we've worked so hard the last four years - who am I kidding - basically what seems like our whole lives for. This is the very last week we will set foot as a student in our high school's hallways. As most schools are getting ready to set their seniors free at last, it all begins to set in - the excitement, the anxiousness, and also the sentiment and nostalgia.

For seniors, the years since our first day as a freshman at the bottom of the high school totem pole have seemed endless, but as we look back on these last few weeks, we realize that this year in particular has gone by extraordinarily fast. It was just yesterday that we were sitting in our classrooms for the very first time, going to our 'last first' practice, and getting our first taste of the (very real) "senioritis". With all that's going on in our lives right now, from sports and clubs, finals, and the sought after graduation ceremony, it's hard to really sit down and think about how our lives are all about to become drastically different. For some it's moving out, and for some it's just the thought of not seeing your best friend on the way to fourth period English; either way, the feels are real. We are all in a tug of war with the emotions going on inside of us; everything is changing - we're ready, but we're not.

THE GOOD. Our lives are about to begin! There is a constant whirlwind of excitement. Senior awards, getting out of school early, parties, and of course Graduation. We are about to be thrust into a world of all new things and new people. Calling our own shots and having the freedom we have so desperately desired since the teenage years began is right around the corner. Maybe the best part is being able to use these new things surrounding you to grow and open your mind and even your heart to ideas you never could before. We get the chance to sink or swim, become our own person, and really begin to find ourselves.

Things we don't even know yet are in the works with new people we haven't even met yet. These friendships we find will be the ones to last us a lifetime. The adventures we experience will transform into the advice we tell our own children and will become the old tales we pass down to our grandkids when they come to visit on the weekends. We will probably hate the all night study sessions, the intensity of finals week, and the overpowering stress and panic of school in general, just like we did in high school... But it will all be worth it for the memories we make that will outlive the stress of that paper due in that class you absolutely hate. As we leave high school, remember what all the parents, teachers, coaches, and mentors are telling you - this are the best times of our lives!

THE BAD. The sentimental emotions are setting in. We're crying, siblings are tearing up, and parents are full-out bawling. On that first day, we never expected the school year to speed by the way it did. Suddenly everything is coming to an end. Our favorite teachers aren't going to be down the hall anymore, our best friends probably won't share a class with us, we won't be coming home to eat dinner with our families...

We all said we wanted to get out of this place, we couldn't wait, we were ready to be on our own; we all said we wouldn't be "so emotional" when the time came, but yet here we are, wishing we could play one more football game with our team or taking the time to make sure we remember the class we liked the most or the person that has made us laugh even when we were so stressed we could cry these past few years. Take the time to hug your parents these last few months. Memorize the facial expressions of your little sister or brother. Remember the sound of your dad coming home from work. These little things we take for granted every day will soon just be the things we tell our college roommate when they ask about where we're from. As much as we've wanted to get out of our house and our school, we never thought it would break our heart as much as it did. We are all beginning to realize that everything we have is about to be gone.

Growing up is scary, but it can also be fun. As we take the last few steps in the hallways of our school, take it all in. Remember, it's okay to be happy; it's okay to be totally excited. But also remember it's okay to be sad. It's okay to be sentimental. It's okay to be scared, too. It's okay to feel all these confusing emotions that we are feeling. The best thing about the bittersweet end to our high school years is that we are finally slowing down our busy lives enough to remember the happy memories.

Try not to get annoyed when your mom starts showing your baby pictures to everyone she sees, or when your dad starts getting aggravated when you talk about moving out and into your new dorm. They're coping with the same emotions we are. Walk through the halls remembering the classes you loved and the classes you hated. Think of the all great times that have happened in our high school years and the friends that have been made that will never be forgotten. We all say we hated school, but we really didn't. Everything is about to change; that's a happy thing, and a sad thing. We all just have to embrace it! We're ready, but we're not...

Cover Image Credit: Facebook

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Why Ignorance In Our Country Is Not Bliss

And it never will be.

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The saying ignorance is bliss is a bunch of crap. Ignorance is ignorance.

With everything going on in our country, I think it is very important for us to be educating ourselves.

You don't trust the news? Do your own digging.

You don't understand? Do some research.

You don't have the same perspective? Share it.

You only have your religious beliefs to base your knowledge? Learn before you judge.

We live in a scary world today. People judge others they've never met or before they've ever heard their story. People involve themselves in matters that they shouldn't be involved in. People are trying to regulate other people's bodies.

People don't want to learn about the issues they so strongly believe in. People don't want to hear the other side. When did party affiliation become more important than being a human being? When did men get the power to decide what women can do with their bodies? When did we stop being compassionate? When did we stop being decent human beings?

I don't want to live in a world where I have all these questions.

I don't want to live in a world where a judicial system will convict a woman who got an abortion after she was raped, but won't convict her rapist.

I don't want to live in a world where my social media timeline makes me want to cry.

I want to live in a world where everyone's opinion matters, not just the one you agree with.

I want to live in a world where everyone's voice is heard equally, not just the one's in power.

I want to live in a world where everyone's story is taken into consideration, not just the one's the government wants you to hear.

I want to live in a world where I can raise a young girl and not be afraid for her.

I want to live in a world where we do good.

I want to live in a world where we have differences, but that doesn't make us any less equal.

I want to live in a world where we don't judge before we know.

I want to live in a world where religious beliefs are respected.

I want to live in a world where it doesn't matter what political party you are.

I want to live in a world where people see right from wrong.

I want to live in a world where I am not afraid.

What kind of world do you want to live in?

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