7 Signs You Should Eat A Burger, Fries, & Even Ice Cream

Every time I find myself taking life too serious, this image pops up in my head:

why_so_serious__by_tyrite

Not the most zenful of photographs, but since that movie, you know you’ve said those 3 little words in the late Heath Ledger’s voice…

“Why So Serious?” (while shaking your head side to side).

Completely off topic, but talk about creating a character that will last forever. Ledger’s Joker will forever be THE JOKER!

But seriously, why take life so serious?

It’s meant to be enjoyed, and if we spend all of our time worried about how every little detail of our life will affect us, then we are forgetting how to live.

Can I get an amen?

And part of life, is our body. And what we put into it.

Why So Serious About Your Food?

Of course, as a trainer and a health advocate, I am all about fueling with the best possible foods.

There are 3 requirements for food to enter my house:

  • Whole
  • All-natural
  • Clean

Except that’s not always the case.

In my fridge right this moment is a small container of Duke’s Mayo. Gasp.

But it makes chicken salad and tuna so delicious! See… Tuna with vegan almond cheese on a toasted plantain bun!

tuna-sandwich

That’s right… I’m not perfect.

I don’t share all of my food on Instagram (who wants to see that?), but let me assure you I enjoy wine (though not for the next 3 weeks), I enjoy chocolate, I enjoy ice cream, and I even enjoy pasta!

I shocked myself with this dinner. Homemade linguine from scratch! It was amazing!

pasta-dinner

Everyone has different “rules” and for the most part I follow a 90-10 rule… 90% clean eating, 10% letting loose and eating whatever the heck I want.

That 10% makes me human.

juice-angel

And allows me to have a normal relationship with both food and people.

I think we forget that when we become too crazy over our healthy habits that it can make others around us uncomfortable and even push them away. I didn’t learn this lesson until I was a vegan.

But maybe you haven’t been living like this? Maybe you’ve been really focused, a bit too focused on healthy eating? Too afraid or too ashamed to give in to the “dirty” food.

Well, here’s how to find out…

7-signs-to-eat-burger

7 Signs You Should Eat A Burger, Some Fries, & Even A Shake

*Before we jump into this, the whole burger, fries and shake is just a suggestion. It can be whatever makes your stomach and tastebuds happy. If that means eating a salad twice the size of your head, that’s fine just add some bacon or even croutons!

1. You count every single calorie that goes into your mouth.

Tracking your food is important and extremely helpful for losing weight. And it’s great to help with accountability.

In fact, writing down (or using an app) of the food you consume sets you up for success. One study, the largest on the subject, found that those who wrote their food lost twice as much weight than those who didn’t when trying to drop pounds.

But it shouldn’t run you life.

If you track your calories so religiously that you refuse to eat a snack at night when you hear your stomach growl because it would put you over your daily allowance by 50 calories…

It’s time for a cheat day.

2. You’ve been on a strict “diet” for over 4 weeks.

Just like we need the weekends to reset from a hard work week, we need a diet vacay to stay motivated and set to continue on.

In fact, many RD’s urge their clients to have a weekly diet indulgence after 3-4 weeks of dieting.

Why after that time? Because after 3-4 weeks, you’ve set a great track record. You know that you are in control of your eating habits, and you have the confidence of knowing that one day of bad eating isn’t going to turn you back on your previous nutritional choices.

If you’ve been focused on a diet for 3-4 weeks…

It’s time for a cheat day.

3. You’ve turned down going out with friends because you won’t be able to eat any of the food around you.

We live in a culture where food is a way to bring us together. Do not push friends away out of fear that you won’t be able to enjoy the experience. Who cares if they pick a pizza place? There will be something you can “tolerate” and the moments with friends is what really matters.

I am not suggesting you eat out 5 times a week, like the average American, however, eating out 1-2 times per month (that’s what we do) isn’t going to hurt your waist line.

If you’ve turned down hanging out with those you loved because of food…

It’s time for a cheat day.

4. You feel guilty when just thinking about a “cheat meal”.

Feeling guilty about not eating clean? That’s exactly the time when you need it.

Food shouldn’t make you feel guilty…

You are in control and realize that enjoying one day without worrying about calories, carbs, and fat is a good thing!

If you suffer food guilt…

It’s time for a cheat day.

5. You know how many calories are in all of your food, plus how much extra you need to workout to burn it off.

Thanksgiving Infographic

Source

Have you ever punished yourself for eating more than you “should”?

I have. And it sucks.

It’s taken a very long time to realize that one cheat meal doesn’t mean my body has to be punished by running an extra 5 miles. And yours shouldn’t either.

If you’re a calorie food and exercise genius…

It’s time for a cheat day… Eat the pasta Alfredo and don’t workout.

You rebel, you.

6. You can’t remember the last time you had “real” pizza, cake or ice cream.

Of course there are exceptions… I can’t remember the last time I had fast food, and I have no intentions of going to get it any time.

However, if you can’t remember the last time you enjoyed your mom’s famous fried chicken, or your favorite restaurants margherita pizza, then it’s time to indulge. Go for it and enjoy each bite.

You’ve worked hard for it. Food and life isn’t about avoiding our favorite things…

It’s all about moderation.

So, if you haven’t had the “real” deal version of your favorite food in over 2 months…

It’s time for a cheat date.

7. Your weight has plateaued.

I know it sounds insane, but if you were trying to lose weight and seeing results, and suddenly nothing else has happened, that’s a sign of a plateau.

Crap.

Your body has adjusted to your new calorie intake and it needs to have it’s feathers ruffled a bit to help the weight loss continue.

Having a cheat meal can actually do that! Enjoying the burger, fries and shake lets your body know that you’re purposely not eating as much and that you’re not in a starvation state of emergency.

If you haven’t lost weight in 2-3 weeks while being strict on your nutritional choices…

It’s time for a cheat day!

When You Shouldn’t Eat The Burger, Fries & Shake

While indulging from time to time is completely normal and I even encourage it…

Going on a binge isn’t.

Terry's-Dark-Chocolate-Orange-737720

A cheat meal is completely excusable and downright appreciated by your body. But eating an entire box of girl scout cookies or an entire chocolate orange (oops), is going a bit overboard and will likely set you up for more binges. Control your cheat meals, by letting it revolve around…

A meal.

Also, don’t allow a craving to control your nutritional choices. Justifying the pizza because you were craving it is not the answer.

Read this to help better understand your cravings and how to handle them!

When was the last time you had a “cheat” food? What was it?

This past weekend, Dan and I ended the weekend with some Froyo topped with coconut, chocolate chips, and yogurt chips. It was delicious. Oh, and I also made the homemade pasta above this past weekend. First REAL pasta meal in MONTHS!

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