3 Ways to Keep Your Cheat Meal(s) from Sabotaging Your Goals

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I’m a big advocate when it comes to having “cheat” or “reward” meals while you are training for your goals.

I believe they are essential for keeping a person sane while they are working towards those goals.

I’ve seen too many times, and have been there myself, where people refuse to have those cheat meals thinking they can get by without them and their goals will be reached quicker. ย Then it happens, they snap and sit down to an all you can eat buffet for a week.

Everyone needs, at least every 2 weeks, some sort of cheat/reward meal.

But….!

(There is always a but.)

Sometimes people can take the cheat meals to extremes, myself included.

Extremes such as sitting down to an all-you-can-eat buffet and eating to the point where you can’t move.

Or what I have done in the past, eating a whole pizza and a carton of Ben and Jerry’s. And I’m not going to lie…I could have eaten more.

But what then happens to my body?

Does it just get back on track?

Do I lean out more?

Am I getting closer to my goals?

I have seen many times people use cheat meals, as a way to gorge themselves because they rationalize that it is “allowed” and in the end they are screwing up everything they worked for during that week.

You have to remember, just because you know you need this cheat meal, it doesn’t mean the calories don’t count.

They do!

And if you’re not careful, you can put yourself right back to where you started and have to begin again each week.

So how do you get your cheat meals in, but not sabotage yourself?

Simple…

  1. First and foremost, DO NOT give yourself permission to eat anything and everything in your sight.ย Your goal is not to get as much food in your mouth during that hour, or so, but to give yourself a reprieve from the stricter nutrition you are eating throughout the week. Eat until you are satisfied, but not busting at the seams.
  2. PLAN!!! I always plan what I’m going to have as my cheat meal. I know what I’m going to have, how much of it I’m going to have and when I’m going to have it, meaning what day of the week. This way I don’t get off track and in the end eat more than I should have or have more cheat meals than I am allowing myself to have during the week.
  3. Don’t let liquid calories be your cheat meal.ย What I mean here is, don’t let alcoholic drinks be your cheat meal. Alcoholic drinks can have a lot of calories in one drink, than most people think. And normally, when people use alcoholic drinks as their cheat meal, they have way more than they expected. As well as any food they might be consuming. By the end of the cheat meal, you will have consumed twice, maybe three times more calories than if you would have just eaten. Also, usually when you drink, you eat…and I’m not talking about a salad, especially if you are out at a restaurant or bar. When you do this, you are only adding more calories to your cheat meal, but you are also probably extending the cheat meal to a couple hours or more.

I think the best thing you can do for your cheat meal, and to make sure it doesn’t get to be a “cheat sit down and gorge yourself” meal, is to PLAN, PLAN, PLAN!!!

Once you have a plan in place, stick with it. Remember, you don’t need to eat everything in sight, you do get another cheat meal next week.

I hope this helps when it comes to you choosing your cheat meals, as it has helped me over the past 8 weeks. My results are coming quicker and I’m much happier when I don’t feel like I’m going to bust at the seams. ๐Ÿ™‚

 

 

8 Week To Go…Half-Way There!!!

Today marks half-way point for my goal.

When I started working towards my goal, I knew it wasn’t going to be an easy one, but so far I am so happy with my results!!

Here are some progress pics…

The one on the left is when I started this journey, 8 weeks ago, and the one on the left is from this morning. Very excited you can start to see my baby abs from the pic this morning! ๐Ÿ™‚

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Here is a side view…again I’m very happy!

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So now I’m sure you’re wondering…how much “scale weight” have I lost?

Honestly….only about 6 pounds.

Am I mad?

Hell NO!

I’m building muscle while I’m leaning out, this is the best case scenario out there!

Will my weight start to go down more during the next 8 weeks?

Probably, but I’m not expecting 15-20 pounds. I know that the goal is, and always has been, to lose fat while I keep and build muscle.

So far my nutrition has been on point, even getting one cheat meal a week, and my training has been great. I don’t plan on making any new adjustments over the next 2 weeks, so we will see how that works. I’m happy with everything, so why fix what’s not broke…right?

I will also be showing you what I am doing to get these results.

How I’m eating, how I’m training, etc.

I hope that you continue to keep up with my journey and possibly start one of your own!

Exercise of the Week!: Chest Supported Rows

I feel that any good training program will have exercises to not only help you obtain that physique you are dreaming about, but also will have exercises that will help things such as posture.

We, as a society, do way too many things that can make our shoulders round and give us poor posture.

Here is an exercise I love to have in my training to help fight that poor posture and give my back the definition I really want to have.

As you can see here I am using a machine that is used specifically for this exercise, but you do not need this to do the exercise. You can just as easily use a incline bench and dumbbells to do the exercise.

A couple “Do’s” for doing a chest supported row…

  1. Always make sure to squeeze your shoulder blades together as you row.
  2. Keep you abs tight. It can be easy to let the rest of your body “slack” while doing these because you are being supported, but don’t let it. Keep your abs and butt tight to help keep your lower back safe.
  3. Control the weight as you lower it back to starting position.

A couple of “Don’ts”…

  1. Don’t cheat the rep. Meaning, make sure you bring the weight all the way up to your chest and then completely straighten your arms at the bottom.
  2. Don’t use momentum. It can be very easy to jerk the weight as you row to get the rep in. Make sure every rep you are using your strength.

Hope you give these a try and let me know how you like them! ๐Ÿ™‚

 

 

10 Weeks Out Update!!!

So here is my update at 10 weeks out.

I’ve been working towards my goal for 6 weeks now, and I’m pretty happy with the progress I’ve made in just 6 weeks.

Here is my progress pic. The picture on the left is from this morning and the picture on the right is from two weeks ago.

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As you can see, there is a slight change since my “12 weeks out” update.

A little less around the lower abdominal area, which is great, but it’s time to lean out a lot more.

So starting today I am going to make a couple of simple changes to my nutrition to see if I can make even more of a change in the next 2 weeks.

I won’t be changing much, but it will be enough to hopefully give me the boost I need.

Hope you stick with me for the next 10 weeks to see WHAT I’m working towards and how my progress goes. ๐Ÿ™‚
If you are interested in more of what I am doing, make sure you fill out the form below to sign up for my newsletter that will be going out shortly! I’m going to be putting a lot of great info in it to show you exactly HOW I’m getting my results!!

 

Exercise of the Week!: Hex Deadlifts

This is probably one of my favorite exercises (I know I say that a lot LOL) when it comes to deadlifts and targeting those glutes and hamstrings.

To do the Hex Deadlift….

  1. Make sure your feet are hip-width apart.
  2. Fold at the hips, pushing your butt back as far as you can. You should feel a nice stretch in the glute and hamstrings while doing this.
  3. Have a slight bend in the knees.
  4. Keep your back nice and straight with your head aligned. Meaning, don’t look too far up and don’t tuck your chin into to your chest.
  5. Grab the bar by the handles and stand up!

A couple of things to watch out for, aka…don’t do! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  1. Don’t squat down to get the bar. It’s your glutes and hamstrings that should be doing most, if not all, of the work. Have enough bend in the knees to get the bar, but not so much where you are squating.
  2. Watch for rounding of the back, or making it look like a “rainbow”. If you are not working with someone, or a gym partner to watch you, I like to record a couple of reps to make sure I am doing the exercise correctly.
  3. YOUR BACK SHOULD NOT “FEEL IT” OR HURT!! If your back is getting tired or it is starting to hurt, stop what you are doing and reset yourself. You might be using your back to lift the bar and not your legs.

I do think these are a great exercise for people just starting off with learning deadlifts. For most, it is a more natural movement because it’s like picking up two suitcases, which most people have done before. I also like them a lot because you don’t need to use a lot of weight, at least starting out, to feel the exercise.

Plus…they build GREAT butts!!! ๐Ÿ™‚

Exercise of the Week!: Barbell Bent Over Rows

Barbell bent over rowsย are one of those exercises that I have a LOVE/HATE relationship with.

I love them because they really work my back and help with my posture. (I tend to slouch…working on it though!) As a society we do way too many things in front of us.

Driving, working on the computer, eating, etc.

Doing all of this can make our shoulders come forward and ruin our posture.

These can help with that!

But I “hate” them (use that term lightly) because, well….they’re hard!

I do make sure I have these bad-boys in every training program I do. Whether I’m using a barbell, or in some cases, dumbbells.

You can either use a barbell, dumbbells, Kettlebells or even bands.

If you are going to use band, loop the band under your feet to make “handles” and pull up.

No matter what you are using as your tool, the movement is still the same though.

A couple things you want to keep in mind while doing these…

  1. Keep your abs tight! This will help protect your back.
  2. Squeeze your shoulder blades together as you row. Don’t make your arms do the work, make your upper back do the work. Squeezing the shoulder blades together at the top of each rep will help with that.
  3. Keep your elbows tight to your body, don’t let them flare out.

There you have it! A great exercise to not only help build a beautiful and strong back, but also one that helps with your posture!
If you are interested in more of what I am doing, make sure you fill out the form below to sign up for my newsletter that will be going out shortly! I’m going to be putting a lot of great info in it to show you exactly HOW I’m getting my results!!

Update: 12 Weeks Out!

I am 4 weeks in to my 16 week goal, and I’m really excited about my results so far.

Here is an updated pic. The one on the left is from this morning and the one on the right is from 2 weeks ago.

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The scale hasn’t moved very much, about 3 pounds, but as I have said before…the scale lies!

I can tell I’m getting stronger, my clothes are getting loser and as you can see in the pics, I’m definitely getting leaner!

I’m seeing great results in my lower abdominal area, which I have always had a problem with when it comes to losing fat.

Over the next 2 weeks I am going to change up my nutrition just a little. Not much, but enough to have some amazing things happen over the next few weeks.

One thing I will say, I have been eating A LOT more than I thought I would be….and I love it! LOL

So make sure you check back in 2 more weeks to see how changing up my nutrition changes my physique!

14 Weeks Out Update!!

Two weeks ago I posted my before pics for my new goal that I am working towards.

Here is a quick update on my progress so far….

The pick on the left (black sports bra) is from this morning and the pic on the right is from 2 weeks ago.

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I am SUPER excited about my results in just 2 weeks!

I have been really sticking to my nutrition, even giving myself some planned cheat meals, and I’m putting my all into my training.

Now I know what you are probably wondering…

Did the scale go down?

In all honesty?

Not really. In fact about a week ago I was UP 3 pounds!

I was getting anxious, thinking I needed to change what I was doing. But then I took a step back and decided that I needed to give this a good 2 weeks and let the pics show my progress, not the scale.

And as you can see, I AM leaning out, despite what the scale is saying.

When I weighed myself this morning, I was back to where I started 2 weeks ago. So that is telling me I am going in the right direction.

As for WHY the scale went up?

Well, I do have a theory on that one.

I have said many times before, if I don’t have my nutrition planned out (and again, I’m NOT talking about a diet), then I either go two ways.

  1. I eat anything and everything! Usually a bunch of crap or just a lot of food in general.
  2. I hardly eat anything, just enough to curb any hunger. It’s not that I’m trying to not eat, but just like anyone, I can get very busy and by the time I realize I’m hungry, I probably missed about 2-3 meals. That is NOT good.

So I am thinking this time around I was not eating enough prior to starting my nutrition and therefore, because I had increased the amount of food/calories, I gained scale pounds. But then my metabolism realized I wasn’t trying to starve myself anymore (even unintentionally) and kicked in resulting in the 3 pound loss to back to starting weight.

I know as the weeks go on, not only will I see results with the pics but also the scale.

I just have to be patient and stick with it.

I have 14 weeks to meet my goal and I’m so happy with how everything is going so far.
If you are interested in more of what I am doing, make sure you fill out the form below to sign up for my newsletter that will be going out shortly! I’m going to be putting a lot of great info in it to show you exactly HOW I’m getting my results!!

Exercise of the Week!: Barbell Hip Bridges

If you have followed this blog for awhile, you know I am all about the exercises that work the booty. ๐Ÿ™‚

And this is absolutely one of my favorites!

Barbell Hip Bridges, or as some call “hip thrusts”.

If you can’t use a barbell, due to not having access to one or it’s too heavy right now, don’t worry! You can use dumbbells or even just your own body weight!

Main key to remember here is to keep your abdominal area and glutes tight through out the whole movement.

Hope you try these out and love them as much as I do! ๐Ÿ™‚

New Goal!! 16 Weeks Out!!!

I am SO very excited because I have set my next goal.

A couple months ago I posted a video on how I was not going to set a goal but just work on my general fitness for awhile.

And with that, I did pretty well with my training.

But as for my nutrition, well, let’s just say I could have done better.

I have come to realize I need structure…plain and simple. Without it, I get off track, make excuses and don’t keep track of what I’m actually eating.

But, now I have a new goal and it is one I am super excited for!!!!

I’m not going to tell you exactly right now what it is….

But, what I can say that I have 16 weeks exactly from today (June 28th) and it is an absolute opportunity of a lifetime for me!

So just like always, here are my before pics from this morning.

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I’m pretty soft and really not much definition, but my strength has gone through the roof with the way I was training. So now it’s all about getting rid of the “fluff”.

I’ve started a new training program and got back on my structured nutrition plan.

Notice I’m NOT calling it a diet. I could NEVER be on a diet for 16 weeks! YIKES! My body would hate me and do the exact opposite of what I wanted it to do.

I will be posting progress pics every 2 weeks as well as what I’m doing for my training, what I’m eating, any supplements I am taking and overall how I am feeling. I think that is a huge component that people forget to think about while trying to hit a goal.

So, I hope you follow me through the next 16 weeks of working towards my goal. I am so excited and I know the end results are going to be phenomenal! ๐Ÿ™‚