Eat the damn COOKIE!
All to often I hear people training for paddling events say things like, "I shouldn't have that cookie." I've got news for you: if you're doing the work, burning the calories, and eating real, whole foods 90% of the time then you can (and SHOULD) just eat the cookie! Or the slice of cake, or the cone of ice cream, or the ginormous burger. Not every day, but on "cheat day." I'm not just saying this to justify my Labor Day indulgences into food, but to share a valuable insight. Sometimes I get tunnel vision, and I eat only what I'm supposed to eat when I'm supposed to eat it, and I actually tend to get a little chubbier (pic on the right). My body is BOSS at storing fat for later, it's in my genes. When I have an occasional cheat day (say every 7-10 days) I actually wind up LEANER (pic on the left). Its a little counterintuitive, but it's true.
Cheat Day benefits:
Having a cheat meal or day can returns Leptin and Ghrelin levels to normal (leptin tells you when your full and can get low when you're dieting). It can also give you a mental break from being so strict with yourself. And, let's face it: things like chocolate and ice cream do make you a little happy, so why not savor the flavor and enjoy the moment?
Don't go sprouting blue hairs and consuming all the cookies daily like our favorite monster, try to have a cheat meal on a day you trained A LOT. Pairing high activity days with cheat meals is a great way to keep them productive. You should also keep the quality of food high: quality, organic ingredients and whole foods can make delicious cookies, burgers, fries, etc.
Check out my recipe for "Healthy Chocolate Chip Cookies"