Splurge snack yesterday, interesting results
Before I started this cut, I announced that I was going to allow a weekly splurge meal and snack. After my cut started I decided to alter that, and allow just one cheat meal OR snack per week, and that it would be purely optional.
A splurge of any kind while I’m cutting is new territory for me. In the 13 year history of JSF, I can’t recall ever having a splurge meal (or even a single bite of food off my planned diet) while cutting. At least until yesterday.
A few components were involved in my decision to have a “cheat” snack yesterday (which I counted as my optional weekly splurge meal)…
Yesterday morning after posting my Fall 2015 Week #1 Cut Progress Report, I decided to look back at my January 2015 cut progress after the first week. I already knew that I’d started both of these cuts at identical weights (179.2 pounds), but I was a surprised to find that my first week scale weight was also identical on both cuts (174.6 pounds) and my body fat percentage was also exactly the same (10.5%)!
I thought, “I’m tracking the same so far. This would be a perfect time to compare my progress with and without a cheat.” Added to that, it was a dark and rainy day, and a movie sounded awesome. I decided to head up to the theater and enjoy my favorite cheat snack, movie theater popcorn, and take in an old favorite film (“First Blood“, if you are curious).
The popcorn I use in my theater popper is Gold Medal Mega Pop theater popcorn. I did not put on any kind of topping, but I did (as I always do), consume an entire large bucket. It’s a pretty heavy snack, but not too bad as cheat meals go:
As you can see there’s a lot of fat, and what we refer to in the industry as a “shit-ton” of carbs. Toss in nearly an entire RDA of sodium, and you’ve got yourself a bonafide splurge.
Because I counted this snack as one of yesterday’s meals, I only wound up about 300-500 calories over my current typical cutting daily caloric intake (currently between 2,000 and 2,200 calories, depending on activity level).
I knew that the handful of extra calories would not affect my progress, but I was concerned about the psychological effect of losing some of the momentum I’ve built over the past week. I also figured I’d be retaining water this morning due to the relatively high sodium intake yesterday (not a big deal, but worth noting).
Turns out the splurge snack affected me quite a bit differently than I expected. I did not feel any compulsion whatsoever to eat anything else off my normal cutting diet. In fact, I felt more full than usual, and enjoyed the rest of the day’s usual cutting diet meals a great deal.
I expected to be retaining water this morning, which I didn’t really care about since that’s just a temporary thing. I was quite surprised, however, when I stepped on the scale and saw that I was down nearly a half-pound over yesterday’s scale weight. Interesting.
Now I know many of you have a weekly cheat meals (and even entire cheat days) while cutting body fat, and that it’s no big deal. But I’m so “all or nothing” it’s not even funny, and so my comfort zone is no cheat meals.
I realize this sounds a little silly, but having a cheat meal is actually tougher and more stressful than abstaining for someone like me. Yesterday’s leap of faith took some of that pressure off.