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Have you ever heard the saying cheaters never prosper? Whelp, not only is it true in school its true in fitness as well. Now you may be saying to yourself, I know tons of people that cheated their way through school and are still working in that field up to this day. However like everything it will catch up if it hasn’t already.

If you know anything about exercise then you’re well aware as to what a “Cheat day” is. A cheat day is when you’ve felt you have worked so hard in the gym and eating healthy that you feel you deserve a little something special. This typically and how conveniently usually falls on the weekend.  Now, everyone’s special is different some may look to a bacon cheeseburger for closure and others may take to their favorite milkshake. However, it’s ironically never the actual food choice that slows down our fitness process it’s the mindset that cheat days bring.

I know many of us will cheat food wise and try to make it up later or even before by saying “I’ll just eat a salad before I go out tonight”. We do this with the thought of leaving extra room for more calories but what we forget is those calories you left room for, you’re going to fill. Not only are you going to fill them they aren’t adding anything beneficial to this wonderful house you’ve worked so hard to maintain.

When we cheat in our minds we tell ourselves we’ve figured out a sure shot way to get over on the system. Therefore, whatever it is that we decide to indulge in on our cheat days (liquor, cheesecake, a nice cigar) it directly affects the labor we’ve worked on from earlier in the week. Cheat days tell us mentally that we deserve a treat or two that life is meant to be enjoyed not worrying about every little thing we consume. Therefore, that process makes it easier and easier for cheat days to occur. Just think about if you got away with it once you can get away with it twice right? Not only can you get away with it again, you can do it better next time. Now that cheat day that occurred once a week, takes over the entire weekend.

Cheat days are dangerous they can cause us to indulge to the point that we over consume our favorite option so often that it becomes a regular habit. We also never give our body’s time to adapt well enough to the healthier foods we are consuming. If you eat clean long enough you’ll realize that most likely whatever you enjoy cheating on your healthy relationship with its causing more pain than pleasure. We see it every day in long term effects of eating bad, smoking, or having a little too many shots of fireball every Friday and Saturday night. The reason why we eat healthy is not to “cleanse” ourselves at that moment. Reshape your organs, brain, and blood flow using food and watch your body transform overnight. Those long hard workouts won’t seem so unnecessary after all.

Now, you may ask yourself, well Tim what am I going to do. I like sweets, I love to go out, and I don’t want to shelter my life and be bored forever for the sake of nutrition. So, as a person who also enjoyed these things a time or two, I would encourage you to remove cheat days entirely. If cheat days don’t exist in your schedule then cheat days will become so far and less in between you’ll realize you’re not missing much. To go deeper into finding a better pathway between sweets and health I would encourage you to find a healthier alternative to the sweet tasting things that you love. Whether it be potato chips, or chocolate cake, trust me theirs a healthier way to add into your life.

In conclusion, stop thinking you can cheat your way through life and still achieve the goals of your dreams.