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Lisa DeFazio Answers Your Questions

Hey Lisa, I have been on a journey getting healthy and fit for about 5 years now. On a regular day I eat a
well balanced organic diet, and I rarely drink, but every once in awhile I really get a craving for wine and
chocolate. Once I have one day off the wagon I tend to have a couple more bad days. Is it better to plan
a cheat day? Or are cheat days even a good idea in the first place. If they are OK, how many cheat days
is too many? I still have about 25 lbs to lose to get to my goal weight, and I know that a couple bad days
can add about 2 lbs back on the scale. I would really appreciate any advice. Thank you so much and tell
Perez he is a god send for this site!

Cheat days are going to happen, and it is okay! Relax, and enjoy it. The most important thing to do is to get back on track the very next morning! I have found that many people are either "perfect" with their diet and exercise program or out of control! One cheat day, or a day of indulging in high-fat food, often leads to thoughts such as "I blew it anyway so who cares," and the next day you have a burger and fries, and so on, leading to a week of no exercise and over eating!

I listen to my body and it tells me when I will cheat. You know those days when you HAVE to eat a burger or chocolate cake and nothing else will satisfy your craving? For example it may be a Saturday night and I am craving a burger, I go for it, and Sunday, get back on track. I enjoy it, forget about it, and move on. Do not dwell on it and feel guilty! The next day, I will have an egg white and vegetable omelet for breakfast, a salad with chicken for lunch, and maybe salmon and rice for dinner. The problem with planning cheat days is that if you plan that Friday night you will eat pizza, but on Friday night, you are not in the mood for pizza, you want sushi (which is healthy), then do not force yourself to cheat!

I would say one cheat day a week is reasonable, do not cheat all day long, and get back on track eating healthy the very next morning! Going for a walk the next day or working out would be even better. Taking care of your body is a life long responsibility! You will not go the rest of your life without indulging! So accept that you will crave some wine and chocolate, and that is fine, because let's face it, enjoying wine and chocolate is a wonderful part of life-in moderation of course!

– Lisa De Fazio, MS, RD
Media Nutritionist



Lisa DeFazio Answers Your Questions

Hi Lisa,

I was wondering what the best way is to recover from a 'cheat' day or just a day where you lacked a little self control? I know its easy to get off track, but I need some advice for how to stay on target and make up for a few indulgences the day/night before (without starvation ;) )!

Thanks

Hi,

I am happy that you realize not to starve yourself the next day after indulging! It is OK to treat yourself once in a while — in fact some people give themselves one cheat meal and dessert per week. The best thing to do the next day is just eat healthy. Do not feel guilty; life is about enjoying delicious food once in a while! Load up on fruits and vegetables and drink lots of water. Go for a walk, work out, or take a yoga class! The day after overdoing it, you may not feel like eating. So, have a protein shake with a banana, almond milk, and protein powder for breakfast. Mid morning, almonds and an apple or yogurt. Lunch: A large salad with lots of veggies, chicken, and a low fat dressing like a balsamic vinaigrette. Snack: a few wheat crackers, baby carrots and hummus dip. Dinner: a large piece of salmon (I like it with teriyaki sauce) and steamed broccoli. You can even eat this way for a few days!

Lisa De Fazio, MS, RD
Media Nutritionist



Lisa DeFazio Answers Your Questions

Lisa,

First and foremost I LOVE Fitperez and am so glad this site has been created — so many tips and ideas to keep me motivated! I have two questions for you that I'm hoping you can answer.

1) Are there any healthy frozen/pre-made meals out there? For someone who doesn't have a lot of time or motivation to cook are things like Lean Cuisine's/Smart Ones really a healthy option?

2) What are some tips for getting out of the habit of mindless snacking at night? I seem to have gotten into the habit of eating everything in sight (even when I'm definitely NOT hungry) when I'm sitting at home watching TV. I'm not going to be able to give up watching movies for the rest of my life so how can I reteach myself to PUT DOWN THE FOOD?

Thanks so much!

YES, there are some healthy frozen meals out there! Lean Cuisine has a new line of frozen entrees in steam bags! My other favorites are: Amy's frozen entrees (they even have vegetarian entrees) and Organic Bistro. These brands keep the fat and sodium low. Also check out the refrigerated section of large health food markets like Whole Foods, Trader Joe's, and others in your area, depending where you live. There are often pre-packaged salads, and chicken entrees that you pop in the micro and dinner is served in 10 minutes! Also, stock up on frozen steam fresh bags of veggies (like broccoli, corn, and cauliflower), along with a steam-fresh bag of rice! No mess, no fuss, and in 10 minutes you have rice and veggies. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and enjoy!

I also have some tips for mindless evening snacking: Pop a bag of LOW FAT microwave Popcorn (like Smart Pop)! Perfect for TV watching, and low in calories. Make a cup of low fat hot chocolate or herbal tea with a little honey. Sipping on this will take some time. When nothing else is doing the trick, brush your teeth and gargle with Listerine! Trust me, you will not want to eat with the taste of Listerine in your mouth!

– Lisa


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