To Cheat Or Not To Cheat…That Is The Burning Question

The popularity of a good cheat meal has resurfaced again. The phrase ‘cheat meal’ has been embedded into mainstream dieting language where just a few short years ago is what a term reserved only for body builders and those trying to put on muscle.

It’s like the cheat meal has become its own weight loss plan or fad diet. It seems like everyone and their mothers feel they deserve a cheat meal after a long hard day, a week of dieting or a 45-minute spin class.

Truth bomb #1 – sorry, but it just doesn’t work that way.

Sorry to burst your bubble! It’s time to put an end to the excuses you are telling yourself as you scarf down whatever high fat, high sugar item you are gorging on and rationalizing it as a deserved ‘cheat meal’.

In a minute I am going to give you some clear points on when it’s ok to cheat and how to decrease the impact of overeating so you can enjoy a ‘cheat meal’ without the guilt and the negative feelings associated with overeating.

Before we get into that let’s examine the definition of a cheat meal and why it’s never a good idea to cheat unless it’s planned and purposeful.

What exactly is a cheat meal?

Setting aside one day a week to eat junk food or whatever you want you take control of your cravings and eat on your terms.

This is the technical definition…

An unplanned dietary lapse in which someone fails to eat food that is on their nutrition plan and/or eats foods not in their calorie/macronutrient guideline

Body builders use cheat meals when they are dieting intensely. Let me be clear about one thing: The diet of a body builder and the diet you are on are two very different things.

If you have ever had the opportunity to know any body builders you know that they are some of the most dedicated and meticulous people on the planet when it comes to their diet and exercise routines.

They don’t cheat when they’ve a bad day, when they are tired or just because it’s Friday. They only cheat when it’s planned and even then the cheat is usually structured around a certain macronutrient ratio.

The cheat serves a purpose and has a desired effect – to help build more lean muscle mass and to give them a psychological break from the strictness of their daily routine.

Why?

When body builders diet down they generally have low muscle glycogen (energy storage in muscle cells, liver and brain) levels. They can feel sluggish and tired without the necessary stored glycogen to power through workout.

This is also the reason that so many body builders use caffeine as a stimulant before their workouts. To give them the energy that the muscles can‘t provide.

Truth bomb # 2 – you DO NOT diet or workout like a body builder so you don’t get to cheat like a body builder.

Unless you are following a medium to high intensity weight training routine for 30 – 60 minutes 4-5 times per week you have not depleted your glycogen stores enough to deserve a cheat meal.

There are certain exceptions to this rule BUT cheating must still be planned and purposeful to achieve your desired fat loss goals.

So here’s WHEN and WHY you should cheat:

1. To spark a dead metabolism from being on the yo-yo crash diet or
constant low carb dieting for months on end.

2. To replenish and/or refill glycogen stores (when you’ve low carbed
yourself to death or exercised intensely for prolonged periods of time).

3. To serve as a psychological reward for eating clean 90% of the time on the OTHER 6 days of your week.

4. You have no energy or drive in your resistance training workouts or when you constantly feel flat and can’t seem to get a good “pump”. Or you just can’t find the emotional renewal you’re looking for.

5. To reset fat burning hormones like leptin and provide a metabolic spark
for your thyroid (usually from 4 to 6 days or longer of aggressive carb/calorie restriction or maintaining super low body fat levels for a long period of time).

Truth bomb # 3- Being bored with healthy food, not planning your meals accordingly leaving you minimal choices for lunch, being stressed out, skipping meals resulting in intense food cravings or lacking discipline is NOT a valid reason for cheating.

You need to earn the right to cheat by eating clean, following your nutrition plan and exercising consistently for at least 5 or 6 days of your week if you want cheat days and cheat meals to work in your favor.

# 1 Tip To Reduce The Impact From Cheating

Research shows that when you consume a BIG meal (consisting of over 750 calories at one time – very easy to do) that exercising AFTER the meal is more helpful in expending the energy (calories) consumed at the meal.

In real persons terms this means that cheating is reserved for those who exercise intensely most days of the week and if you do happen to cheat then it’s best to engage in moderate to intense exercise after the meal for a minimum of 25 minutes.

If you find yourself with cravings, the desire to cheat a little at the end of your day or feel helpless when it comes to being able to control yourself in social situations please give me a call at 604-489-0200 or contact me

Being on a ‘diet’ shouldn’t feel like a life sentence and my clients are given permission to enjoy their favorite foods any day of the week while they still lose 1-2 pounds of fat each week. I am happy to show you how you can do this to so call me at 604-489-0200 or contact me here

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