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Monday, August 20, 2007

Best Diet Ever: Plan "cheat" meals

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photo to jainnie_c

As I mentioned in a previous Best Diet Ever post, cheat meals are a great tool to help keep people eating healthier. But there's more to it than just eating a cheat meal whenever you feel like it. That's called, "Johnny used to be on a diet, now he eats enough to feed a small country."

Don't just fall victim to temptation, polish off an entire cheesecake and call it a cheat meal. Plan them for times you know that you won't be able to make better choices. If you and you significant other go to a nice restaurant on most Friday evenings, then plan for that meal by eating a little less during the day on Friday. If your family always has Sunday dinner at Grandma's house, enjoy yourself...just don't use up your "cheat" meals before Sunday evening. Save your cheat meals for the times that you know you will need them...birthday parties, social gatherings, etc.

The concept behind the cheat meal is that you don't have to "give up" any food, so you're less likely to binge on your favorite treats that may not be so healthy. Cheat meals are a fancy term for what is otherwise known as living. You don't have to live on bean sprouts, spinach, and grilled chicken breasts to eat healthy, but you should make healthier choices most of the time.

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4 comments:

Joey said...

Sometimes I go the other way. I have had a "cheat" meal so I may as well go ahead and eat everything before the clock strikes 12. I know its wrong but I have done it anyway.

Kristen said...

There is new evidence that says cheat 'days' will improve overall fat loss, by tricking your body into not thinking it's calorie restricting. Read this interesting article The Cheat to Lose Diet
An Interview with Joel Marion
by Eric Cressey>

Fit Club Scott said...

kristen,

I've read that article. I'm a big fan of T-Nation for strength training information, but I'm definitely not their typical reader, as I'm more of a runner than strength guy.

That being said, I do my best to strength train consistently knowing that I'm not going to gain much weight doing it.

The idea of putting the cheat days in the Best Diet Ever series came from articles on T-Nation. Apparently, studies are beginning to show that a few cheat days a week allow you to consume a calorie deficit, maintain a stable metabolic rate, and let you eat a few "goodies" that you might not otherwise. That's a win-win situation if I've ever heard of one.

I usually eat pretty clean during the week and naturally loosen up a bit on the weekends, so I've just fallen into a pattern of weekend cheat days and it's really worked for me.

Fit Club Scott said...

joey,

As I mentioned in the article, some people conform better to a diet by being very strict. In the long run, though, you've got to learn to control those cravings.

I keep up with your blog and you've done a great job of losing weight so far, and I know that you are well on your way to reaching your weight loss goal. I think that once you reach that goal and start to feel much better, you will be less likely to give in.

As the saying goes, "Nothing tastes as good as being thin feels.

Thanks for stopping by.