The cheat meal can make or break a clients success with a weight loss program. Some people cheat too often, and some people actually donâ€™t cheat enough. Statistics show that clients who have a proper cheat meal actually make better progress in the short term, and are more likely to stick to a program and make permanent long term change. The cheat meal helps break up the monotony of dieting, which means it keeps you sane, and actually accelerates your metabolism causing you burn more fat.
So how often should you have a cheat meal? I like to use the 80/20 Principle: be good 80% of the time, and the 20% of the time (or less) when you cheat wonâ€™t hurt you. How does this work out practically? For clients seeking to lose weight, have one cheat meal (not a cheat day) every 4-6 days. Basically every weekend you get 1-2 meals where you can relax the rules a little. This does not mean you go hog-wild and eat everything in sight, but it does mean you can enjoy some things you donâ€™t normally have, and maybe even have that elusive second helping.
There are some rules to follow for the cheat meal that will make it help you , and not hurt you.
1. ALWAYS eat your salad and protein first.
2. The cheat meal must be at a table (either home or restaurant). The temptation to keep eating is always worse when there are distractors like television.
3. When your butt leaves the chair, youâ€™re done. Thereâ€™s no getting up to go to the pantry for more. Having other people get up and go for you isnâ€™t allowed either (yes, I knew youâ€™d think of that).
4. Try to make better cheating choices. Oatmeal or cereal make much better cheating choices than that big bag of chocolate chip cookies. Remember, the idea is to relax the rules a little, not chuck them to the wind. But if you want a couple cookies, it isnâ€™t off the menu.
5. The leaner you get, the more you can potentially cheat. If you are just getting started, be sensible with your portions.
6. The cheat meal is contingent on you being good for the 3-5 days leading up to it. You donâ€™t get rewarded for mistakes.
The cheat meal actually works perfectly for those who go out on the weekend with friends, when there arenâ€™t always the best food options available. Go ahead and have that baked potato or that slice of pie. Just remember, youâ€™re back to work the next day.
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The information presented on this website is the opinion(s) of the the author only. The information presented is not intended to treat, prevent or cure any disease. Neither Synergy Personal Training nor any representatives are doctors or medical professionals. We do not give medical advice. We recommend that any changes you intend to make to your diet or exercise routine be discussed with your licensed health care practitioner.