Cheat meals, it’s something that’s talked about often, but is widely misunderstood. I wanted to take a moment to clear the air so everyone is on the same page.
I often get questions about cheating on diets including:
- “Are cheat meals ok, are they allowed?”
- “How often can I cheat on my diet?”
- “When can I have a cheat day meal?”
- “Do I track a meal if I cheat?”
- “Do you ever cheat on your diet?”
- “If you could eat anything without gaining weight, what would it be?”
They all come down to the same idea – is it okay to cheat on your diet and how do I do it and stay focused on my goals?
What are Cheat Meals?
The good news is that cheating is okay and honestly, you shouldn’t call it cheating. You’re creating a lifestyle, not a diet, but what you must ask yourself is “How do cheat meals make me feel?” If you’ll feel guilty about them, they aren’t worth it.
But, if you are disciplined enough to keep it to a meal, it can be okay. right? They are called cheat meals for a reason. They aren’t an excuse to stretch it out to a weekend or longer. It’s a quick treat – a way to make yourself feel good, maybe even a reward for how far you’ve come, but then it’s back to the grind, so to speak.
Is this the right way to think?
If you still aren’t sure about “cheating” check out this definition of a cheat meal. This is just one of the definitions I came across, there are 10,600,000 results in my Google search. This definition is from Healthline.com:
What Does it Mean to Cheat on a Meal?
“A cheat meal is, cheating within a diet plan giving yourself permission to temporarily break strict diet rules as the name implies, a cheat MEAL is a single meal that veers from your planned diet pattern, WHILE a cheat DAY allows for free food choices for an entire day.”
Let me point out while I was reading over just the first page of definitions, they ALL contained the word DIET and some varied version of strict, rules, permission, indulging, and breaking the rules.
It sounds like cheating on a meal is committing a crime and you should be cuffed and thrown in jail.
So, I ask the question:
“If you’re NOT on a diet, does cheating exist?”
Are you on a diet that causes you to wake up each day feeling miserable, starving, tired, maybe even depressed? Is the only reason you are hanging on is because you know at the end of the week you know that you get to indulge in the double stuffed, supersized, monster-style meal?
If so, you are on the wrong eating plan.
Eating Like a Wrestler
Have you ever seen a wrestler’s diet? My husband wrestled in high school and he said it was the worst experience of his life even though he was an awesome wrestler.
During wrestling season, he lived in misery because he had no idea how to eat and provide his body with the nutrients it needed.
All he knew was that he had to make weight which meant restriction, misery, hunger, and low energy.
Are you on a Diet?
If I were to ask you right now, “Are you on a diet?” What would you say? Then what if I asked you “If you could eat anything, what would it be?”
Most people would hesitate to answer this because they are on diet island and their minds need a moment to adjust to the question. However, once they came up with one thing, more ideas would spring to life. What if then I said “go have those things?”
Most people would say “I can’t.”
Most people live Diet Island. They feel miserable, but know if they cheated and swam over to “Happy Island” they would gain 10 pounds and assume their diet failed.
Cheat meals are like a carrot dangling in front of you, they keep you living in misery, hunger, restriction, low energy and on borrowed will power (because at some point on your diet will power will run out) but allow just a tiny glimpse of happiness once a week to indulge.
And that is why I keep asking:
“If you’re not on a diet, do cheat meals exist?”
The simple answer is NO!
When you’re on a diet you let food direct and control every second of your life. It’s all you can think about. When you’re not on a diet and you understand what your body needs to accomplish your goals, you are in charge. You are much more likely to make the choices that will support your mind and body.
Learning to Make the Right Choices and Ditch Cheat Meals
You may be saying to yourself, “I don’t know what choices to make, I don’t know what or how much food my body needs. I only know how to restrict myself and if I’m not reaching my goals I restrict even more, do more cardio, workout longer. I may even binge eat or overindulge and my cheat meals turn into cheat days, and I give up.”
You may not know what to do to support the needs of your body to reach your health goals.
What is a Health and Fitness Coach?
With my coaching you get:
- 12 weeks of workouts that build off of each other to help you get stronger, build muscle, lose fat, and gain the confidence you may have lost.
- Mindset workout shops to educate you on all aspects of health, goals setting, nutrition, and self love.
- Me as your coach, working with you one on one, checking in with you daily, asking questions to see how things are going, and helping you make choices that create progress, build habits, and sustain your results.
BUT what you also get is the piece of the puzzle that will impact your life forever including:
What is the role of a Health Coach?
- I will teach you what living a healthy lifestyle is, how to maintain it and understand it’s not a life of restriction.
- You will learn how to implement the nutrition your body needs in a customized structure for you
- I will coach you on the 4 phases of directing your life nutritionally so you can pivot and adjust for the phase you want to be in
- I will teach and coach you on how to look at your food choices and understand why you chose what you did and how they can impact the change in your body composition and help to balance your hormones.
- You’ll learn about proteins, carbs, and fats and how important all three of those macronutrients are for muscle growth and repair, sleep, energy, balance, skin, and gut health
Do you have to make sacrifices to lose weight?
YES, but not how you may think. You may have to cut back on the Starbucks runs, or dial back the double stuffed, supersized, extra sauce fast food runs. However, you will understand how to direct your nutrition, so it supports your body’s needs to align with your goals.
I practice what I preach every single day, so what I teach you is what I’m doing too. I have been doing it for years because I want to maintain the hard work I have put in and always want to work toward something more, whether it’s mental, physical, emotional or a combination.
It’s not always easy, but if it was easy everybody would be walking around all jacked looking for the beach.
It does not happen overnight because it’s not the wrestler’s mentality of doing whatever you can to make weight.
If you are ready to jump off Diet Island and stop asking the questions:
“What am I doing wrong?”
“Why am I not losing weight or inches?”
“How do I tone my body, lose the bat wings and bra bulge, build muscle, feel strong, have energy, sleep well, and be mentally and emotionally capable
If you are ready to learn and be educated, NOT BE HUNGRY and miserable, and understand how food can transform your body and mind and change your life forever, taking the word cheat meals out of your vocabulary, then book a call with me!