Cheating On Your Diet and How it Can Work for You

by John Esposito
cheeseburger with fires
Dieting can be tough, sticking to a strict diet that involves planning and portioning out every meal can become monotonous and tiresome. For these reasons, may dieticians, athletes-even professional bodybuilders and models cheat from time to time. If you don’t treat yourself to a nice juicy burger or a big bowl of ice cream from time to time, you are more likely to slip up when it comes to your diet. Enjoying a nice fulfilling meal that has the fats and salts we crave from time to time isn’t a bad thing at all. A cheat meal once in awhile can actually give you additional calories and protein you can use to progress further when it comes to your fitness goals. Cheat meals can help you put on some extra bulk especially during those long winter months. Conversely you have to keep in mind this is a once in awhile thing, you don’t want to overeat for an extended period of time. This is why it is best to just go all out when it comes to your cheat meal, get it all out of your system at once, in one meal. You don’t want to be spreading your cheat “meal” out adding calories here and there, that is where you will get in trouble and potentially go off the rails.

Switch Up Your Cheat Meals

stack of pancakesMost people who are serious bodybuilders have a really restrictive diet that consists of just a few foods. Chicken, rice, oats, egg whites, peppers, broccoli or some other vegetables. That diet can get pretty tiring after awhile so when it comes to your cheat meal go with something else. Most guys will just eat more of whatever they were going to eat in the first place, more chicken more rice, more beans or whatever. This not only is boring but it can do more damage than harm. Our brains are wired to crave three things when it comes to food, fats, sugars and salts. Sticking to your lean healthy diet is difficult because it lacks at least some of these things that we crave. Give your mind a much needed psychological break from counting calories and go big.

Eat Your Cheat Meal When You Train Heavy

Put those extra calories and protein to use by eating your cheat meal on a day that you are training heavy.  The best days to save it for are those where you are going to be doing combination exercises which work multiple muscle groups, like leg days where you do deadlifts and squats.

Changing Your Routine Can Hold You Back

ice cream on sugar coneWhen we think of cheat meals the first thing we think of is a weekend binge with friends or maybe a romantic night out for dinner. We immediately think we are going to go over our limit when it comes to calories and especially fat because chances are whatever we are eating isn’t the healthiest. The problem with this idea is that usually when you go out with friends or if the date goes well it can go on all night possible in to the next day. You wake up and probably eat something like pizza which has more calories than whatever breakfast you usually eat, but you are eating at 11 am instead of 8am. By this point you are probably on meal number 2 so in reality you could have eaten less calories at this point on the weekend than you normally would have during the week. This is something that most people don’t consider for obvious reasons, you are eating the food with more calories so you are thinking you are getting more overall which may not be the case. The point of the cheat meal is to have those extra calories in addition to what you are eating throughout the day which ideally should be 6-7 smaller meals. If you pick the weekend to get your meal in make sure you aren’t replacing two or more of your smaller meals with one big one, it defeats the purpose of putting on more calories. If you want to have your cheat meal on the weekend but still want to party with friends, have it the next day at the end of the night. Wake up, try to get sober and get a good workout in. Top it off with a nice cheat meal to end the nice and recharge you for the following day.

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