14 Jul To cheat or not to cheat? What should you eat?
The number one question we get on a daily basis from our coaching clients is “will I be able to eat *insert naughty food name* on Saturdays?” When the weekend comes around, the infamous ‘cheat day’ is inevitable for most people.
Rather than creating a scenario where we should avoid our favorite foods completely or create awkward social situations around food – here at Camp Fitness – in all our Coaching Programs; what we preach is BALANCE!!
The photos on the left and in the article cover are from our first cheat meal in two months, last week. Adam got a huge South Indian Thali clocking in at around 1,770 calories. First things first, your diet for the most part of the week needs to be (1) calorie counted for your goals (more calories to gain weight and less calories to lose weight) and (2) made up of healthy, nutrient-dense, minimally processed foods. This does NOT mean that during the week you can’t have any interesting food. If you like carbs; your wholewheat pasta, wholewheat bread and fruit can and should still be included in fun ways with your vegetable and protein meals in moderation. Every. Single. Day!
Secondly, the concept of “cheat day” is totally flawed in the sense that you should not spend the whole week restricting yourself and forming a bad relationship with food; while creating an ever-growing list of foods on your “cheat day cravings” list. This simply results in 6 hard dieting days to be undone in about 4 hours of eating whatever the hell you want – think: breakfast then lunch then dinner: starters, pizza, wine and dessert! THIS IS A HORRIBLE STRATEGY TO GET AND STAY LEAN.
On the right: Becca and her Tandoori chicken. Still to early in her diet to let loose with a full blown pizza. Patience is key. Not all cheat meals are created equal. Thirdly, what we do advise is having a “treat meal” composed of only one plate or item which you would not be having within your regular diet. This could be anything depending on your current goals. Ranging from a couple of glasses of wine with your salad, or maybe skipping on the alcohol for some pasta or a pizza or maybe a meal at an ethnic restaurant (Indian, Middle Eastern, Greek etc). Having a more moderate approach like this will allow you to have a break from restriction each week, enjoying a meal with friends and family; while also stay psychologically sane at a lower body-fat percentage.
The fourth and final point is that “Cheat Meals” or “Treat Meals” are all up to the INDIVIDUAL person trying to lose weight! The general rule of thumb we like to use is that earlier on in a diet when someone has a lot more fat to lose and less cravings, the less frequent the cheat meals need to be. In this period, being stricter during the weekend pays dividends. Also the gender and size or the person play a significant role, females in general and smaller framed males need less food at each cheat meal to have an effect on their overall cravings and hence overall diet.
Rebecca, being a smaller-framed female got this tandoori chicken and chutney plate. Much less calories than Adam’s Thali but still comes out to about 950 calories; which clearly makes it cheat-meal material. This last point is very important as restaurants don’t cater for Male or Female or Large or Small Frame portions. All is the same. Half a pizza could be enough for a small-boned middle-aged and 100% sedentary woman, but a large-framed 21 year old male rugby player could need a whole large pizza and still have room for dessert at any given meal to allow them to lose weight within a given week! These are the two extremes; most readers should not overthink. Stick to the ONE PLATE a week rule and you’ll be well!
You can easily learn how to eat great tasting food and reach your fitness goals (lose weight, tone up, build muscle) at the same time on The Beach Body Lean Muscle Building Program for Men & The Bikini Body Toning Program for Women.
You’ll also have access to solid workout plans you can do at the gym, or better yet at the home if you don’t have access to a gym. Support from me (Adam) & Becca in your 3 months of follow up sessions and from the entire Camp Fitness Community (closed support group on Facebook).
You will get the body you deserve. Don’t believe us. Check out some of our Success Stories, here. Abigail (on the left) is one of our most recent Bikini Body Toning weight loss stories – she lost over 20 kilos. Miguel (on the right), followed his Beach Body Lean Muscle Program and lost tons of weight and gained some muscle too, look at how this ‘ice-cream man’ melted his fat away! If you want to lose fat at a good pace and focus on toning up at the same time, while learning how to eat healthy these are the programs for you.
If you can’t handle dieting for long and have more then 10 kilos of fat to lose, we suggest that you hop on either of the Fast Fat Loss (Men) or Fast Fat Loss (Women) programs. We designed these a bit tougher on the weight loss when compared to our other programs, and everyone’s loving the results. Be warned; weight loss on these programs can be quite aggressive. But that’s a good thing, right?