Cheat Meals

A topic I haven’t addressed but get questions about pretty often is cheat meals.  Can you have cheat meals and still get good results?  What types of cheat meals are ok to eat?  How often can you cheat without hurting yourself?  It’s a very common question especially for people just starting out.

First off, when you’re just starting out my advice would be to not cheat at all.  Ideally you would stick to your nutrition plan 100% of the time.  There are a couple reasons for that. First off, a cheat meal can take 2 to 3 days to recover from.  Meaning it will take almost half your week of workouts to make up for a cheat meal.  That can really slow down your results and discourage you from continuing on.  Second, cheating makes it hard to completely switch over to a new way of eating.  The more cheat meals you allow yourself the more likely you are to go back to your old, bad diet habits.

I am a great example of how cheat meals can hurt your results.  During my first month of Insanity I had cheat meals probably 3 times a week.  And guess what, I didn’t lose a single pound!  But instead of getting discouraged I realized my problem was my diet and decided to switch things up and completely commit to the nutrition guide.  That was an awesome decision.  During my second month of Insanity with my new diet and absolutely no cheat meals I ended up losing 17 pounds!  I think that’s pretty impressive for just one month and my decision to change my diet played a huge role in helping me see those results.

So if you are just starting out and have a ways to go to reach your goals, then my advice is to not allow yourself any cheat meals.  They just take away too much from all the hard work you put into your workouts!

Now if you have already reached your goal, will having a cheat meal once or twice a week hurt you?  Maybe not if you are content with where you are.  But that can be a slippery slope to start down.  One cheat meal a week can lead to two which can lead to snacking on junk food and before you know it you’ve put on a few pounds and you’re heading in the wrong direction.

So even if you have reached your goal I would still recommend no cheat meals. It’s just too easy to let a cheat meal lead to a cheat weekend which leads to a poor diet every day of the week. And I am by no means immune to this. If me and my wife are going somewhere where I know there will be tempting foods I’ll give her full rights to stop me from eating something she knows I shouldn’t be. It’s really amazing what some accountability can do! So if you know you can give in to tempting foods too then reach out to someone and ask for some help, you’ll be surprised how well that works!

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