Cheat Meals Explained

by James Kerrison on November 22, 2009

Fantastic job!

You are eating well 80-90% of the time. You are getting all of the nutrients your body needs so that you can train hard, recover and train hard again.

The reward? A fit, strong, lean, sexy body!

But you want to let go. Every corner you turn there is an advertisement for some sort of processed junk food. Every page you turn in the newspaper, catalogue or magazine has a bright colored picture of the latest and greatest snack.

You want it, you’ve earned it and ……….the good news is that you can have it!

But before you have a free for all at the buffet and say ‘but James said it was alright!’ we gotta have some rules!

Call it what you will, a cheat meal (sounds negative), a structured re-feed (sounds too technical, and no fun) but the fact remains that there are some benefits from occasionally straying from the nutritional straight and narrow.

If you are restricting the amount of energy your body gets (ie dieting, calorie restriction, eating well) your body adapts to this decrease in energy by altering the levels of certain hormones resulting in an overall metabolic slowdown.

This would perhaps explain why when you start a ‘diet’ that it works for a week or two and then your progress stops.

The cheat meal or re-feed helps to reset these hormone levels back to their previous state so that your body will continue to burn more fat once you return to your proper eating plan.

What to eat. Well that’s pretty simple. Get the carbs moderate to high and keep your protein levels about the same as normal. You want to keep your fat intake under control here however.

So in real food terms you can have a go at those normally nasty starchy carbs, breads, pasta, rice, juice etc. Low fat pizzas and hamburgers will be alright here as well. Stay away from fried foods as they are going to be too high in carbs and fats together which is what we are trying to avoid.

If you are looking to keep the food choices as healthy as possible you can’t go past a heap of vegetables (grab the potatoes while you can), a heap of fruit and your berries as well.

Now that you know what to eat, you need to know how often. Somewhere between one meal and one day (all your meals for the day) per week will do the trick. You will find that this not only helps you to get that extra bit of fat off the body but will keep you focused in the days leading up to to the ‘cheating’.

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