Feed me, feed me now!

Cheat meals can be great. Cheat days are even better but the one thing that just about everyone gets wrong when it comes to cheat meals is the name and the mental reality that comes with that name.

If you refer to days where you eat way more than normal, or eat lots of carbs, or get together for a big family celebration as a cheat meal, cheat day, day off, break day or whatever then the only person you are cheating is yourself.

The very term “Cheat,” implies sneaky, underhanded, naughty, bad, unfaithful, sly, over indulgent… and oh my God but we just love them.  And there is the problem. Its the fact that right from the start we set ourselves up to love that which most of the time we are trying not to have. In our minds we make the cheat meals our favourite time of the week, our favourite meals, the time we can kick back and relax with friends and family.

You see this with people who are trying to give up smoking. Those who try and only cut down spend all of their time living from cigarette to cigarette. Life only happens when they have their cigarette; the rest is just suffering. Of course with cigarettes its all or nothing, you either smoke or you don’t but everyone has to eat.  If you find you are living from cheat meal to cheat meal then you have fallen into the same trap as our reluctant smokers… you are spending all week suffering for the trill of the cheat meal.

No one can last when they set them selves up like this. A much better way to look at the cheat meal is as a positive and normal part of your plan and not the reprieve from it. One of the benefits of a cheat meal is that it fires up parts of the body that have been going under used. A cheat meal will load up your muscles with a little fire water. It will stimulate your immune system to fight viruses. It will stimulate just a little inflammation so that the body knows where the damaged areas of your body are and where to send the maintenance crews. It will ramp up you metabolism, creating a little calorie burning inferno. And most of all it will stimulate your fat cells to pump out a truck load of Leptin, which will tell your body fat regulator, your hypothalamus that you still have lots of fuel in storage. Assuming that you have been controlling your carbs the rest of the time then this system, (which led to you gaining weight in first place because it was swamped and broken due to a diet to rich in carbohydrates), will fire up its THS production, (thyroid stimulating hormone) and down grade the hunger hormone Ghrelin. This will trigger you body to burn more body fat and make you less hungry and more satiated.

So don’t cheat on your cheat meals. Give them a new name, Metabolic booster, Carb over drive meal. The Leptin levitator… get creative. But never think of it as a break from the plan. It is not, it is a fundamental part of the plan. Enjoy it sure, but don’t live for it.

Coach Aaron