I still remember my first cheat meal.. or cheat week, to be honest...
It was 2008 and I was still in high school, senior year 🙂
I had developed plenty of new skills the past few years but meal prepping was not one of them.
I just couldn't cook.. at ALL.
I decided it was the year to give it a try, I would save so much money buying groceries instead of eating out.
Eating healthier foods was another bonus which would aid in my training..
So I did some research and decided to learn to make grilled chicken breast, rice and broccoli (bodybuilding staple).
Lot's of protein and complex carbs, the perfect meal for an athlete.
So I went shopping, got the food and started my journey..
However, I ran into a huge problem.
THE FOOD I COOKED WAS DISGUSTING.
The chicken tasted like dry rocks, the rice like specks of iron and the broccoli tasted like, well, broccoli.
At the time I knew absolutely nothing about seasonings and cooking temperature.
I was an absolute newbie.
I stayed the course tho, eating like this for about a week.
It was a hard week, to say the least.
I didn't look forward to meal time @ all!
I would've been more happy locked in a room with an angry Mike Tyson. (just joking)
So, once the week was over, I felt I DESERVED a reward.
I planned my first cheat meal for Sunday.
I decided to have a chicken cheesesteak with salt, pepper, ketchup, mayo, fried onions, and cheese.
I took one bite and fell into euphoria.
My diet had no chance.
We were divorced the next day and I returned to eating delicious, unhealthy foods.
Eventually, I’d do more research, practice, and learn how to cook healthy high protein food that tastes great.
I had no choice if I was going to accomplish my goals.
Below I’d like to share some tips with you..
Tips for getting away with cheating on your diet:
1. don't call it a cheat meal
Calling it a cheat meal makes everything else you eat seem bland, boring and eventually, you'll resent your diet.
Our body needs these refeed meals to restore glycogen and many other benefits so consider them a part of your diet.
2. don't use food as a reward
Food will become a crutch and the moment you're stressed out or need a release you'll binge on sugar, fat and other foods which become unhealthy when eaten in excess.
3. don't exercise after a refeed meal
This induces guilt in relation to refeed meals. Exercise bulimia is a real thing.
Think of these meals as part of your training and nutrition strategy.
Lastly, it negates the effects of the refeed meal making it a waste of time and money.
4. don't restrict your diet
It's absolutely fine to enjoy cookies, ice cream, and other treats as long as you account for the calories.
I myself love chocolate chip cookies and will have a few every now and then to satisfy my cravings.
If your goal is to lose weight, don't make these types of foods a staple in your diet.
Use things like protein bars and other meal replacement treats to satisfy your sweet tooth.