I just finished making a batch of chocolate protein muffins to enjoy this weekend and I felt called to write about CHEAT MEALS. There are many people who are super strict during the week but throw it all away by overindulging in all the wrong ways each weekend. If you are eating VERY strict AND exercising - you should be having regularly planned cheat meals! But you have to CHEAT WISELY! The best way to “cheat wisely” is to have regular follow-ups with JT. Based on your body, progress and goals JT will give you explicit instructions about how he wants you to cheat so it actually accelerates fat loss.
Here are a few general guidelines to keep in mind about cheating.
1) Plan your cheats! Planning your cheats ahead of time gives your something to look forward to and keep you motivated during the week. It also helps with holding yourself accountable if you know you designated cheat time is NOT until a certain time.
2) Accountability. Plan who you want to cheat with! It is usually better not to cheat alone in terms of accountability and not going overboard. Often times cheating with a partner will help IF they know your goals and support you!
3) Add – Don’t Take Away! Think of cheating in terms of “adding” extra foods - not taking away what you are supposed to have. You should continue to give your body the fuel it needs even while you are cheating. You should drink water as usual and have protein at each meal. For example, you may have spaghetti, meatballs and a dessert. Notice you are still having your protein but adding a simple carb and sugar.
4) Cutoff Time – Be Intentional! Plan your cheats with a clearly identified cutoff time - earlier in the day is usually better. The important part about cheating is to be very intentional about it so that it doesn’t turn into a cheat weekend, week or lifestyle. Get the cheat food out of the house if you have to - I promise it’s usually very easy to give it away!
5) Enjoy Your Cheats! The stricter you are the harder it is to cheat. It can mess with your head to eat a cheat meal. Especially when you feel you are making some real progress. But as always, listen to the expert and trust the process. It’s important to not guilt yourself and recognize that cheating is critical to your long term success – both physically and mentally.
6) Never Give Up. If you get off the wagon it’s never too late to get back on! We all have a health journey that is different and that’s okay. What matters is that overall you don’t give up and continue to head in the right direction! - BT