We all love cheat meals. Almost every single one of my clients comes to me with the same question, “how many cheat meals can I have?” “What can I have for my cheat meal?”
Let’s face it, when you are on a diet, it’s one of the only things that you look forward to. You set this goal to have a cheat meal now and then it’s something you really look forward to and it’s what often times keeps you on track. Also when you have a cheat meal, a lot of times it sort of re-energizes you. You finally get this surge of energy that allows you to focus a lot better and allows you to go into the work week with that laser focus and energy that you need to really get things done.
Now we don’t want to get rid of cheat meals but we do want to have a few parameters and rules to utilize. We know as business people that policy defines us. If we set some policies for these cheat meals, it allows us to utilize their full potential and not go overboard.
I’m going to show you 4 easy rules that you can follow to maximize the effectiveness of your cheat meals, get the best brain power and the most fat loss out of them.
Let’s jump right in.
The first one that I want you to keep in mind is to always eat protein with your cheat meal. The reason that you always want to eat protein with your cheat meal is because it’s going to satiate you and it’s going to keep you full. Having the protein first may also help you not want to go overboard on the sweets and starches.
The other reason that you want to keep a high protein in your cheat meal is because you are most likely going to be having carbohydrates. Those carbohydrates are going to spike your insulin levels which means your body is going to become more receptive to other foods you are eating.
In turn, why don’t you make your body receptive to that protein. If you are going to eat some carbohydrates and spike your insulin levels, you might as well let the body utilize protein in the process. That way your body is healing and recovering from your weight training,cardio and all your stress. You are really utilizing your cheat meal to your full advantage and possibly getting some muscle growth out of it as well.
The next one isn’t always easy to implement but in my opinion it’s pretty critical. If you watch my videos, you know that I’m huge on digestive health. If you are not absorbing your nutrients you may as well just not be eating. If you drink a glass of lemon water about 15 minutes before your scheduled cheat meal, you are going to encourage your body to produce those gastric juices that are going to allow your body to break down that food better.
You’ve probably had a cheat meal before and it makes you feel kind of doubled over and in a bit of abdominal distress for a couple of hours afterwards. Drinking some lemon water is going to help reduce that.
It’s also going to make sure that you are absorbing the positive attributes of that cheat meal. Perhaps some of the polyphenols, phytonutrients, some good proteins, vitamins and minerals. It’s going to allow you to absorb and extract what’s good in the cheat meal and maybe do away with some of the bad.
Now the other component of this rule is you need to be sitting down. Don’t stand up and eat. Don’t go to the pantry. Don’t go to the fridge and grab a bunch of food because then you are just going to be rampantly raiding the fridge and it almost defeats the purpose of a cheat meal. You want to sit down, relax, and enjoy your one meal. Focus on a task just like you would focus on anything that’s important to you. Just don’t go crazy. That’s kind of the rule of thumb.
The next rule is to eat slowly and there are a couple of reasons why you want to do this. For one, you want to enjoy your cheat meal. You have to remember that a cheat meal is just as much emotional as it is physiological and you don’t want it to be over in 5 minutes.
When I was overweight and 280 pounds, that was my biggest problem. I ate my food so fast, I just inhaled it. The problem is when you eat fast, your brain doesn’t get a chance to actually send the satiation hormone. You see your stomach actually has to send a hormone to your brain and that tells your brain, “Hey, don’t eat anymore.” But if you are eating so fast, your stomach doesn’t recognize that you are full and your brain never gets that signal. You just keep eating and overeating and overeating. If you sit down, relax and chew your food it gives you a chance to not go as overboard on that cheat meal as you may have otherwise.
Rule # 4
The number one rule that you need to follow, and this is a big one that is critical for everybody, is to make sure that you orient your cheat meal around your workouts. As businessman and businesswomen you can’t always have a long workout and you don’t need one. The fact is you need to orient your workout around your cheat meal in such a way that your body capitalizes on the cheat meal for positive muscle growth and positive recovery of the body.
Go to the gym and hit a full body resistance training workout. That’s going to increase your insulin sensitivity within your body which means your body will use that cheat meal better. You see after you are done working out, in addition to having that increase in insulin sensitivity, you also get the production of something called AMPK. The production of AMPK encourages protein synthesis which means protein will be metabolized. It also encourages glucose uptake which means that instead of sugar floating around your bloodstream, it is going to go to your muscles where it belongs. This gives you energy for your next days workout.
You could literally capitalize on your cheat meal so much that you can have it give you energy for the rest of the week’s workouts. As long as you orient it within 2 hours of your high intensity workout.
There you have it, 4 simple rules, to follow when you are going to have your cheat meals. Again we are not robots, we are not going to stick to a tupperware diet day in and day out especially being as busy as we are. Make sure that when you have your cheat meal, you follow these rules and you are going to get the most out of it.
See you soon!