Sunday, May 9, 2010

Nutrition Tip - To cheat or not to cheat?

I am not a fan of the term "cheat meal". For me that creates a negative connotation when in reality there is nothing wrong or negative about factoring in some scheduled meals that are off your eating plan. This does, however, come with some factors to consider.

The more focused you are on changing your body, the more you have to account for your caloric intake and the more you need to make the calories you are consuming "work" for you. That being said, for the majority of people who just want to be healthier and lose some fat it is unrealistic and not necessary to never have any of the foods you enjoy as long as you do it within reason and as long as the majority of the time you are eating foods that are on your plan.

The important thing is to look at the trend of your eating habits over a period of time and you want the trend to by heavily slanted towards good days of execution verses bad. In the documentary "I Want to Look Like That Guy" I give Stuart the example that if 90% of the time you ate crap food and 10% of the time you ate healthy it would not help you out very much. Well the same is true going the other way. If you eat healthy 90% of the time then 10% eating off the schedule is not going to "derail the train" so to speak.

The rules change if you are trying to be ultra lean. If that is your goal then I say you want to make all your calories work for you every day of the week and you don't want to waste any meals on calories that are not going to perform the functions you are trying to achieve. Here's how I approached it. During the maximum muscle building phase of the year I would have one day a week to eat what ever I wanted, without going totally crazy. Once I was within 6 months of a contest I would cut out any non-bodybuilding foods and make sure all my calories were working for me 7 days a week.

So the moral of this story is in most cases it is fine and recommended to schedule some meals for enjoyment (not a license to gorge!) just make sure the overall trend of your eating pattern is heavily slanted towards following your nutrition plan.

If you approach it intelligently there is nothing that is "cheating" about it.

Believe. Achieve.

1 comment:

  1. Wow, thanks Jeff. That was insightful.

    Kind Regards, Shanx.