What is a CHEAT MEAL?

I'm sure a lot of you have heard the term 'cheat meal', but I do see a lot of confusion among people who are looking to try it. I personally don't know who came up with this idea, but i'm sure a few people will argue about who's idea it was. I love the idea to be honest, and here's why and what it is.

One of the most common questions I get asked, and conversations that I have with clients and others seeking advice, is what happens to their 'much loved' foods. Let's look at an example - someone who absolutely loves a burger and chips, but has recently started a healthy eating and fitness plan, what happens to their burger and chips? That's where cheat meal comes in. The whole concept of having a cheat meal is to 'relieve pressure'. Starting a healthy eating plan after a while (or even years) of eating bad foods, can very soon become overwhelming, and many people tend to crack under that pressure and resort back to their unhealthy ways.

The way a cheat meal works is that you'll be able to have your favourite meal (even if it's not the healthiest) once per week, for example on a Friday night. This way, you know that you get to have a meal you've always loved regularly, and you won't become so overwhelmed by the drastic changes made to your diet. Personally, I have a cheat meal, and usually have it on Friday nights (an end of week treat), although my cheat meal isn't actually that bad - usually a homemade burger and sweet potato wedges. It's just something to look forward to, something to take the pressure off, especially if you're being super strict with your diet.

Many trainers and nutritionists use the 'cheat meal' method and so do I. I think it works to be honest, I do it and some of my clients do it and they say it does relieve the pressure. One thing you have to remember is that it's a cheat MEAL, not a cheat DAY. Some people have actually thought it was more than just one meal, and ended up eating a 3 course meal that consists of 3 unhealthy meals - not that way to do it!

If you're struggling with not having any of your favourite meals, then try the cheat meal method and see how you get on.

Lee Gregory Fitness

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