Cheat to Win

Cheat to Win
To cheat or not to cheat? And how big to go when you do cheat? I answers these burning questions here.

If you've followed any of my nutrition advice, the one thing you should know about my philosophy on food is to enjoy yourself while still getting RESULTS. So most of my diets allow for some fun food choices. You've likely seen some of my social media posts of me eating donuts, ice cream, pie, and other decadent favorites – all while maintaining my body fat below 5%.

Yet just because I can pound burgers, beer, and donuts doesn't mean you can or should just as often. So many people come to me confused about "cheating" on their diet. I get questions ranging from, "Is cheating on your diet a good thing or a bad thing?" to, "Is it better to do a cheat meal or a cheat day?"

Here's my answer...

Cheat Sheet

I highly recommend at least one cheat meal per week, mainly for the sake of your own sanity. You can't go too long avoiding foods you crave without having a massive cheat attack or, even worse, falling off the diet completely. Any diet that restricts too many types of foods, especially the ones you crave the most, is a recipe for failure. A diet MUST be realistic for the person following it – and never being able to enjoy your favorite foods on a diet is NOT realistic.

Adding a in a cheat meal of fun foods can give you something to look forward to, which in turn can help you follow the diet more effectively and for longer. It can also help you better police yourself. Most people want to feel like they earned their cheat food, so knowing that a fun cheat meal is in your very near future can help you better deal with the dietary restrictions that you have on the other days.

"Cheating" can also help you lose fat by keeping your metabolic rate up. If you follow a low-calorie and/or low-carb diet consistently over a long period of time, your metabolic rate (the number of calories your body burns each day) will drop. This is done in an effort to conserve energy in the body. Fat cells are basically spare fuel tanks. If you start...

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