This article was written by Nick Pellatt & was originally published in The MuscleTalker June 2005 edition
With summer almost upon us, many of us are still desperately trying to lose that bodyfat and get the six pack for the beach this year! Now cutting is hard for the best of us, so most of us tend to look forward to the 'cheat day' or the 'cheat meal' which most people tend to have once a week or so.
The idea behind a 'cheat meal' is fairly simple really, for most of us it keeps us sane, keeps us focused on our diet by allowing the odd craving to be satisfied, and helps stop your metabolism from getting too accustomed to the lower calories you're consuming on the diet, therefore giving your metabolic rate a little kickstart.
Now I have to say, I'm not entirely comfortable with the 'cheat meal' philosophy. In fact, I'm almost against 'cheat meals!'
If any of you fellow dieters are still reading, let me explain why! It's quite often reported in the popular press, that one of the issues with our eating habits in the Western World, is that we tend to encourage our offspring to 'eat your greens, or you don't get dessert'.
There is then an association created, at a young age, that eating veg is a 'bad thing', but is tolerated in order to get the 'good thing!', in this case, the desert! It then follows almost, that many of us see our Bodybuilding diets as a unsavoury thing to follow, with the burger and chips or Indian take-away on a Saturday as the good thing you are allowed for suffering so all week!
It may not be the most relevant metaphor, but telling a dieter its ok to have a takeaway on a Saturday as part of a cutting diet plan, is almost like telling someone who is giving up smoking, that as they have gone a few days without one, they can then have one at the weekend! Maybe I'm just the odd one out, but I am trying to encourage a train of thought where we re-evaluate our views of foodstuff, and rather than have a 'cheat meal' lets have a 'treat meal' instead!
I do whole-heartedly support the re-feed theory in having the extra food or calories, but I am trying to educate my taste and pallet by making my 'treat meal' something other than a poor nutritional choice. All week I tend to eat tinned tuna, frozen veg and apples as a part of my diet, due to cost and convenience, but how about once a week having a 'treat meal' of fresh tuna steak, fresh and possibly more exotic vegetables, followed by fresh pineapple, or mango! Sounds much better doesn't it? A fantastic, tasty meal, with extra calories and taste, as well as being nutritious! And it really is a 'treat meal' in my eyes!
I'm sure it will be deemed a little controversial, and I can imagine a few people disagreeing already, but I truly believe we need to educate our minds, as well as our taste buds in how we view our foods and our eating plans, and this in turn will add longevity to our bodybuilding plans.
Food for thought maybe?3 comments