The topic of cheat meals as a coach or personal trainer is one that I doubt we will ever get away from. Understandably people who are going into the unknown and taking up a new training program are worried if they will ever be allowed another of their favourite treats!
We all enjoy our treats and I am in no way saying they should not be part of life, as it’s not realistic at all, but if your goal is to get into the lower digits in Body fat % or to really change your lifestyle, lose weight and have your body become more productive to be able to burn fat, then you do have to make sacrifices.
Can your body handle it??
To be able to handle a meal that is not on your current plan to get lean you need to know can your body deal with it without consequences. For the majority of people their body can not handle eating junk and then go right back to using fat as fuel.
I have seen over the years time and again people lose weight and get themselves into a state were their body is operating a lot better, only to go and treat themselves for their hard work and bang, things stop again and the Lbs that were lost are now back on.
When this happens things can slow down for up to 7 days and you may not tap into fat as fuel again for that full week, even if your back on your plan. This can obviously be detrimental to your goals and can derail people for a while.
There are people who can get away with eating what they want and staying trim and there are people who can’t. Generally if you’re carrying excess weight and body fat then your body’s ability to burn fat for energy is very low, it takes a long time to get yourself to a point were a treat, or cheat meal whatever you want to call it, won’t slow your progress down. This is what’s called being metabolically inflexible.
On the other hand metabolically flexible people, the people that most of us don’t like who can eat what they want when they want, they can handle those meals that are off plan a lot better. Their body’s ability to burn fat after eating something bad is a lot faster, generally they will have low body fat most of the time.
Now I’m not saying completely eradicate everything resembling your favourite foods or treats, but take things into consideration and if it’s not edging you closer to your goals then maybe don’t reach for that biscuit tin!!
Here are a few tips for damage control…
1. Have a cheat meal not day.
2. Apple cider vinegar post meal in water has been shown to improve insulin sensitivity after eating carbs, 2tbsp in a little water will help.
3. Focus on your overall goals long term before thinking of the short term.
4. Make sure you have trained hard and stuck to your plan that week before indulging.
5. If you do waiver, don’t beat yourself up get back on track again quickly and move towards your goals.