The Cheat Meal

Today I’m going to explore the concept of cheat meals so that you can determine if they’re an appropriate part of your fat loss/stay lean/healthful eating plan.

What is a cheat meal?

This is usually defined as any food or mix of foods that stray from the typical dietary. It’s usually done for a psychological purpose more than a physical benefit. And it’s relative to the individual. For some, it may be a greasy, high-fat meal, and for others, it might just be a larger portion of clean, healthy carbs or simply a day off from working out.

I’m no stranger to indulging, but I never considered it “cheating”. The reason for this is that I don’t distinguish between “good” and “bad” foods. I either eat or I don’t. If I’m going to eat, I might as well choose the most optimal foods available that also serve my purpose.

And if I eat ice cream? Big deal. It’s sweet (artificially so), will deplete my body of B vitamins, and will sit in my stomach for hours, making me feel lazy instead of wanting to get up and be active.

What about the metabolic increase from cheat meals?

It’s true that your metabolic rate increases from a sudden dose of high calories, but this is never enough to actually override the calories contained in the food. Plus, any excess will cause your weight/body fat to increase, and at that point, who cares about a metabolic increase?

Final recommendation

We eat for purposes other than nourishment and that’s okay. My opinion is to rid yourself of the concept of “cheat meals” and instead adopt a healthy relationship with food for life–even if that plan includes a daily dose of chocolate mousse.


4 responses to “The Cheat Meal


  2. Nice one Jason!
    I as well go by the notion of food being food- not good, bad or otherwise. Maybe my comment from the last blogpost didn´t convey that quite aptly (crap, shit ..vile terms).
    The word “cheat” triggers negative associations and stress to the mind, I guess one should get rid of it once and for all and call it “free meal”, “fun food” or whatever…
    Within these meals the concept of entertainment should be emphasised to the max I believe. This is best done in a high-class restaurant: Artful preparation both in the environment and the food content itself, hopefully good ingredients etc… are all factors to be taken care of and the social company at such events is of course the best thing.
    Furthermore I notice that higher class restaurants serve smaller portions (at least here in Europe). It might not be like that in the US and also, calories (fat in particular) can hide in ways not imaginable. While such appreciative mindset and glorification of food is fine, at which point in one´s transformation do you think it fruitful to go apply that?
    It is easy to conjure up a fictional Tagleian daily mousse au chocolat or point to the Barbanesque donut a day, but I just do not see an obese individual, who has in many ways lost control in regards to food, thriving on this mindset.
    I guess it is very individual.

    Kind regards,
    Marcelo Diez
    P.S.: On a more lighthearted side, recently I dared to thumb through a bodybuilding magazine. One article´s title was: “I cried for my pecs”. So I am off enjoying a very productive weep…

  3. Dear Jason,
    I have come to realise that my comment above wasn´t very to the point,I didn´t know exactly what I was trying to say.Delete it if you want.
    After some thought I offer:
    Free meals are engaged in for reasons of palatability.
    Palatability can do two things:
    1.) make a dieter stick to his diet better
    2.)make him/her overeat on account of said palatability.
    It is up to the individual to decide when he goes from pleasure to a perversion of the concept of a free meal (gorging), (indulging once a week vs. indulging once a day).

    This is shorter and neater than the above.
    Kind regards
    Marcelo Diez

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