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How in the world could eating bad food help you lose weight? It sounds counter-intuitive but including measured amounts of “bad food” in your diet could be the key to unlocking your incredible weight loss.
Cheat to Win
If you’ve never dieted or worked out, there are certain nutrition and exercise concepts you’ve likely never heard of. But you’ve definitely heard of cheat meals before; everyone has.
What do we usually hear about cheat meals? Unfortunately, not enough. Most people just think it’s an allowance to eat junk food after eating clean for a while. THIS WILL NOT GET YOU RESULTS.
Cheat meals can be a very effective tool in your arsenal, but only when used properly. Otherwise, those “cheat meals” become a slippery slope leading to failure.
How To Use Cheat Meals To Lose Weight
The main way cheat meals help you lose weight is by helping your body replenish leptin levels in your body. Leptin, a vital hormone linked to several processes in our bodies, is especially important to replenish because it affects things like hunger, weight loss, metabolism, and energy levels.
This hormone is crucial to overall health, but dieting actually reduces leptin levels! And since we want to keep hunger, weight loss, metabolism, energy level this is obvously not what we want
When we have a cheat meal, it causes a significant spike in our leptin levels. That, in turn, revs up our metabolism, and THAT is what we’re looking for. Reducing body fat or maintaining a low amount of body fat means we need to constantly stimulate our metabolism to keep burning calories. And with the reaction our metabolism has to cheat meals (when used properly), it’s easy to understand why top-performers use this tool with such success.
How to Use Cheat Meals Effectively
Again, cheat meals are a slippery slope. If used incorrectly, they will lead to you off track and set you back in your progress towards your health & fitness goals.
We’ve condensed some of our own rules for introducing cheat meals into a client’s program:
1) The person must have at least completed our JSLF 21-Day Metabolism Reboot Nutrition Plan. This nutrition program requires (among other things) that you eat multiple small meals throughout the day, making sure each meal contains all 3 macronutrients (Protein, Carbohydrate, Fat).
2) The person must have completed at least 21 days of our training program. If you are working out on your own, then we recommend at least 3 High-Intensity Interval Training workouts a week as well as staying active for 6 days out of the week. The name of the game here is to safely burn as many calories as possible using the exercise.
3) There needs to be HUNGER. We will hold off on prescribing cheat meals if the person we’re working with isn’t experiencing hunger between meals. After following the program for a couple of weeks, you will start to be very hungry in between meals, and that’s our sign that everything is working!
If you’re eating as much and as often as we say and you’re suddenly hungry? That means your body is burning more calories and your metabolism is revving up!
If you’ve hit all of the above criteria, then it’s time to include cheat meals. A good way to make sure you don’t go off the rails and add too many cheat meals into your diet is to follow the 90/10 rule:
Eat clean, healthy food 90% of the time. Eat cheat meals 10% of the time.
This rule actually allows for more cheat meals than we recommend for our clients! But like John says in the video above, if you’ve really worked hard to eat clean, train hard, and stimulate your metabolism, then you’ll be fine following the 90/10 rule!
Burn Fat Eating Bad Food
Using cheat meals can become your go-to tool to break through plateaus, reward yourself for your hard work, and to keep yourself motivated through tough moments in your program…but only if you use it properly!
Remember: It doesn’t matter how in (or out of) shape you are, resisting the urge to over-indulge is hard work! So use the principle outlined above to safely add cheat meals to your program and diet.