Cheat Meals- Good? Bad?
We have had many questions from family, friends, and clients on “cheat meals”. This is very common when people feel restricted on diets. I prefer not to call the meals cheating since it is a negative connotation. The term “reward meal” may be more suitable as it can be a reward for doing well with your nutritional program.
In general, we like the 90/10 rule. I first heard this from Dr. John Berardi. He says, “Follow the rules 90% of the time. The other 10%? Eat anything you want.” “Good food can be one of the great joys of life. But being overweight, unhealthy and lethargic are not. And certain foods eaten too frequently or in too large an amount will quickly make you all three of those things.” This also means these reward meals should still be in reasonable quantities and not all out binges.
It is very important to understand what 10% really means. For most people it means 1-3 meals a week. This is only if you are eating all of your other nutritional meals and not skipping or missing meals in order to “save calories” for your reward meal. The rest of Dr. Berardi’s article can be read here. Stay regimented but feel free to enjoy foods you like occasionally, it will not stop you from reaching your goals.