Eat The Nachos. I Insist.
How ‘bout that picture huh!?
A big, frosty delicious beer and an even bigger plate of filthy, messy nachos. The question is, why is that the picture for a nutrition article? Written by a fitness coach who claims to specialize in fat loss!?
This is absurd!
Whoa now cowboy, allow me to explain.
I insist that my clients eat a big plate of nachos and even follow it up with a beer or two. Especially my fat loss clients. If they don’t like nachos and beer, then I insist they eat something else that tickles their fancy, as long as it is just as filthy as the nachos and beer is.
But I only insist they do this if they have nailed their nutrition for 6 straight days.
My nutrition prescription is generally fairly simple, but it is not always easy to hammer down, especially if being conscious of your food intake is new to you. Usually, assuming you’re a fat loss client, you will be in a safe but significant caloric deficit, your carbs will be fairly low for at least part of the time, and your protein goal will be aggressive. Not only that, but you will be meeting these daily nutrition goals by consuming high quality foods.
There is also a pretty goo chance that this style of eating is new to you. And as well all know, food is sacred, and overhauling your entire food life over night is extreme for most people.
Enter the cheat meal. This meal is equally as important to the process as every single clean and precise meal you eat all week for the following reasons.
You Don’t Become a Robot
I’m not talking about the fact that the iPhone is moving from our pockets to our wrists and eventually inside our faces. I’m talking about a dietary robot.
To humans, food offers a lot more than just sustenance. It has strong ties to our emotions, or feel-good hormones, our social lives, or rituals and celebrations. It has a lot to do with our general interaction with our fellow humans. There absolutely needs to be some breathing room in the diet for these celebratory, feel-good foods.
A well placed cheat meal allows you to enjoy birthday parties, graduations, or just a night out with the boys, girls or the family.
You need to remember that you absolutely can lose fat and enjoy celebratory foods at the same time, as long as you’re honest with yourself about your quantity of cheat meals, and time them out to suit your needs.
You Have a Light at the End of the Tunnel
OK, that heading might be a little dramatic when talking about dieting, but then again maybe not. For many people, this is a huge change, and it may be a change they have made after 30, 40, 50 years of eating a certain way. So 6 days of clean, calculated dieting can really seem like the tunnel. But if they know that there is a cheat meal coming up in a few days and they can have whatever they have been craving all week long, it will keep them honest for the remainder of the week.
If you are trying to suddenly eliminate all of the foods that you consider treat or comfort foods and the intention is to eliminate them forever, then as soon as you have a craving for that food, combined with hunger pangs and the stress from a bad day, you are going to eat that food.
But if you have a cheat meal planned out for Saturday evening and the same attack of stress and cravings hits you, then you’re going to remember that you already have a plan to eat these foods, and that plan will give you the boost you need to stick to the plan and finish off the week strong.