SUPERHUMAN30 – Day 25: You Deserve a Cheat Meal!

Posted on 26. Jan, 2012 by in Lifestyle, SUPERHUMAN30 Challenge

Last week, we talked about 6 sensible ways to cheat on the Superhuman30.  Those indulgences, although not ideal from a weight loss standpoint, can actually have positive effects on your overall health when used on an occasional basis.  As we discussed last week, the purpose of the sensible cheat was 3-fold:

1)      To teach you how to cheat better.

2)      To teach you how to not feel guilty when you do cheat.

3)      To teach you how to recover quickly after you go off track.

This week, we want you to take a slightly different approach.  We still want you to obey points 2 and 3, but we want you to throw #1 completely out the window!  All food and drinks are allowed for one meal this weekend!


Why Are We Allowing This?

Because a little math tells us that Day 31, your first day off the Superhuman30, falls on a Tuesday.  While I certainly can’t speak for everyone, having my first cheat on a Tuesday seems pretty pointless.  Not to mention, with the weekend looming so soon after, it will be difficult to get back on track long enough to regain momentum before Friday.  Also, a little event called the Super Bowl happens to fall on that Sunday.  So essentially if you choose to have your cheat on Tuesday, there’s a good chance that you will spend at least 4 of the next 6 days consuming food and drinks that you worked so hard to avoid for the last 30 days.  Your momentum will be gone, and you will likely end up right back where you started on Day 1.  Or as DirectTV likes to point out in their commercial, “Don’t wake up in a road side ditch”.  Get your cheat out of the way this weekend, and make next week as strong as you possibly can.


Why Cheat In The First Place?

Like we mentioned in last week’s post, perfection was never the goal of the Superhuman30.  If your favorite food in the whole world is Ben and Jerry’s Chunky Monkey ice cream, it would be stupid to think that you would spend the rest of your life without taking another bite of it.  We also expect that most of you won’t hold back at your next holiday gathering, wedding, date night, or office party.  These events don’t happen every day and there’s no reason to feel guilty about going off track every once in a while.  Instead of ignoring cheating and pretending its not going to happen, we prefer to schedule it instead.

Because as long as you get back on track the following day, you will quickly realize that a few hours of bad eating has almost no negative effects on your long term goals.

How do I know?

Because I was consistently incorporating cheat meals once a week when I got in the best shape of my life 7 months ago.

I loved my cheat meals for a few reasons.  First off, it gave me mental relief from the permanent feeling of most diets.  This may sound pathetic to you, but it’s kind of a scary feeling to think that you could never eat Oreos or Chocolate Peanut Butter Ice Cream again for the rest of your life.  With a weekly cheat meal, I never had to go more than 7 days without my favorite foods.

This mental relief removed all of the guilt that I normally associated with cheating and provided additional motivation to eat extra healthy during the week.  It became easy to turn down a sandwich during the middle of the week because I knew I was going to have something I really wanted once the weekend rolled around.

Also, because I never held back, cheat meals always made me feel a little bit sick and reinforced how much good I was doing for my body the other 6 ½ days of the week.

This deliberate approach to cheating makes eating healthy a lot easier and makes cheating a whole lot more fun.


Guidelines for the Cheat:

This can occur anytime between now and Sunday.  But don’t waste it on something you don’t really care for.  Make the cheat as special as possible so you don’t get done and wish you had more.

Pick 1-3 of your FAVORITE foods!  This includes alcohol.  Nothing would disappoint me more than to see you waste your cheat on a crappy sandwich or bowl of cereal.  Take some time to think about some food/drinks that you have been dying to have, and focus the cheat around those.

Limit it to just a few hours.  Don’t spend the whole day or weekend spreading small cheats throughout.  It’s only allowed to be one meal!   If you want to go out to a bar or club for a few hours and have drinks then that works as well, just make sure it’s not an all-day affair.

Make the cheat the last meal of the day.  Even on my worst cheat days, I still love to have a healthy breakfast and lunch and get a good workout in.  This limits the damage of the cheat day, and lessens the chance of you making it an all-day event.

Savor every bite.  Don’t go off track just for the sake of going off track.  If there’s something you have been dying to have, enjoy every bite and make the cheat count.

No leftovers.  If there’s anything left once your cheat is over, make sure it goes straight in the garbage.  Keep the habit of making your house your safe-house and eating healthy will always be the convenient and easy way to eat.

And most importantly, get right back on track.  If you are accepting the cheat this weekend then you are promising to continue your superhuman ways until the next weekend.  Recovery is the most important part of cheating.  You’ve come a long way over the last 25 days and there’s no reason to not continue that momentum.  Use the cheat as an added boost to make the next week as good as possible.

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