Fit Life with Stephen Cabral
I've received plenty of emails asking, "Help! What do I do if I cheated on my diet plan?"
Before I get into WHAT to do after you cheat, we need to find out why you cheated so that we can try to get it under control in the future.
Also, keep in mind that on my studio and online body transformation plan I ask my clients to stick to the plan for first 21 days
and then enjoy a nice "reward meal" on the 22nd day.
After you complete the first 3 weeks you can then add in 1-2 cheat meals* (at least 2 days apart) until you reach your goal weight.
(*Stick with just 1 cheat meal a week if you want to lose weight faster.)
So, the first thing I want you to ask yourself after you cheat is:
"Why did I cheat?"
- Was it peer pressure?
- Did you not want to feel left out?
- Did you put yourself in a position where you knew it would be challenging to stay on your diet plan?
After you figure out WHY you cheated you'll have created AWARENESS, which is essential if you're ever going to be able to gain control over your emotion-based choices.
Once you're aware of why you cheated you can then plan how you will do things differently when you encounter that same situation (or one like it) again.
Now let's talk about what to do after you cheated.
A lot of people ask if they should do 2 hours of cardio to make up for it.
Listen, there is no punishment to be had.
You're human. You made a mistake. You'll hopefully learn from this mistake and not do it again.
However, if you planned on cheating and you enjoyed yourself with friends and family then there's nothing at all to worry about.
You just don't want to make a habit of it (more than 2x a week).
Plus, even if you did 2 hours of cardio the most you would probably burn is about 1,200 calories (and that's if you were really cranking).
Considering that a cheat meal is typically well over that amount you'll begin to realize that you simply can't "out train a bad diet."
What I recommend is this:
If you know you're going our for a cheat meal that night I would do a high intensity interval cardio workout
, or even better, one of my Fatlossity metabolic resistance based workouts which incorporate both cardio and weights.
By working out within 12 hours of your cheat meal you will better be able to utilize glucose
and prevent unwanted spikes in insulin.
Of course, you could workout directly after your cheat meal as well, but unfortunately for most people cheat meals often include alcohol and are had at night.
The bottom line is that when the damage is done, it's done.
The best thing you can do is to remember that transforming your body and achieving your ideal shape is a journey. Very few people master it the first time around without any ups and downs.
As long as you recommit yourself immediately
and keep your cheat meals to 1-2x a week (except for first 21 days) then I think you'll find you get to enjoy the best of both worlds!
I hope this article helped ease your worries about cheating on your diet and how best to get a handle on it in the future.
Also, my most successful clients use a daily nutrition and exercise journal to keep themselves motivated, accountable, and focused on planning out their day
. This technique gives you the greatest chance for success and allows you to "take your brain out of the equation."
>> Click here for my free video and my complete 12-week fat burning system!
Committed to your success,
Stephen Cabral, ND, CSCS
Board Certified Naturopathic Doctor
Health contributor for MTV, Men's Health, Women's Day, MAXIM, Diet.com, SELF