As the 2009 Holiday season unfolds with its usual and celebrated customs: random acts of kindness, treats at work, another televised run of Mickey’s Christmas Carol, (still not available on its own DVD) one fact remains; stringent dietary practices are tossed out in a hurry. That extra helping of mom’s famous stuffing seems the “new” norm. Polishing off that colorful tin of cookies has become part of one’s daily routine. A rotation of rich cakes, lavish leftovers and the like are a downright mainstay this time of year because come January “it’s back to egg whites and oatmeal – clean living – for real this time.”
While it’s true that we all relax the proverbial belt this time of the year, (trainers too ) I beckon the question: Why wait until next year to begin anew? Why fall off the bandwagon that dates back to this year’s January? Why toss out a year’s solid work?
SOLUTION: Relax the belt yes, but never remove it. BEHOLD: The Cheat Meal!
In most aspects of life cheating is a big no-no but as it pertains to the body, a saving grace. One or two wellplaced cheat meals regularly during the week can bring sanity to the insane, hope to the hopeless and a smile to the oppressed. So sacred are my cheat meals that I’d rather indulge in them alone; where energy displacement such as listening, rebuttal and the like are replaced with a single goal: to polish off the heaping plate or plates of food in front of me. It’s a war that I refuse to lose – and never do.
I liken my cheat meals to that segment on game shows whereby a contestant is locked in a tiny space and money is siphoned through and all the person must do is grab as much as they can while the air roars and the precious seconds on the clock count back. During my cheat meals I am that contestant and I’m taking all the food with me that time or in this case, my belly will hold.
Many persons I’ve consulted with see no reason for the cheat meal as I’ve outlined here (I do not recommend consuming my amounts - remember, I am a professional) and yet they still seem unable to lose fat and keep it off. The answer is obvious as I state that while they are not consuming massive amounts of food daily, what they are generally taking in is both calorically dense and high in sugar making fat-loss difficult.
Eating clean most of the time and then allowing oneself a meal of whatever it is one might desire, in my case done every Wednesday and Saturday, will satiate the denied and ensure that every third or fourth day a treat is sure to come. This occasional self-indulgence will keep one on track and honest and keep one on the correct pathway to maintaining and surpassing one’s physique goals.
Just remember to make it a cheat meal, not day!
With the myriad of options in today’s supermarket, it may seem more confusing than ever in selecting foods that will keep one lean. With consistency in food choice being our mainstay path to lifelong results, what follows is a list of what I deem “Eat this vs. that” in helping to make intelligent supermarket decisions. Read on for you might be surprised.
1. Replace Low Fat Peanut Butter with Regular Peanut Butter – The bit of fat you’re saving has been replaced with sugar – too much sugar = fat!
2. Replace Barbecue sauce with Hot Sauce – Sugar vs. hot peppers -, which actually helps to increase one’s metabolism.
3. Replace Regular Bread with Ezekiel Bread – Processed food that will most assuredly convert to sugar vs. organic sprouted whole grains – now that’s clean eating!
4. Replace Ground Turkey with Ground Turkey Breast – Not just white meat but dark meat and skin and who knows what else (often more fattening than hamburger meat) vs. the lean breast of the bird. Take the minute to read the label!
5. Replace Bananas, Raisins and Pineapple with Cherries, Grapefruit or Apples – In moderation of course, the latter three are lower on the Glycemic Index and thusly register less in raising blood glucose levels.
6. Replace Fruit Juice with Water and lemon – Would you ever consume 10 oranges? But you could easily drink that amount. Lots of extra sugar vs. caloric-free nourishment plus Vitamin C.
7. Replace Energy Drinks with Black Coffee – Sugar, sugar and more sugar combined with caffeine vs. just caffeine.
8. Replace Yogurt with Low-Fat/Low-Sugar Greek Yogurt – Super-high in sugar (nearly all of its carbs) vs. this Super High protein/low sugar alternative. Be sure to look out for the Low-Sugar variety!
9. Replace Alcohol with Diet Soda – Vodka, Wine or what have you, Alcohol is Alcohol is 7 useless calories per gram vs. diet soda clocking in at zero calories (in moderation of course.)
10. Replace Most Boxed Cereals with Oatmeal – Refined carbs = sugar = non-sustained energy vs. sustained “clean” energy. Happy Thanksgiving everyone and remember to forward this email to a friend so they too can sign up for their FREE newsletter AND workout!