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Leaning Down..Cheat Meals...Whats is ok to Cheat With

Hi everyone, first time poster so please be nice.

I consider myself to be just above a beginner to average knowledge person from what I experienced. That aside/

I’m currently trying to lean down, ive been training for about 4 years, started off quite chubby, then trained and dieted full on, did a bit leaning and bulking at the same time with the intention of bulking mostly. anyway, ive come to accept/realise that I have poor genetics and I have accepted that it is quite difficult to put on clean bulk without steroids. I am completely fine with that,

so my thought is, well, I am training my butt off, I either can’t or is very difficult to get big, so without losing any size, Id like to get shredded!

as per the norm, aside from the last month, I have generally been doing the 2 protein shakes a day, training, 1 half cup of oats immediately after training, 4 meals (eggwhites for breakfast, 2 servings of steak/chicken + vegetables, last meal usually tuna + veges)

in 3 months, I basically had 2 glasses of wine, 1 serving of bread and rice, in total so I was behaved very well.

I got quite lean (possibly lost a bit of size).

anyway a few months on, I went off the rails and basically went on a bread/rice/pasta/potatoes/chips binge, and in 3 weeks gained 6kg, with no training. naturally I am quite disgusted with myself as it is obvious in a photo I took today.

ok, so I am back on my diet and training,

my question is im going to completely back on no rice/pasta/bread/potatoes, forget chocolates, forget non-diet soda. forget alcohol, hi protein, zilch starchy carbohydrates

Ive been told 1-2 cheat meals is ok per week. but how much damage does this 1-2 meals per week do??? some say 1 meal will set you back 2 weeks, which is quite discouraging.

  1. so this 1 meal per week, is it ok if I eat a bucket of chicken, 3 servings of fries smothered in cheese???

  2. I have a huge appetite, eg, I usually eat 6-8 chicken burgers from a take away or 1kg of deep fried potato chips or 2 large pizzas per cheat meal, and I don’t feel like ive cheated if I don’t stuff myself. if I made my own burgers with lean meat, a few have recommend wholemeal bread, does wholemeal bread with lean beef make it ok to have as many as I want in one meal? given the nature of my appetite

  3. Some have said pita bread or souvlaki wrap bread is guilt free, but it still seems like white bread to me??

  4. if I am going to cheat, and I want to minimise the damage, is it better to have saturated fats or sugars, eg deep fried potatos or chocolate bars.

Apologies if this is the wrong format of question

Ive never actually got a straight answer out of anyone that I have asked, my main concern is about the extent of damage of cheat meals, I do want to get ripped since its so difficult for me to put on size ( i have tiny parents), I also take a few fish oil tablets a day, avoid anything deep fried, or sugars, don’t eat many sweets except for the cheat meals.

appreciate the comments

[quote]GOTNOIDEA wrote:
Hi everyone, 3 year reader [/quote]

nevermind…

No one is going to reply until you Europeans learn to call them Freedom Fries.

I would no go overboard with cheat meals (especially, if you got 6 kg of fat to lose). The main purpose of a cheat meal is to make you stick to your diet and prevent any binges.

Eating 2 large pizzas (about 2’000 kCal) is more like a cheat day than a cheat meal. So stick to one cheat meal per week and eat a regular sized pizza that you substitute for two meals of your normal diet.

Since cheat meals are there to reduce your cravings, eat what you crave most. If you crave fries, eat fries. If you crave chocolate bars, eat chocolate bars.

Apart from that: Getting shredded (<10% BF) without a large amount of muscle is not a good idea.

thanks everyone,

another question. sorry if its been answered before.

Im going to a fair few buffet places over the next week or so due to easter etc.

I still intend to eat clean, so it will only be meat, veges, no deserts, less sugars, nothing fried .

in terms of calories, obviously there will be excess calories. However, if its going to be excess calrories regardless, then does it not matter if its full of saturated fats or not, I am trying to lean as well as bulk cleanly and slowly.

A friend of mine who is pretty knowledgeable said that it really doesn’t matter because you will have a calorie excess, and to combat this you need to be doing cardio all the time, more likely to do EXTRA cardio during these days of excess calories, does this sound right? he is usually correct but sometimes he is completely wrong!

“Ive been told 1-2 cheat meals is ok per week. but how much damage does this 1-2 meals per week do??? some say 1 meal will set you back 2 weeks, which is quite discouraging.”

If one cheat meal set you back 2 weeks I doubt smart guys like JB would recommend it. Unless you’re super lean, one cheat meal a week will do enough benefit to your psyche to outweigh the negligible damage to your physique.

“1. so this 1 meal per week, is it ok if I eat a bucket of chicken, 3 servings of fries smothered in cheese???”

That’s not one cheat meal, it’s a half dozen. Good rule of thumb for problems like this is that your cheat meal is over as soon as you stand up from the table.

“2. …if I made my own burgers with lean meat, a few have recommend wholemeal bread, does wholemeal bread with lean beef make it ok to have as many as I want in one meal? given the nature of my appetite”

Absolutely not, you should always practice portion control. There are very few foods that you should have “as many as you want” of. At the very least double up your burgers so you only use 1 bun per 2 patties.

3". Some have said pita bread or souvlaki wrap bread is guilt free, but it still seems like white bread to me??"

Still not good carbs. The only breads I recommend are WW, multigrains (check the label) and low carb tortillas (again, check the label).

okay listen, I’m in the same boat as you. when I eat, I eat A LOT. I could easily down 2 pizza’s to myself, and then desert, and then more…okay so here’s the deal, when you keep your body in such a caloric deficit for so long, eventually, your metabolism will slow down. it’s a proven fact. and when you deprive yourself of carbs for too long, a carb load is advised to replenish. EVEN if you are trying to lose fat, 1 cheat meal a week is okay. OR, you could do a cheat DAY once every 2 weeks. I advise you read some of Joel Marion’s material on leptin levels and cheat meals, it’s very informative. Take it with a grain of salt, find what works for you.

But I have some guidelines for cheat meals, you have to fucking earn it. You better stick to your diet 100% of the time before that cheat meal. And you better train balls to the wall all the time. And when you do have a cheat meal, don’t sweat it. Don’t worry about it. Enjoy, let is pass. The weight will go away. The reason some of the coaches will say that a cheat meal with “ruin” your progress is because usually guys can’t get back on track after they binge. It is hard mentally to get the ball rolling again. Even Poliquin says cheat meals are okay from time to time!

[quote]Northernlion wrote:
“Ive been told 1-2 cheat meals is ok per week. but how much damage does this 1-2 meals per week do??? some say 1 meal will set you back 2 weeks, which is quite discouraging.”

If one cheat meal set you back 2 weeks I doubt smart guys like JB would recommend it. Unless you’re super lean, one cheat meal a week will do enough benefit to your psyche to outweigh the negligible damage to your physique.

“1. so this 1 meal per week, is it ok if I eat a bucket of chicken, 3 servings of fries smothered in cheese???”

That’s not one cheat meal, it’s a half dozen. Good rule of thumb for problems like this is that your cheat meal is over as soon as you stand up from the table.

“2. …if I made my own burgers with lean meat, a few have recommend wholemeal bread, does wholemeal bread with lean beef make it ok to have as many as I want in one meal? given the nature of my appetite”

Absolutely not, you should always practice portion control. There are very few foods that you should have “as many as you want” of. At the very least double up your burgers so you only use 1 bun per 2 patties.

3". Some have said pita bread or souvlaki wrap bread is guilt free, but it still seems like white bread to me??"

Still not good carbs. The only breads I recommend are WW, multigrains (check the label) and low carb tortillas (again, check the label).
[/quote]

thanks for that, the reason I ask is, just wanted to know the extent of damage a wholemeal bun would do, ive asked lots of people and all they say is “its NOT as bad”, when I have a burger with wholemeal bun, I actually don’t know how much damage I am doing, so if its say 20% damage compared to whitebread, then Id think 1 is not too bad so no guilt and maybe have 2, however if its 90% damage, then having the extra one will make it just as bad. to be honest, if the damage was more then say 50%, then Id prefer to simply eat it without any wholemeal buns!

just eat, sort of control yourself, and don’t worry about it. don’t forget, were human beings, we have what’s called “mental health” and sometimes you need to do things for your mental health.

[quote]dratner wrote:
okay listen, I’m in the same boat as you. when I eat, I eat A LOT. I could easily down 2 pizza’s to myself, and then desert, and then more…okay so here’s the deal, when you keep your body in such a caloric deficit for so long, eventually, your metabolism will slow down. it’s a proven fact. and when you deprive yourself of carbs for too long, a carb load is advised to replenish. EVEN if you are trying to lose fat, 1 cheat meal a week is okay. OR, you could do a cheat DAY once every 2 weeks. I advise you read some of Joel Marion’s material on leptin levels and cheat meals, it’s very informative. Take it with a grain of salt, find what works for you.
But I have some guidelines for cheat meals, you have to fucking earn it. You better stick to your diet 100% of the time before that cheat meal. And you better train balls to the wall all the time. And when you do have a cheat meal, don’t sweat it. Don’t worry about it. Enjoy, let is pass. The weight will go away. The reason some of the coaches will say that a cheat meal with “ruin” your progress is because usually guys can’t get back on track after they binge. It is hard mentally to get the ball rolling again. Even Poliquin says cheat meals are okay from time to time! [/quote]

I see what you are saying, I agree, no point in having a cheat meal when you eat crap during the week, so you go from eating utter crap to eating not so crap… thats just silly!

Ill read JB articles right now. I am pretty comfortable with having the cheat meal, however, its what to have thats got me confused, do you minimisie sugars or saturated fats, or if you have a big big big meal (clean) , does it even matter if you eat clean or not because the calorie intake PER meal is so great??? or does not eating sugars and sat fats just make the calories a bit lower!

Keep up the training!

Why common sense gets tossed out the window when it comes to nutrition is beyond me. Here’s an experiment for you to try: Go eat 500 calories worth of lean beef, broccoli, and some sweet potato. Go work out. Note how you feel. Next workout go eat 500 calories worth of butter. Go work out. Note how you feel. Call it clean, call it dirty, call it whatever. The important thing to know is that you are ingesting NUTRIENTS. What NUTRIENTS are you consuming? What nutrients are important pre-w/o, during your w/o, post w/o? Why? Look this stuff up. It’s all here.

After you do that research, ask yourself what your “cheat” is for. Is it a sanity check after a week of dry chicken breasts and spinach that is going to reignite your enthusiasm? Or is it just an excuse to eat shitty food that temporarily satisfies your taste buds? Or is it what a “cheat meal” really should be: a short term intake of proper nutrients that happens to be of a higher than normal caloric level, ingested to potentially increase your metabolism?

Okay so in regards to GOTNOIDEA, what to eat? It all depends on what you crave. Don’t eat one big ass clean meal. Cheat. In terms of calories, fats, sugar. It doesn’t really matter. I know that Thibs like donuts and sweets. I like pizza. Some guys like filet mignon and fries. It doesn’t matter. Just have what you crave, so the craving goes away.

In regards to what EIGHTPROPS said, I agree. Like recently, I haven’t even been having cheat meals. I’ve been going out in the city, drinking, and hooking up with girls and staying out till 4. This is probably just as bad as a cheat meal, but I “NEED” it for my sanity. Not that I can’t hook up with girls when I’m eating clean, but you get hte idea

fat gain of 6kg in 3 weeks on a diet high in shit carbs… hmmmm… insulin resistance is the first thing that comes to mind. i’d say if your goal is to get “shredded”, i’d follow the advice of the pros on this site and buckle down. cheat meals consisting of shitty foods are for people who have pronounced 6 packs and less than 10% body fat. judging by the fat gain you mentioned, i’m guessing you don’t fit that criteria, and that satisfying your cravings will more than likely set you back.

dratner looks to be lean enough to be insulin sensitive, and can therefore afford to play with cheating. if you look like him, go party. if you don’t (and i’m guessing you don’t cause you’re asking these questions) i’d stick to healthy(in the nutrient sense) options.

[quote]eightprops wrote:
Why common sense gets tossed out the window when it comes to nutrition is beyond me. Here’s an experiment for you to try: Go eat 500 calories worth of lean beef, broccoli, and some sweet potato. Go work out. Note how you feel. Next workout go eat 500 calories worth of butter. Go work out. Note how you feel. Call it clean, call it dirty, call it whatever. The important thing to know is that you are ingesting NUTRIENTS. What NUTRIENTS are you consuming? What nutrients are important pre-w/o, during your w/o, post w/o? Why? Look this stuff up. It’s all here.

After you do that research, ask yourself what your “cheat” is for. Is it a sanity check after a week of dry chicken breasts and spinach that is going to reignite your enthusiasm? Or is it just an excuse to eat shitty food that temporarily satisfies your taste buds? Or is it what a “cheat meal” really should be: a short term intake of proper nutrients that happens to be of a higher than normal caloric level, ingested to potentially increase your metabolism?
[/quote]

[quote]dratner wrote:
Okay so in regards to GOTNOIDEA, what to eat? It all depends on what you crave. Don’t eat one big ass clean meal. Cheat. In terms of calories, fats, sugar. It doesn’t really matter. I know that Thibs like donuts and sweets. I like pizza. Some guys like filet mignon and fries. It doesn’t matter. Just have what you crave, so the craving goes away.

In regards to what EIGHTPROPS said, I agree. Like recently, I haven’t even been having cheat meals. I’ve been going out in the city, drinking, and hooking up with girls and staying out till 4. This is probably just as bad as a cheat meal, but I “NEED” it for my sanity. Not that I can’t hook up with girls when I’m eating clean, but you get hte idea[/quote]

thanks guys, Im not too sure if Im insulin sensitive or not?

the reason Im asking these questions, probably seem a bit dumb, is, sometimes, ill eat a good meal, but due to my lack of knowledge Ill assume its bad and ill feel quite guilty about it, when I didn’t need to, I prefer to know whats good and bad.

admittedly, my feel the need to cheat has gone down in the past few weeks, probably something in my head.

as for the questions about buffets, being easter and stuff, I am going to catch up with friends and admittedly about 3 buffets next week, so I just wanted to know how much damage I was going to do, normally, I go to buffets maybe once a month, twice at the very most, so its not the usual pattern.

Ill admit I enjoy the buffets, and I get the rush/endorphins surge. I still get the buzz even if all i eat is steak, seafood, and green veges with no bread, or desserts, however,

eg last night, I went out for a friends birthday, and there was pizza and main courses, so I restricted my self to 2 slices of bread with olive oil, half a pizza slice and a steak with the mash given to my friend. to me thats sort of a cheat meal, and if its going to do damage, then thats fine, but I would prefer to know the facts.

thanks for replying anyway guys, ive been thinking about this for a while

P.S my body fat at my peak was about 13%, never been below this, don’t know what the Bodyfat after gaining the 5.7kg of eating UTTER crap would have been, but after 2.5 weeks of eating just about perfectly clean, and training ,and a few bits of cardio, about 4-4.5kg of it has come off, just a little bit to go to get back to normal and then Ill try and lean down, hopefully Ill get to about 11-12% which I have never been to