In this article, IFBB Pro Men’s Physique competitor and Olympian Brandon Hendrickson talks about how to properly utilize a cheat meal. Far too many people go to the extreme when they are told to use a cheat meal in their nutrition and wind up blowing their calories out of the water to the extent that it messes up their entire week during their prep or diet.
The key is to use a cheat meal to your advantage from a mental health point of view. When you diet consistently, you may find your cravings are increased and it can mess with your head – some eventually give in to the temptations and go on a full out binge for an entire day or even multiple. A cheat meal is a great way to eat some food you wouldn’t normally find on your diet and curbing those temptations so you can stay on track with your other meals.
What Does Brandon Think?
A cheat meal or re-feed is an increase in caloric intake typically outside of your diet that usually consists of a high volume of carbs like burgers or pizza, etc.
A lot of people think a cheat “meal” is a cheat “day.” A cheat meal should not last for more than one meal. Usually, cheat meals are once a week. In my off-season, I am allowed two cheat meals each week surrounded by lagging muscle groups like back or legs. A cheat meal should be considered a “treat” meal in that it should only be eaten once, maybe twice a week outside of your diet to give your body a reset and a mental break from dieting.