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Muscle-Building Workout and Diet

What’s up, guys? Jeff Cavaliere, Today we’re addressing that all too popular
question about cheat meals. How important are cheat meals? Should I have cheat meals?
How often should I have cheat meals? Jeff, do you ever have cheat meals? We’re going to cover it all today. Now, first
of all I think we should define what a cheat meal is to you. You see, if you think things
like steak, or pasta, potatoes, pumpkin pie, oatmeal, breakfast burritos, chocolate chip
mint frozen yogurt; if you think these are cheat meals then you, my friend, are on the
wrong eating plan. Not only are these things that we actually
endorse in our Athlean-X Factor Meal Plan, but these are exactly what I ate yesterday.
I ate all of these foods yesterday. In fact, I eat a lot of them all the time. Maybe not
steak as much, but the idea here is that I’m talking about cheat meals. Things that you have to go sign a waiver for
at a restaurant because they’re worried about your health, or foods that start with double
stuffed, or extra-extra, or the super duper. These are going to put super-duper amounts
of fat on your ass if you eat them. Those are the real cheat foods. A lot of you guys have cravings for them,
and that’s great because it’s a reality. People don’t always follow very strict eating plans,
or they can’t follow all the time, but I’ll tell you this: that’s based on the fact that
those eating plans are too restrictive and they’re causing you to have the need for cheat
meals. With that being said I wanted to cover and
ask a couple questions of you to determine whether or not you feel that a cheat meal
is actually something that’s going to benefit you or not. Okay, the first question you’ve got to ask
yourself is whether or not you’re feeling deprived with the eating plan that you’re
on. Do you feel that you’re missing out on something? Do you feel that you’re on a diet?
I talk about that concept all the time. The worst word is “diet” because everybody
always says “I’m on a diet”. What that really means is that you’re going to be off it at
some point. You’re on it for a while, but you’re off it eventually because nobody can
stick to a deprivation based plan for their lifetime. At Athlean-X it’s about sticking to a plan
for a lifetime and creating lifetime changes, not just looking to lose weight short term,
not trying to come up here on a YouTube video to look good for you guys every once in a
while, but to be able to live this way and look good year round. 365 days a year, every
single video I do for you I try to practice what I preach. Feeling deprived is not the way to have a
long term, successful diet plan. Now, most of our cheat meals are based around foods
that are either rich in fats or carbohydrates. If you were to take yourself away from some
of those foods, based on deprivation, there’s not many people walking around with fat and
carbohydrate deficiencies. I can tell you that right now. Eating healthier
doesn’t mean that you have to feel deprived. You can still get your carbs, you’ll still
get your fats, you’re just doing it a bit more responsibly and choosing a little bit
wiser in terms of the foods that you eat and not overindulging. You won’t ever feel deprived
anymore. You’re going to feel fulfilled and at the
same time you’re going to actually start realizing some of the fitness goals that you have. That
brings me to question number two. Number two: What are your goals? I mean your goals. Your
specific goals. We all have different goals. What level of goal are you trying to aspire
to? See, here, for me, not only am I the face
of my brand and practicing what I preach and leading you guys. I feel if you’re going to
lead you’d better lead by example and I do that. By doing that I’m restrictive with that
I eat, but as you saw I eat all the things that were up on that board before. So how restrictive would you call it? I’m
not sitting here eating boiled chicken, I’ll tell you that much. I’m not eating steamed
broccoli and that’s it. I never do that. I never have. That would never be something
I could follow for the lifelong, but you guys have to say “What are your goals?” If you
aren’t trying to be what I’m trying to be here, or be the face of a brand, or have a
certain level of leanness you can actually cheat a little more often. That would allow you to have some meals or
things you might want to have a little more frequently than I do. The idea is that you
have to define what your specific goal is and from there determine how appropriate a
cheat meal is to your game plan. The third question is actually one of my favorite ones.
That is: “How motivated are you right now?” I mean motivated by your own physique. What is your reaction when you look in the
mirror right now? A lot of times it could be repulsion. Let’s call it the way it is.
“I hate the way I look. I’ve got to do something about it.” A lot of times you have to balance
the desire for that short term fix of whatever the cheat food is to the long term goal – like
we talked about in the last step – of how you ultimately want to look. When that short term fix is not as valuable
to you as the long term goal, that’s the moment that you start to defeat your urge for cheat
meals. Not that it’s a bad thing, it’s just that you actually start to become motivated
because, for the first time, we have guys on Athlean-X all the time that write in and
tell us that for the first time ever they can see their abs. For the first time ever
they’re building new muscle. They couldn’t build. They were hard gainers.
They couldn’t do it before. For the first time ever they’re getting compliments either
from their spouse or their friends who are noticing that they’re training and they’ve
been training for the last five years and nobody noticed. That right there gives you
the extra motivation to want to hold onto those compliments and hold onto those compliments
that you’re actually seeing for the first time. You have to figure out where you are right
now in that motivation scale to determine whether or not you’re looking for those short
term fixes, or placing more value on those long term goals. That brings me to my final
question. That is: How mentally tough are you? When it comes to deciding whether or
not cheat meals should be part of your plan you have to ask yourself how mentally tough
you are. Going back to the foods I showed you in the
beginning, it doesn’t take a lot of mental toughness to be able to stick to an eating
plan that has that many good tasting food options available to you. That’s just a fraction
of what we make available. However, when we talk about cheat meals are you the type of
person that could have a cheat meal? There’s difference between cheat meals and
cheat days. I’m not an advocate of cheat days because cheat days turn into cheat weeks and
cheat weeks turn to cheat months and before you know it you’re cheating all year round
on your diet. You ask me “Jeff, is it okay for me to have a health meal every once in
a while?” If you’re at that point you’ve got some serious issues. So what we want to do
is ask yourself if you indulge in that cheat meal, is that going to turn into a cheat week
and a cheat month? Do you have the mental toughness to say “I’m
going to have this because I want to have it, but then I’m going to get right Back on
my healthier eating plan and stay right back focused on my goals again”? You’ve got to
ask yourself that question because that’s going to vary from individual to individual. Now, I want to give you a couple strategies.
If after this self-assessment you say to yourself “I can handle it. I’ve got my goals in check.
I know where I’m heading, but I still want to have some cheat meals”, then I’ll give
you two big tips on what you might want to do and stay conscious of when you’re making
decisions on when to have that meal. The first big tip I can pass on to you if
you decide you’re going to have a cheat meal every once in a while is: try to prepare your
cheat meals at home. You be the person in control of what you’re eating. You see, if
you go out to a restaurant you don’t know what you’re eating. A lot of times you don’t.
You don’t know how bad what you’re eating is and you don’t know how much that can
actually overload you and pull you away from your goals. You do it at home and you’re in control. You
know what you’re putting in. I would recommend, if you’re going to do it, at all costs do
that. I do realize that sometimes part of the cheat is getting out of the house and
letting someone else do the work for you. That’s great, I just want you to be aware
of the fact that doing it at home is likely going to save you in the long run. Tip number two here is actually very helpful.
That is, if possible, you want to schedule your cheat meal wisely. You see, not all the
time do you have the luxury of scheduling. You find yourself out and a bout, the moment
hits and you have your cheat meal. That’s the way it happens. However, if you can schedule
when you’re going to have your cheat meal – which a lot of us do have that control
– you might want to think about when you’re less likely to allow that meal to turn into
a day, to a week, to a month. That might be having that cheat meal on a
Sunday night for dinner because you know that the structure of your work week, the structure
of getting back to business on Monday – sometimes getting back to the gym – that allows you
to get back on track again. Meanwhile, let’s say if you did it on a Friday night that could
easily turn into a weekend long bender of cheat meals. So you want to find, for you, where you’re
less likely to allow this thing to cascade and where you can actually keep the reigns
on it and control it. Lastly, I want to leave you here with a lesson. The old saying goes
“You can’t have your cake and eat it too.” I would say you can’t have your cake and have
great abs, too. As one of my athletes actually put it so eloquently
one time “You can’t have your cake and not be a fucking lard ass”. He said it, not me.
The idea here is that he’s right. You can have it in moderation. Even I have my favorite
carrot cake twice a year. That’s it, but I don’t indulge all the time because to me,
what’s important, is looking a certain way, feeling a certain way, and being able to stand
up here and practice what I preach, as I’ve said to you before. It isn’t easy, but it doesn’t have to be complicated.
If it was easy everyone would walk around looking the way everyone wants to look. It’s
not, but it doesn’t have to be complicated. Guys, that’s the whole thing that I preach
here. I will take you by the hand and show you exactly how to do it. I’ll show you exactly
how I eat, I’ll give you the workouts – exactly what I do. I have it as part of our Athlean-X
training system. That’s what we talk about and preach all the time. It’s step by step, meal by meal, and workout
by workout. It’s not complicated. I show you exactly what to do, but you’ve got to have
that certain level of dedication. You’ve got to do this little self-assessment to determine
where you fall in terms of your desire for cheat meals. Maybe you’re not ready to get
in shape yet. That’s not a bad thing. It happens to all of us. I do know that this is the time
of year when most of us will start to assess our health, assess how we look, and want to
start making changes. I can help you make those changes, I guarantee
it. But we’ve got to start somewhere. Head to and in the meantime if you’ve
found this video helpful, if you’ve found it to be honest and truthful, let me know
below and I promise I’ll make more videos that you guys want to see. Just let me know what kind of videos you want
to see and I’ll do that. All right, I’ll be back here again guys in
just a few days. I’ll talk to you soon. Later.

100 thoughts on “Cheat Meals – The Hard Truth (YOU’VE BEEN WARNED!)

  1. Basically i want T-shirts look good on me ^^ usual stuff,big back,chest,arms,ABS u can break a brick on it 😀 my cheat day is sunday(eat 2 croasants for breakfast+shake+banana) later before coffie something sweet like Bueno,Rafaelo,Rocher,kinder chocolate).

  2. i dont have cheat meal,i eat what i like,i just try to eat "good" portions,not the best for progress,but id rather do it because i like it rather than not eat anything i like

  3. Im going to eat better…I'm 5'6 and weigh 296. Needless to say im overweight. Im going to start getting in the gym and eating better. I know i can do this.

  4. Thing is with cheat meals, they’re only nice in the moment for all the wrong reasons. It’s all in your head. You feel like shit after a cheat meal too. I nailed a box of chocolates the other day for no reason whatsoever and I felt like crap.

  5. Now I'm back on it I don't even feel like I want that shit! I want :

    But yeah I do have the odd bit of chocolate and stuff but not a lot or as much as I used to…
    💪 BOOM! 😎

  6. I indulge on half a chocolate cake (half of the entire cake) and a large cookies and cream milkshake with seasoned cheesy fries at least once a week to keep myself from craving fatty foods.

  7. what i eat,
    typically peanut butter on top of ezekiel style bread, either 2-3 eggs, or the eggs and 100 grams of oats eith some brown sugar.
    around 100 grams of chicken, steamed broccoli, brown rice, or sometimes takenout the rice.
    chopped romain lettuce with red vinegar dressing, grilled chicken in it.

    tuna packets, protein shake, and celery with peanut butter are my typical fillers in between meals

  8. Fact is, a woman on a diet assumes too little calories to be able to incoporate "cheat" foods in a normal day. If I crave a toast with cheese and ham it is not likely I can add it in a day plan without exceeding with fats, for example, if I am eating an max. of 30 g fats per day (cut diet). I should probably eat that without any dessert and a couple of more things to add up to the protein amount and vegetables and that's it for the day. The theory doesn't work very well for petite individuals.

  9. I started Mtb at 190 pounds, now I’m 172 and my body looks much better, now I want to shred the last 20 pounds.
    I’m highly motivated and I have all the time of the world. My problem is that I’m working on the road and sometimes the only thing I have near at lunch is a freaking fast food or greasy Caribbean food. Most of the time I split the plate in have and discard the rest. However I don’t even know if I’m having enough nutrients to go by.
    How can I eat that crappy food and keep shredding?

  10. I legit only have eggs, chicken, turkey, salmon, Rice, sweet potato and green veggies in a week. On Sunday I may have a pack of oreo’s but that’s it haha. Honestly I enjoy eating like this

  11. Welcome to the salty spitoon, how tough are ya?

    How tough am I? I had a bowl of nails for breakfast.

    Yeah so?

    Without any milk.

  12. It doesn’t really matter if you have cheat meal per week if your dieting as long as your in a calories deficit

  13. I feel deprived when I am not eating chocolate.

    I don't look in the mirror as it would feel ashamed in having to reflect my body back to me.

  14. I haven’t had CARNE ASADA FRIES for 3 weeks and I’ve lost 20 lbs and counting .. I think I deserve a cheat meal !

  15. My hardest fight is just EATING at all. I am 5'7" and 142 pounds. Small love handles and a little chest fat. Now what I ate before was crap and I have changed up what I am eating but I have all my life ate very little. Two small meals a day is about par for the course. And trying to FORCE myself to eat can even make it feel like im going to puke. Very hard to get what my body needs to build muscle when I cant eat. Any help or Idea's?

  16. What about for females? I had a child and honestly I feel like no matter what I gain as soon as I have anything I enjoy. I love steak and potatoes and pasta..but like how without gaining??

  17. Cheating once a week is fine, as long as you stay consistent the rest of the week. For example: During my cut i workout intensively 5/6 times a week and i personally like to reward my self on a saturday or sunday on something i crave for the whole week. Last saturday i cheated my ass of with beer included. And in 8 weeks time i went from around 17% bodyfat to 10.5% Bodyfat and i notice HUGE difference in my body.

  18. Cheat meals are unnecessary.
    What is the purpose of eating a pizza or a hot dog, without any nutrient which will only increase the production of junk food that is so damaging to our kids?

  19. Breakfast:
    Fat free greek yogurt – blueberries, banana and oats

    Apple, pretzel chips

    Chicken salad with spinach and onion, mayo and mustard

    Cabbage soup with spices, sweet potato, veggies and sausage.

    This was yesterday for me! Good food TASTES good when it's your life!

  20. 'super duper amounts of fat on your ass when you eat them'
    i was laughing so much my mum asked if everything was okay from work

  21. Jeff wakes up every single morning and fries 3 eggs off of the top of a metal dumbbell using the heat of pure sunlight. He then proceeds to sip water from a natural flowing river as he scoops pounds of pure raw chicken and quinoa into his gob. He then swims 4 miles upstream with a 750 pound weight vest while catching salmon in his vacuum suction tube of a mouth. Gains thus are accumulated at super human efficiency. He has yet to make a video on this.

  22. I eat very good 6 days out of the week. I count everything and I refuse anything that I don’t know EXACTLY what’s in it. Its been very restrictive. I feel deprived most of the time. I have a cheat day once a week on Saturday during which I eat whatever I want burgers, pizza, submarine sandwiches, wings dripping ranch, I get drunk mostly vodka and water though (I still avoid beer). Than come Sunday I’m super strict again til the next Saturday. I’ve been doing this for awhile now and im still seeing good progress.

  23. I eat very good 6 days out of the week. I count everything and I refuse anything that I don’t know EXACTLY what’s in it. Its been very restrictive. I feel deprived most of the time. I have a cheat day once a week on Saturday during which I eat whatever I want burgers, pizza, submarine sandwiches, wings dripping ranch, I get drunk mostly vodka and water though (I still avoid beer). Than come Sunday I’m super strict again til the next Saturday. I’ve been doing this for awhile now and im still seeing good progress.

  24. Somebody kinda always force me to have cheat meal shit.. With some shitty words like it's ok to have them occasionally
    I even got so fucking stressed if I have one because I never want to have them…

  25. All I can say is, thank God I got a Y chromosome! I eat as much as I can, whatever I want. I burn fat and build muscle just thinking about exercise.

  26. Worst foods would be refined carbs and sugar-filled foods. Remember, fat is insulin-neutral. Not saying eat tons of fat, but sugar is more of a problem.

  27. Everybody always mentions pizza as a cheat meal. What kind of pizza are you eating? Because if you eat real Italian pizza, it's not even a cheat meal. Stop eating bullshit like Domino's and Pizza Hut, which is just McDonald's on a greasy crust. Eat a pizza with rucola, pomodorini (cherry tomatoes), and real bufala mozzarella for your "cheat meal" and it won't even feel like cheating. If you start adding stupid bullshit like three different types of meat, cheddar cheese and a ton of salt like the aforementioned fast food "pizza" places, then you kinda deserve to feel guilty because you're eating garbage. The problem isn't the cheat meal, the problem is, especially in the US, you're surrounded by shitty food with the only option to eat healthy being some extremely expensive so-called "whole foods" that you have to buy at some boutique supermarket, which is simply considered regular, cheap food that isn't total garbage everywhere else.

  28. I've had to ban peanut butter from my house , it's the only food in the world that i have no discipline with , the last time i had 500 gram tub i ate it in one session .

  29. Disagree with cheat meals at home. You just don't want that stuff in the house. I'm the kind of person who can put things in the freezer and eat them the next day.

  30. you have to deprive yourself to some degree, I'm counting calories and I try to incorporate some of the things I crave into my diet but there are some meals I crave that there's no way I could eat on a daily basis and stay in a caloric deficit. I come from a country where our typical meals are not healthy. I must set a day where I just don't give a fuck about counting my calories.

  31. On the day of a cheat meal just focus on the calories. If the cheat meal is 1500 calories let's say, cut your loses that day and just eat 500 calories of veg for the fibre to wash that shit away. Only day you should think about calories that strictly. You may still go under your resting rate lol that is a 2000 calorie day with cheat meal and good fibre. If cheat meal is low protein maybe add low cal protein powder with water extra 250 or so calories won't kill you.

  32. I'm not a good eater. I love fried chicken, mac n cheese, barbecue, and cornbread. Also basically anything fried. I know. It's horrible.

  33. This is bull shit you can have one cheat meal ah week depends on your work effort and how hard your working

  34. I eat shit for dinner, including my alcohol consumption, a lot of it, on my “non-kid” weekends. That’s two Friday and Saturday nights per month. Rest of the time eat clean. No desire to cheat, otherwise.

  35. an easy tip for everyone. instead of having a cheatday every week just do a cheatday every 3 weeks or per month so that way you still lose wheight (not as much) even if you are eating 1500 calories a day.

  36. For me I only cheat on special occasions such as bdays and holidays (aka christmas & new years) so ultimately I eat cheat meals approximately 10 times over the corse if the year, particularly dense in april (me and my sister actually combined our bdays to 1 cheat meal this year since they're so close) but it also depends a lot on how many friends I have at the time, and which ones have bday parties

  37. On keto rn and lost a solid 10 pounds. Just decided to have a cheat meal of half a pizza and icecream. And I forgot how powerful carbs make you feel during workouts. Just knocked out burpees like nothing . But now I'm spazzing and freaking out that all that time was for nothing

  38. After watching this video I am going write, "You can't have your cake and not be a @#$&ing lard-ass too". After watching this I realize where I keep falling short. I always knew I wanted to do life changes and I even said it, but it turned out all I was do with dieting. Your videos are a true inspiration for me and I'm grateful thank you.

  39. my cheat meal is oatmeal, because the amount. I eat 0,5 k of oatmeal with cinammon and cottage cheese, 0,5 k of white eggs scrumbled, 1 banana. Ou lord, paradise

  40. The only thing I crave is pizza, have for months. I have gone about 4 months now avoiding pizza at all costs, and have not gave in. Can anybody tell me if I can still enjoy a slice of pizza in a healthy way? What I am saying is I would love to enjoy a slice of pizza, but if I am going to have it…. I would like to go as healthy as possible. For example: a whole grain crust, low sodium/sugar sauce? Anybody have any suggestions?

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