Is it okay to have a cheat meal when you’re trying to eat more fat? Sure! My wife and I have plenty!
We went to Horseshoe Donuts last weekend and ordered us up one glazed and one old-fashioned. It’s quite the awesome hole-in-the-wall serving up fresh baked sugary carbs – donuts, coffee, and more donuts. It didn’t hurt that there was a bull-dog standing guard next to counter! But, instead of snapping a pic of the dog, here’s what we ate:
Last weekend as we’re driving near the donut shop, the conversation went something like this:
Me: Should we get donuts?
Wife: Um…yeah, maybe so.
Me: Cause I can go either way.
Wife: Yeah, sure. I guess so.
Me: Alright, if you say so… (car speeds up)
Fun Sugar Fact
Donuts aren’t the only way to carb up
Fried sugar dough is a fairly recent addition to our cheat menu. We’ve also been throwing in plenty of other high-carb indulgences:
- Sushi rolls (probably our favorite)
- Burger with fries (buns are optional)
- Sweetened Chai Tea (usually my go-to)
- Pizza with a crust sporting more than 100 grams of carbs (again more me)
Two main strategies
1. Have a couple cheat meals spread out over a week. I prefer this method. It’s handy for those times when you find yourself going out to eat with friends or in other social situations in which it’s hard to scrounge up enough fat. I try to limit it to no more than two or three per week.
2. Do one entire cheat day a week. This is what Tim Ferriss recommends as part of his “slow-carb diet”. My wife and I have both tried to do this a couple times – usually for holidays and special occasions – but we typically end up with major sugar bomb bellies and don’t want to even look at food the next day.
Keep the big picture in mind
While you’re mainlining the carbs, keep in mind cheat days or meals are by far the exception and not the rule. Have some fun, but don’t lose sight of the fact that your lifestyle now revolves around fat.
Don’t be too hard on yourself
Veering off the fat trail for 10-20% of the week isn’t going to take down everything you’ve built. As long as you return that base of 80-90% of your diet rooted in fat, you probably won’t start sweating gummy bears or suddenly blow up like a balloon animal.
If you go a little too far one day, it’s okay. Just recognize that you’re veering off course and reset. Get back on track with that next meal. Take some time to reflect and think about why you ventured so far into Candyland and see if you can prevent it next time. Maybe you were in a hurry and Jack in the Box was right there with no one in the drive-thru line. Perhaps next time you could:
- choose a different restaurant
- plan ahead and pack a meal from home
- order something a little less carby like a burger with no fries or soda
Wait, sugar who?
Surprisingly, I’ve found that once you go fat, it’s hard to go back. Partly because your body has become more accustomed to fat and more sensitive to carbs, especially sugar. After eating mainly fat for a while, it doesn’t take much to get a sugar buzz. It also doesn’t take much to get a bad case of sugar belly – symptoms may include:
- reduced appetite
- little desire for more food
These symptoms are the early warning signs. If you listen closely, it’s your body trying to gently remind you, “get back to fat!”
Listen to your body. If throwing down a donut or cookie doesn’t sit well with you, don’t do it, or at the very least, eat less. If you do end up going on a crazy binge, don’t be too hard on yourself. Pay attention to how your body feels and get your body right back up on that fat horse.
You might be surprised. Cheating every once in a while might just remind you how foods you thought you missed, really just aren’t as good as you remember.
Cheat away! It’s not gonna kill you to have a couple cheat meals every week. In fact, it might just be the little pressure release you need in order to stick with your new high-fat lifestyle long-term.