The Treat Meal

For all you competitors, you know this meal all too well. Some of you refer to it as a “cheat meal”.  I never use this descriptor to avoid the negative connotation that it implies.  To cheat is to say that you are not being compliant on your diet. Webster’s defines cheat as fraudulent or deceptive. Who on earth would want to accept such a negative word in their prep?

The treat meal is allowed once a week and is not on your normal diet plan.  It is often used to fill out your muscles, change your metabolism or to simply give you a break from your diet.

When I first started training I would eat one treat meal a week. The problem was I would eat so much at one sitting I would often end up with indigestion. One night I ate the “Senor Grande Nacho Platter” and slept sitting up due to the horrible reflux. When talking to other competitors, I found that this was extremely common and that many girls experienced the same negative outcome. There had to be a better way to enjoy a treat meal, a way to indulge but not overindulge.


I found 5 easy rules to keep the treat meal controlled.


1.  Quality Not Quantity

Just because you can eat anything you want doesn’t mean you should eat as much as you can. Try eating a decent serving of your favorite food and stop when you are feeling full.


2.  Limit Your Alcohol

You have been eating clean all week. The effects of one alcoholic beverage will be felt faster than usual. Have a tall glass of water to compliment that glass of wine. Sip and enjoy…I’m sure this will be the first thing that is cut when prep starts.


3.  Beware Of Greasy/Fatty foods

Remember, you are transforming your body to be at its best. You body is not used to high levels of bad fats. The oils that fried foods are prepared in are not the best choice for anyone. Creamy icing and thick milkshakes can often leave you bloated and with an upset stomach.


4.  Salt Is Not Your Friend

Yes, this is a treat meal and you should enjoy yourself BUT your body is not used to consuming such high levels of sodium. I once ate an extremely salty treat meal and woke up the next morning looking like a Blow Fish. It took about 24 hours for the puffiness in my eyes to go away.


 5.  Plan Ahead

Choose what you want to eat and make a fun evening out of it: A meal with friends, a date with your sweetie or a night out with the kids. This will give you something to look forward to at the end of the week and it will also make memories you can hold on to when your treat meals are removed.

You should never reward yourself with food, but you can reward yourself with a pleasant (yet not over done) experience. 

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