Many diets today for weight loss and even diets for nutrition and muscle building have all started to add something what is called “cheat meals” or “cheat days”.  These are basically meals that are set aside from the regular diet program that you are on and allowed to cheat by eating something that is off your diet menu plan.  Of course, many of these diets have their own rules or guidelines to follow regarding cheat meals, but the principles and goals are pretty much the same.

Much of this has to do with the 90% rule of dieting.  Basically, any weight loss program that is too restrictive on a person is usually going to have a high rate of failure.  The 90% rule allows individuals who are struggling with fat loss diets the opportunity to indulge themselves with their favorite food during a meal or break.  Even though the food item may be unhealthy with regards to fats or calories, it can still be consumed during their cheat meal.  The 90% rule can definitely come in handy for those people who work on the go and generally meet with clients over lunch or dinner.

However, the rule is only a guideline for you to follow and for it to be effective so you can still maintain your goals of weight loss, it should only be allowed for one meal during that day and not for the entire day itself.  Also, it doesn't mean eating as much as you want for that given meal.

Personally, I use the 90% rule during the weekend and don't look at it as a way of cheating through my weight loss efforts.  I consider it more of a reward for sticking with my meal plans.  I have also used it as a reward for visiting the gym and completing my routines as I schedule them. 

The great thing about the 90% rule is that you can design it to work for you and your own program so it works around your job, family and social time frames.  I personally like to give myself a reward on the weekend so it gives me something more to shoot for with my goals.  Saturday night is usually when I have been rewarding myself with some kind of treat like chocolate ice cream or a nice piece of cake.  Last week, after shopping, my wife and I enjoyed a meal at Panda Express.  This Friday we had pizza.  Not a very healthy meal, but looking at it as a reward for the week does help with achieving certain goals.

I guess if you want to it can be called a cheat meal for you, but I'm sticking with my reward meal.  It just sounds better and gives me more motivation during the week.  How about you?