Why It’s Important To Eat A Cheat Meal

Jillian Bullock’s roommate and training partner, John Quinlan, spend a great deal of time together as they prepare for their upcoming Fighting Spirit Warriors: Fitness For Self-Defense Tour. John and Jillian train six, sometimes seven, days a week  with weights, mixed martial arts, boxing, and drills for cardio conditioning, strength and endurance.



Jillian and John also stick to a strict nutritional program that consists of protein drinks, egg whites, berries, apples, raw almonds, spinach and baked chicken (no skin of course.) Add in a gallon of water they each drink daily and they’re set.

(Protein Drinks)

(Spinach and Chicken)


But each Saturday night John and Jillian sit on the couch and let themselves have a little fun with a cheat meal as they watch a movie.


(A usual cheat meal for Jillian and John)

If you are on a strict diet and training program for any reason here’s why it’s important to have a cheat meal once a week. A cheat meal, not a cheat day.

You’ve Worked Hard

You’ve earned it, having adhered to a strict nutritional program all week of vegetables and chicken breast, now you look forward to indulging in your favorite foods that will consist of sugars, fat, and carbs. There are two main reasons it is vital for you to partake of junk food for one meal, once a week.

For Your Sanity

Psychologically, it’s about making your diet seem doable. Even the most seasoned athlete would lose his or her sanity sticking to a strict diet over a number of months. You know you can eat clean six days a week if you have something wonderful to look forward to on the seventh day, like two slices of cherry cheesecake and a pint of Ben & Jerry’s Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough. You can eat the foods you enjoy for one cheat meal and not feel guilty. However, be mindful that a cheat meal does not mean you should binge. Nor should you go for seconds. Once you’re done, that’s it until the next cheat day. So take your time, chew and savor each bite of food and drink of your choice.

Kicks Up Your Metabolism

Jim White, a registered dietitian and spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association, stated: “After several days of consuming fewer calories than you burn, splurging can rev up your metabolism while stocking up glycogen for tomorrow’s workout.”

When you eat a diet that is low in calories and carbohydrates, leptin levels drop. The purpose of leptin is to control hunger by telling the body when a person has had enough food or when they need to eat in order to avoid starvation. But when you are trying to stay lean or shed weight having low leptin levels will make your metabolism go into hibernation mode, which will make it difficult to drop weight.

However, when you do partake of food that is high in carbs, your blood sugars will shoot up and insulin levels will rise. In turn, your metabolism will speed up because your leptin levels are high.

Make It Fun

As you look forward to your one cheat meal of the way make it fun. Don’t just put a pile of food in front of you and chow down. Watch a movie, or go out with friends to a restaurant or having a barbeque with family, attend that wedding where there is bound to be good food and liquor. Whatever you want to do on that “special day” make it relaxing and enjoy.  Then the next day, get back on it – a clean diet.

John Quinlan and Jillian Bullock are certified personal trainers

A former wrestler, John has an extensive background in bodybuilding. He has competed in over 20 professional fitness physique competitions. For more on John check out his website – www.johnjquinlan.com

Jillian holds two black belts, one in Tae Kwon Do and the other in Wing Chun. She currently trains in mixed martial arts and boxing. She is also a certified kettlebell instructor.  www.jbullockenterprises.com

To learn more about Fighting Spirit Warriors: Fitness For Self-Defense and how you can book this program, go to – www.jillianbullockspeaker.com 


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