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Cheating - How NOT Cheating Can
Seriously Hurt Your Weight Loss Efforts

I spent last week in Toronto, Canada helping my sister get ready for her oldest son's Bar Mitzvah. I don't know about you, but in my family, major events are celebrated with food and wine. And if you don't pile up that plate and keep refilling that wine glass, well, it's grounds for eviction from the tribe. 

I'll tell you the punch line up front: I was bad. Real bad. I gained three pounds in one week. And I felt terrible afterwards, physically and spiritually. My body feels fat and sluggish. And I'm still punishing myself for sampling that wedge of 10 layer birthday cake and washing it down with a grande cappuccino. (A flagrant violation of the no dairy products, no sugar rules.) 

I know I'm not the only person who beats herself up after an evening of culinary debauchery. I post to several weight loss Usenet newsgroups and belong to a fat loss support mailing list. If there's a common thread in the diverse posts from all these groups, it's: "I couldn't help it. I still can't believe I ate the whole bag of Lidos. Now I feel bad that I did such a horrible thing. Where's the whip?" 

Vacations, business meetings, conventions, even a get together with old friends. All are filled with temptations that can easily derail your weight loss efforts. 

However, cheating is NOT a dirty word, at least in my vocabulary. In fact, the Meltdown program is predicated on systematic cheating. I've found, at least when it comes to food, humans beings are going to break the rules. That's just how we are wired. So Dr. David Watts, the M.D./Ph.D. whose 23 years of research prompted the Meltdown program, and I have devised a way to let you eat cake and lose weight, too. (And hopefully not cause you to lose your head in the process!) 

Dr. Watts' research discovered that you can cheat once every fourth day and make no serious impact on your weight loss efforts. (In this case, raising/lowering your basal metabolic rate to burn more fat.) I repeat: You will not alter your metabolism if you cheat once every fourth day. 

Let me be very specific. One cheat includes one can of beer, one glass of wine, one piece of 10 layer cake (with no cappuccino), one ice cream cone, one slice of extra cheese pizza. It does not mean a night of Tequila shots. You can't eat a half gallon of ice cream. And the whole bag of Lido's won't work, but two or three won't hurt you. Get the picture? 

If you cheat on Saturday night, there are no infractions allowed until the following Wednesday. Then, your next cheat day is Sunday. Then you count the minutes until the following Thursday. You hear the pattern. 

When people first start on the Meltdown program, I insist that they follow this strict schedule of cheating as rigorously as they follow the prescribed eating plan in their Tissue Mineral Analysis. (TMA.) Eating wrong correctly is just as important as eating right. 

I know from first hand experience how hard it is to give up chocolate forever. (I promise, most TMAs will have those fateful words.) But it's a lot easier to wait until Tuesday if you know that then it's OK for a smooch of Hershey's kisses. With this mind set, there are no forbidden foods. Only forbidden times. 

In fact, on cheat days I ask my Meltdown clients to tell me what they're going to savor on the next cheat day. Then I ask them to dream about that delicious contraband substance until that wondrous day arrives. That keeps them focused on eating properly because they can look forward to a definite date when they will be rewarded with their favorite foods. And guess what tastes even sweeter? They are rewarded with impunity. (If you join the Meltdown program, you have to leave your whips at the door.) 

It takes about 90 days for a new behavior to become a habit. I've discovered by the time three months rolls around, my group has cut down on their cheating. Their bodies slowly have given up the habit of eating foods that are unhealthy for them. Moi, I can go weeks without a cheat day when I'm at home following my own routine. I've developed good eating habits, rewarded and reinforced by a body that looks good and feels better. That's become more important to me than those brownies dripping with homemade vanilla ice cream. 

(Of course, the child in me had a hard time disobeying Mom when she said, "Eat up!" But that is a different story.) 

So, start cheating today! But cheat correctly. I guarantee it will make a life time of healthier eating much easier. 


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