There are things you should never cheat on - the wife, the video game, and so on - but when it comes to your diet, cheating is something I'd highly recommend! It sounds counterproductive, but the truth is that a little bit of cheating actually makes it easier to reach the finish line - weight loss, slimming down a few pant sizes, or whatever your goal is.
Before the lynch mob forms, let me explain…
When you lift weights, your goal is to do as many reps as you can with as many weights as you can. Say you're doing a set of 12 to 15. You work up to doing 15 reps with the heaviest weights possible, with absolutely no strength left.
On that final rep when your strength is just about to fail, it's almost impossible to do that exercise with perfect form. You may bend your back to get that final bench press, or you may swing the weight just a little bit to get that curl up the rest of the way. This is called cheating, but it's recommended in order to help you finish off that set to reach total failure.
Failure in your diet is the opposite of muscle failure. Diet failure means quitting your diet, gorging yourself on foods you know you shouldn't, or just giving up.
Cheating is the key to avoiding diet failure!
There are a very few people that have the total discipline and control to follow a strict diet all the way through until the end. I take off my hat to those people - I am not one of them.
I'm the kind of guy that does really well on a diet for a few weeks, and then I slowly start to add more and more junk back into my life. No doubt many people are the same.
This is where cheating comes in handy…
When I'm tempted to start eating junk food on my strict diet, I can either allow myself to indulge or stop myself. What do I do? I cheat, but just a little bit.
If I want a salty snack, I'll grab a handful of potato chips, but I'll skip the rice at my lunch. If I want something sweet, I'll make sure to run an extra mile or just so I can burn off the calories in that small scoop of ice cream.
Cheating on your diet helps you to stick with your diet. It's basically telling yourself, "Yeah, it's cool to eat those things you shouldn't, as long as you make up for it somewhere else." All of a sudden, the food that was totally forbidden - and so much more desirable for being forbidden - is allowed, and the lure of that food lessens. I've had my favorite snacks sitting in my pantry for weeks or months without me touching them, simply because I knew I could eat them.
Cheating is what helps me stay away from cheating!
Cheat, but just a little bit