At Project Lean Nation we’re dedicated to killing the cheat meal.

When I share this with friends their first reaction is: 

“Nothing but clean eating 24-7?  You maniacs!!!”

I quickly calm them down and let them know I’m not here as a protein puritan, you can have your shakes and eat cake too.

Some of you are thinking:

“Ohhhh, I get it.  Kill the cheat meal, like killin’ it…cool, I got you”

Well, of course, killing it is a daily routine at Project Lean Nation.  But no, that’s not what we mean either.

What we mean by “killing the cheat meal” is ending the negative energy associated with the term “cheat”.

Cheaters never win

Thoughts are things, and negative energy is a slippery slope.  The term “cheat” implies you are doing something bad.   It will have you in a dark corner or some hole in the wall gorging on a gluttonous feast that’ll have you crying hours later.

That’s not healthy!

We’re about health.

The fact is, a higher calorie less nutritionally balanced meal is important to maintaining a healthy metabolic rate.

The Science

“One way cheat meals can boost the metabolism is by increasing levels of leptin, the “anti-starvation” hormone responsible for sending hunger messages to the body. When your body senses a calorie deficit, leptin levels drop, prompting the metabolism to slow down and conserve energy, according to a Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism study. Throwing a calorie-rich cheat meal into the mix tricks your system into thinking food is plentiful and that it’s OK to burn through fat stores.

In the context of strict dieting, cheat meals can aid weight loss by temporarily boosting leptin.” (Eat This Not That)

If you ain’t cheatin’ you ain’t trying.

Shoot, there’s that word again!

The Solution

Stop calling your leptin boosting break a cheat meal, and call it by its proper name…a social meal.

It’s kind of like drinking beer, it’s much better for your mind if you do it in a social setting.

Same idea.

Your kid’s birthday party?  Have some cake, it’s delicious!

Are your friends going to the hot new restaurant Friday night?  Don’t be a Debbie Downer and order a special low-calorie meal off the menu (if they’ll even do that) indulge, share the appetizers with your friends.

Love to cook?  Why not invite some friends or family over Sunday and cook them a nice pot of sauce, or make some chili for the big game.

Cheaters never win, we are a social species, when you plan to eat more calories than normal try to make it a social event.

Don’t have many friends?  Go to a local pub and meet some people as you eat their delicious wings.  

Don’t want many friends?  Keep cheating, because nobody wants to be around a cheater.

Now that we’ve murdered the cheat meal and given birth to the beautiful social meal, let’s talk about the different types of social mealers.

The Scout: This mealer is serious about their social meal, they keep tabs on the local news and are always looking for that next hot restaurant to talk their friends into visiting.  They usually research the menu well in advance and give their friends a rundown of what the reviews say.  Everyone loves a good scout, keep one in your group for maximum mealing.


The Passenger: This mealer doesn’t care as much about the food as the company.  If they had it their way they’d be eating a normal meal but they know their friend and/ or significant other really want to try that new pizza spot.  Have a slice, happy life.


Happy Hour Homie: They work hard all week and Friday they want to let loose.  Get them some wings, a pitcher, and while you’re at it a boat of blue cheese, watch them smile and toast to a job well done.


Cinema Sweetie: This cinefile loves watching flicks, and forgoes the social meal for social snacks.  A bag of popcorn, some diet soda and a small candy is all they need once a week.


Midweek Mangia: Their weekends are too full of activity for them to sap their energy with a social meal.  They like to pack their ‘hump’ day with a little extra like a caloric camel.


Crossfit Crewer:  After getting through the suck this team member motivates their CrossFit companions to a local brewhouse for a sip and some apps.  Nothing crazy, just a little camaraderie with comrades.

Did we miss one?


Let us know.

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