“I love junk food” is the second most popular to “I want to lose weight but…”.
Well, don’t we all?
Assuming you’re not a lifelong bodybuilder – and most of my readers aren’t – your love of junk food probably hasn’t changed all that much between your 20s and your late 30s or early 40s.
Sure, you may have cut down a bit on the quantity you eat, thanks to your wife’s positive influence or the desire to set a good example for your kids. But I’m willing to bet your taste for junk food is still the same.
Sometimes a brother’s just gotta have Ben & Jerry’s chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream, an entire bag of lime-flavored Tostitos, and three handfuls of chocolate chips.
Yep, junk food rocks.
Believe it or not, you can lose weight and still eat junk food.
By adhering to the 90% rule. And I don’t mean limiting junk food to Thanksgiving, Halloween, and the 12 days of Christmas (because, let’s be honest, you just can’t limit eggnog and peanut butter blossom cookies to one day in December!)
It’s what you do 90% of the time that determines your success at losing weight.
The beauty of intermittent fasting, and other eating plans with cheat days, is that you don’t have to give up on junk food forever.
If you can’t drop the candy, do this instead: eat healthy foods Sunday through Friday, making sure to keep your calories below maintenance. Then, pig out on Saturday. And only eat between noon and 8. That will help limit the amount you eat… a little bit, anyway.
(Math nerds: No, cheating 1 day out of 7 does not equal 90%… unless you skip cheating altogether during Lent!)
Will you get shredded this way? Probably not. But you can lose that 30 pounds you’ve been meaning to drop. You won’t have a six-pack, but you’ll have dropped a few pants sizes and have more energy.
If you do want visible abs, then you’ll probably have to reduce your cheat day to one cheat meal a weak. If that’s your goal, go for it. Talk to Martin Berkhan or Chad Howse if you need a plan to get there.
As for me, I’m just happy that I weigh 187 instead of 218. And I lost that weight even after adding weekly cheat days to the last several months of my diet.
Do you cheat on your diet, or are you afraid of falling off the wagon? What’s your favorite cheat meal?