The Cheater's Diet
The Cheater's Diet: What It Is
Most people think cheating is a bad thing, but in the Cheater's Diet: Lose Weight by Taking the Weekends Off, it's the secret sauce to successful weight loss. The idea is that all dieters cheat on their diets at some time, but what really matters is not whether you cheat, but how often you do it.
Author and weight loss physician Paul Rivas, MD, thinks if you are physically active, eat healthy meals the majority of the time, and cheat only on weekends, you will lose weight permanently.
The Cheater's Diet allows dieters to have their cake and eat it too -- but only for 36 hours of sanctioned cheating time from 9 am Saturday to 9 pm Sunday. From Monday through Friday, dieters are expected to eat healthfully and get as much physical activity as possible.
If you like the idea of regular exercise, a little "cheating" on the weekends, and following a Mediterranean-style eating plan, the Cheater's Diet could be the plan for you.
The Cheater's Diet: What You Can Eat
On the Cheater's Diet, you're encouraged to eat a Mediterranean-style diet that includes plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, low fat dairy (especially yogurt), peanuts, and unsaturated fats.
You enjoy three meals and two snacks each day using the plate method; fill half the plate with fruits or vegetables, 1/4 with lean protein, and the remaining 1/4 with whole grains. Two weeks of weekday menus, along with recipes, are included in the book to help dieters understand the composition of a healthy weight loss plan.
To help dieters keep portions in check, Rivas provides visual associations, such as a portion of lean meat being equal in size to a deck of cards. In addition, the plan encourages dieters to include snacks twice daily from an approved list that includes fruit, nuts, low fat yogurt or pudding, protein bars, low calorie frozen treats, and more. During the week, sugar, bread, saturated fats, and alcohol are not permitted.
Cheating is not optional but required on the Cheater's Diet, and Rivas suggests foods like:
- Peanut butter
- Cinnamon buns
- Ice cream
- Strawberry shortcake
You can choose other cheat foods if you like; the only foods off limits during the cheating phase are "any foods that can trigger a binge," says Rivas.