Many times, author, fitness expert, and Body-for-Life champion Joel Marion found himself in a similar place. But through a series of classic diet “screwups,” Joel discovered a startling truth: cheating on your diet can actually accelerate fat loss.
Based on cutting-edge medical research, The Cheat to Lose Diet reveals the hormonal connection between strategic cheating and fat loss that will change the way you diet forever. Special features include:
• An easy-to-follow three-phase program: Priming, Core, and Maintenance
• A simple weekly plan in which more carbohydrates are deliberately added with each passing day, leading up to the “Cheat Day”
• The CTL Cardio Solution: a revolutionary eighteen-minute, fat-melting cardio workout that has been shown to burn up to nine times the fat of traditional cardio
• Tips for staying on track, including twelve weeks of daily menu plans and seventy-five recipes, so you’re never in doubt of the types of foods and meals to enjoy while following the plan
On Cheat Days you’ll cheat BIG with all your favorite foods-chocolate chip cookies, pizza, ice cream–whatever you’d like and as much as you’d like of it. But never again will you feel guilty for indulging in the foods you love because you’ll learn and come to know that dietary cheating is absolutely vital to your fat-loss success.
Here, finally, is a diet that works with your body to help you lose fat faster than restrictive dieting ever could. So start cheating-and losing-today!
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About the Author
John Berardi, Ph.D., is the author of two books and a frequent contributor to major health publications.
Read an Excerpt
The Cheat to Lose Program
Part I is dedicated to the Cheat to Lose Program. In this section, we’ll dive headfirst into the discovery, development, science, and specifics of the Cheat to Lose Diet. As the beginning chapters come to a close, you will understand completely why regular dietary cheating is the solution to the many problems most all commercial diets create. Furthermore, the remaining chapters of Part I will equip you with every bit of knowledge necessary to successfully implement and gain fantastic results from the Cheat to Lose approach. In chapter 7, I’ll also outline a true cheater’s exercise program—the CTL Cardio Solution—to complement the dietary information provided and to ensure that you’re achieving the fastest possible results. Cheating with the intent to lose—it’s no longer a paradox.
A Cheater’s Introduction
In eight weeks, I cheated to lose 18 pounds and 141?2 inches! I’m now fitting back into jeans I wore almost ten years ago in high school, and there’s no way I would have been able to do it without the Cheat to Lose Diet. I’ve never been able to stick to a diet because I’ve never been able to week after week deprive myself of my most favorite foods; well, with the Cheat to Lose Diet, I didn’t have to! I’ve gotten so many compliments from friends and family members, and even just recently bought some new sexy clothing to wear out. My boyfriend is proud of me, I’m proud of myself, and I’m both looking and feeling great!
Arlington, Virginia Prior to Cheat to Lose, the longest I lasted on any sort of diet was about a month. That’s when the cravings would really start to kick in, and I’d fall victim to them every time. I just didn’t have the willpower it took to stay on a diet, or at least that’s what I thought. Then I read about Joel’s Cheat to Lose Diet and how he actually encourages dieters to cheat on a regular basis. I was definitely a pro at cheating, so I decided to give it a try. The weekly planned cheating of the Cheat to Lose Diet had me cheating with a purpose instead of being emotionally distraught by random screwups. Finally, I found a diet that I can actually stick to. Six months later, I’ve kept off the 20 pounds of fat I lost (going from 127 to 107 at 5'2") and love the energy I have each day to spend on my kids.
Fredericksburg, Virginia We decided to do the Cheat to Lose Diet as a family—and it’s been a wonderful experience all around. In only eight weeks’ time, I lost over 5 percent body fat, my wife was finally able to rid herself of those last 10 pounds she had been struggling to lose (and has kept them off), and my sixteen-year-old son is now more than 20 pounds lighter. Together, as a family, we have encouraged each other and pulled each other through—but we couldn’t have done it without an approach like the Cheat to Lose Diet. With other diets, we’d fail, as they limited too many things. With the Cheat to Lose Diet, we learned how to enjoy all types of foods in their right time and place—including things like pizza and ice cream. The Cheat Day was an excellent motivator for us, as it encouraged good behavior to be rewarded later. Because of CTL, my family is now enjoying eating, looking, and being healthier. Additionally, there is no value that can be put on the compliments we receive from friends and other family members when they see us. We’re very proud of our accomplishments and thankful for a program such as Cheat to Lose that has made those accomplishments both achievable and maintainable.
The Clark family
Benton, Kentucky The Cheat to Lose Diet has completely changed my life. I am 50 pounds lighter and have lost more than 10 inches around my waist—and I’m still going. I have confidence again. I have a feeling that I will be there for my son when he grows up. I have self-respect again, and I feel I have regained respect from others. There is no aspect of my life that has not changed for the better since I started the Cheat to Lose Diet. I honestly believe if I had not discovered Cheat to Lose, I would be over 300 pounds right now, depressed, not doing well at work, and not being a great dad to my son. Instead, I am happy, healthy, full of energy, and confident. I have been hiking with my more-than-25-pound son on my back, going up trails I could not have done a year ago with no additional weight. I am doing things on the tennis court and the hockey rink that I have not been able to do for years. I am even thinking of participating in a triathlon this upcoming year. My life has changed, as well as my lifestyle and my overall level of happiness and success. Without this approach, I would never be able to stick to a diet, and my past is proof of just that. For me, this is not a diet; it is a way of life. Thank you, Cheat to Lose!
Denver, Colorado I’m absolutely thrilled that you are reading this book! Why am I thrilled? Because I know the information contained in the next nine chapters is going to help you change your habits, your body, and ultimately your life. In the pages to follow, I am going to unveil to you a diet that couldn’t be any easier to follow but at the same time is going to prove to be the most effective diet you have ever tried. Sound like an oxymoron? Maybe before, but with the Cheat to Lose Diet, it’s reality. You will not be deprived; you will eat the foods you crave, and you will lose fat faster than ever before. This diet is one that anyone, and I mean anyone, can have success with. You may be someone who has tried every diet under the sun to no avail, but as sure as you are reading this book, that is going to change—big-time.
Ingredients for Success
It has been said that a diet is only as effective as the number of people who can stick with it, and wow, that statement couldn’t be any more true! While many of today’s premier diets look enticing on paper, their success rates, or the number of people who actually follow through on them for any length of time, leave much to be desired. A diet can be great in theory, but if it’s not practical for the average person to follow in the short and long term, it’s not worth a whole lot.
On the opposite end of the spectrum are oversimplified, dumbed-down diets making claims while rarely delivering on them. These fad diets are temporarily embraced by the media and general public with exaggerated zeal because of their extreme simplicity and alluring promises. Unfortunately, the popularity of such diets is short-lived, as they continually fail to produce lasting results. Albert Einstein once said, “Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.” While the diets in question are initially appealing, they’ll never stand the test of time when sacrificing effectiveness for simplicity. For a diet to be valuable, it needs to be both practical and effective, and that’s exactly what the Cheat to Lose Diet is.
This Diet Was Developed by a Screwup
And that’s the truth, folks. If I were perfect, I never would have discovered how effective an approach like Cheat to Lose could be; I never would have developed this diet, and I never would have written this book. You see, in the early months of 2002, I was on a mission—a mission to be in the best physical shape of my life. Extremely determined, I formulated my plan of attack and made up my mind that there would be no deviating from it—and that meant no pizza, ice cream, potato chips, cookies (oh, my beloved chocolate chip cookies), candy, or any other food that wasn’t on my preapproved list. “Absolutely no cheating!” I told myself. I knew it wouldn’t be easy, but I also knew it was what I had to do to make my goals reality. Or so I thought then.
No more than a month into the diet, I hit a wall—a big wall—and over the course of the next few weeks neither the scale nor the image in the mirror seemed to change. I became discouraged, and given my relatively limited knowledge of the body’s natural feedback systems at the time, I had no clue as to why my progress had come to such a screeching halt despite my religious adherence to the program.
Then I went to a party hosted by a friend of mine that included fun, games, and plenty of good food. Now, anyone who knows me will attest to the fact that I love to eat. It’s common knowledge that to ensure that enough food is present, I need to be counted as three guests—minimum. And the fact that I wasn’t eating anything at the party concerned quite a few individuals. From the moment I walked in the door, I was surrounded by food. Within ten minutes, I had been offered something to eat at least half a dozen times. After hearing me repeatedly (albeit reluctantly) utter the words “No, thank you,” people began to ask why I wasn’t eating. I told them I was dieting, and after dealing with the usual “Come on, live a little!” response, I continued to socialize. About a half hour later, I made the mistake of walking into the kitchen. Everything smelled so good—pasta, meatballs, Italian bread and pastries, crackers, cookies, chips, and cake. Before I knew it, I was living up to my reputation, devouring plate after plate of pasta, meatballs, warm Italian bread, desserts, and just about anything else I could get my hands on.
When I got home from the party, I immediately sprawled out on the couch and let the insulin and serotonin rush I’d triggered do its thing. I slept like a baby. Unfortunately, when I woke up, I did so in a cloud of guilt. I felt like a failure. I’d broken the plan. Instead of sucking it up when things got difficult, I’d given in and become careless. Still, I had goals to reach, and I couldn’t let my screwup keep me down.
Over the course of the next few days, I got back on track with my diet and exercise program and was doing quite well. But it wasn’t very long until I was tempted again. No more than a week later, I walked in the door from a long day of work to find two freshly baked pizzas sitting on the kitchen table. Man, was it ever the wrong time for something like this to happen; I hadn’t eaten in hours and was starving.
I figured a slice or two wouldn’t kill me, but that “slice or two” turned into half a pie, then six slices, and eventually I put the finishing touches on an entire large pizza. At that point, I became pretty liberal about what I ate for the rest of the evening. I figured the night was already lost, so why not enjoy it and then start fresh tomorrow? Needless to say, I splurged into the wee hours of the morning, running up quite an impressive calorie total along the way. Screwup number two was now a page in the history books.
Once again, I resumed my program in hopes of making up the lost ground. In just a few short days, the initial bloat and water retention resulting from my massive feast had faded, and surprisingly, I actually appeared to be leaner than I’d been two weeks before. This made me understandably curious, so I decided to step on the scale (something I had been adamantly avoiding) to find out what was happening. I was down 3 pounds. How in the world had the most undedicated, screwed-up two weeks of my dietary life pulled me out of a major fat-loss rut and result in a 3-pound loss of flab?
I can’t say that I was tremendously surprised by what had just happened. In the past, when attempting to shed unwanted body fat, I’d allowed myself to periodically have a day in which I didn’t take my diet so seriously. Provided that I immediately got back to business with my program, the approach worked fairly well. At times, however, I would cut out any and all cheating with the intention of accelerating my progress or breaking through a fat-loss plateau. Unfortunately, that never really worked. Every time I tried to be extremely strict with my diet, it didn’t accelerate much of anything, and oftentimes progress seemed even slower. I blamed the stalled fat loss on something else, though (not exercising enough, not limiting calories enough, etc.), instead of making a correlation between eliminating the cheating and my lack of results. Why, after experiencing this trend, had I failed to make the connection? I think the answer is simple: the concept that cheating could be beneficial seemed to defy logical reasoning. It just doesn’t seem to make sense. Luckily, though, our bodies are a lot smarter than we are.
At this point, I was convinced that what I had experienced was more than just coincidence, so I started browsing through various peer-reviewed journals and databases and taking a deeper look into what happens in our bodies when we diet and what happens when we overeat. What I discovered through searching the medical literature proved to be very interesting. I continued to read, learn, and experiment with both myself and my clients during the next several months. To say that the results people were experiencing were intriguing would be a serious understatement. People absolutely loved the effectiveness and practicality of the approach I had developed. Cheat to Lose was helping individuals achieve things they had never been able to do before—and that was exciting!
Later that year, I wrote my first article on the subject, and I have since written a myriad more. Literally thousands of individuals have benefited from the approach to date, and every client’s experience has helped me to perfect the setup further. Now, more than three years later, I can say with confidence that I have been able to bridge the gap between the science and what actually happens in the real world and have pinned down the most effective way to incorporate periodic cheating into a diet plan to yield the fastest, least painful results you have ever experienced. This finalized approach, while used by many of my individual clients, has also been extensively researched via several large participant test groups. Throughout this book, many of these clients and test subjects will share with you their personal experiences on the Cheat to Lose Diet—experiences that I’m certain will both challenge and motivate you as you read them.