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The Ultimate Cheat Meal

By: :Quick Protein 0 comments
The Ultimate Cheat Meal
The term "cheat meal" has become synonymous with gobbling up your favourite food as a reward for being "good" and sticking to your diet. The truth is, cheat meals are not only unnecessary, but they can also wreak havoc on your metabolism. The key, instead of indulging in the occasional cheat meal, is to utilize cheat foods strategically. The key is to make the "cheat" foods work for you instead of against you by using them as a tool to help you achieve your goals.

Chips can be eaten as part of your meal plan, and they are a very convenient extra food. Crunchy and carb-laden, chips are certainly not healthy food or weight-loss weapon. Yet, they are one of the ways that people who follow diets fall off track. Like other "cheat" foods, eating carbs can sabotage average weight loss if consumed excessively or on an empty stomach.

A typical dieter's dilemma involves the chips, salsa and guacamole that come with Mexican food. If you do not use your head and order a lean cut of meat or grilled chicken breast, the calories from the tortilla chips can add up. As you have probably noticed if you are reading this, I like to eat out often. Since I'm not one of those people who does well eating out on a diet, I am forced to be creative when placing my order. No matter where you go, there is always a salad to order that will allow you to eat at your favourite restaurant without having to compromise your health or weight loss goals.

The most important thing to remember is that you can't eat chips alone. It would be best if you had a lean cut of meat or grilled chicken breast with your chips, or you will be consuming the same high-calorie food over and over again. This can throw your diet off track.

Here is a better strategy: order one scoop of guacamole that you can spread on top of a bed of lettuce or wrap it in a whole wheat tortilla along with some salsa for flavour. Add your meat and enjoy part of your favourite restaurant meal at home. By condiments your food, you are maximizing both the amount and type of food intake while minimizing calories - an excellent way to keep from cheating on your diet plan.

Now, don't you think that I said it was okay for me to eat a "few" extra chips? You bet I did! The key to eating the right amount of chips is to use them as a tool. They are excellent sources of protein and fibre. These nutrients help you feel full longer and also keep your blood sugar stable so that you don't crash after you eat.

It is important when eating out or enjoying "cheat" foods that you order lean protein with a low fat, whole grain side dish or salad along with some fresh fruit or vegetables. This will help curb cravings and allow you to enjoy the food without adding a bunch of extra calories.

Follow these tips, and you will be able to enjoy your favourite foods without sabotaging your healthy eating plan. It's crucial to keep in mind that if you want to re-design the way you live, you must re-design the way that you think. Be creative with your cheat foods and make them work for you as opposed to against your weight loss goals.

One of my favourite "cheat" foods is shrimp! Shrimp is delicious and healthy for you because it is rich in protein, low in carbs, fat-free and high in vitamins. Shrimp is also low in sodium which makes it a perfect choice for those on a sodium-restricted diet. When you eat shrimp, it's hard to believe that so many people don't like it. If you do need some help learning how to cook shrimp, over at the UCDM website, there are two recipes for baked shrimp and pan-fried shrimp which can be found by clicking here.

The Ultimate Cheat Meal:

The Ultimate Cheat Meal is designed for those who want a delicious meal high in protein and low in fat while still being able to enjoy their favourite foods. In less than 30 minutes, you will have a balanced meal containing some of your favourite "cheat" foods. Give it a try and let me know what you think.

Salmon Broiled with Lime & Black Pepper:


(1) 1/4 lb salmon steak, about 3 inches long, at room temperature.

(2) teaspoons olive oil

(1) teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more for serving if desired.

Lime wedges for serving if desired.


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Using a sharp knife, score the top of the salmon fillet in a crosshatch pattern, taking care not to cut through the skin or into the flesh. Season the fillet with olive oil, sprinkle with one teaspoon of the black pepper and place on a nonstick baking sheet. Roast for about 10 to 15 minutes or until the centre is just cooked through. Place lime wedges in a small bowl and toss with three more teaspoons of black pepper and salt to taste; divide between two plates. To serve, slice fillets into eight pieces, top each serving with a selection of salmon (if desired), then drizzle with some extra lime or equal parts of fresh lemon juice (about one tablespoon per serving) as well as some additional black pepper.

Yield: Serves 2.

Tip: Go easy on the salt if you are on a sodium-restricted diet; having too much extra salt can really sabotage your healthy eating plan.

Hearty Spinach Salad with Chicken & Apples:


(4) 4oz boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 1" thick)

(2) tablespoons olive oil

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.

Utensils Needed for Heating Tortilla and Slicing Chicken:

(1) nonstick or cast-iron skillet, large enough to hold four chicken breasts in a single layer.

(1) large (10") nonstick tortilla.

(4) dinner plates.

(1) sharp knife.


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Place chicken on a nonstick baking sheet and drizzle with one teaspoon of olive oil—season with salt and pepper to taste. Roast for 15 minutes or until cooked through, flipping once halfway through cooking time; set aside to cool slightly while you prepare the salad. Heat tortilla in a skillet over medium heat, turning it once, until soft and flexible; remove from skillet and set aside to cool slightly.
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