Why I don’t believe in cheat meals.

By Jen Fullhart

George Bernard Shaw said “there is no sincere love than the love of food.” This couldn’t be more true if you love the foods you eat. Here’s the thing though – you are what you eat. 

I was recently asked what my favorite “cheat meal” is and my mind immediately went to all the foods I enjoy. I couldn’t name a “cheat meal” because they don’t exist. I enjoy food. I eat what I enjoy. 

The dictionary definition of cheat is to act dishonestly or unfairly in order to gain an advantage, especially in a game or examination. So, a cheat meal? How do you cheat food? Food is our fuel and our body needs it to survive. The quality of food we put into our body is important to our overall wellness and health, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy everything in moderation. 

If you eat a burger and fries with a beer on Saturday night, a short stack of pancakes with butter and syrup for breakfast on Sunday, followed by wings, pizza and beer at a football party, are you acting dishonestly or unfairly to gain an advantage? Absolutely not. What you are doing is putting food in your body that you may enjoy, which will cause a delay in your progress and all the hard work you’ve been putting in. 

So, let’s end the idea of a “cheat meal.” You can’t cheat a lifestyle. You CAN enjoy these foods in moderation without delaying progress though. It is ABSOLUTELY possible to have your cake and eat it, too. It’s just not a cheat meal. It’s living a lifestyle of not restricting yourself, but knowing what triggers you. It’s living a healthy lifestyle knowing that 80% of the time, you’re “on track.” 

So, next time you’re asked what your favorite cheat meal is, will you rattle off a lot of “not good for you foods” or are you able to control your mind and understand that you aren’t acting dishonestly or unfairly to gain an advantage by eating food?

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Alex Kain

Owner / Head Coach / Personal Trainer

Alex has always been a very athletic and active person. Playing just about every sport under the sun, however he spent more time being involved in Hockey, Gymnastics, Diving and Cheerleading (the latter 3 being very similar in nature). Not only did he grow up being very active he had a very nutritiously conscientious mother who wouldn’t allow him many different kinds of foods. So he grew up with a good basis on nutrition and eating healthy. As he grew older he continued to dial in on the nutrition while working out religiously. He would often pair gymnastics type movements with traditional barbell movements when working out. Therefore when he found functional fitness back in 2010 he fell in love with it and never looked back.

Alex went on to grad school where he got a masters degree in Exercise Physiology and won back to back National Championships in cheerleading. Upon graduating he began working at Froedtert hospital in Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation and coaching cheerleading locally. He really enjoyed helping people improve their health but wanted to help people before they were requiring surgery and he also knew that a healthy lifestyle through proper nutrition and exercise could prevent many of the issues he was treating people for. In 2008 he was offered a coaching position in New Zealand. He moved there and spent the next 6 years in New Zealand and Australia coaching New Zealand to 2 gold and 1 silver medal in the World Cheerleading Championships and Australia to 1 Silver medal. 

In 2014 he moved back to the states and that’s when he opened A1 Health and Fitness. His biggest joys are helping people reach their goals and lead healthy lives through diet and exercise. Whether it’s coaching someone to a PR lift or helping someone shed unwanted pounds or start eliminating poor food from their diet, Alex loves it all. His real passion is nutrition and helping people get off their medication, but he can work with all ages. He enjoys traveling the world, spending time with his dog Charlie and his amazing girlfriend Jen as well as family and friends. 

Certifications:

  • USAW L2
  • CrossFit L2
  • Precision Nutrition Level 1
  • WAG certified nutrition coach
  • CrossFit Kids
  • M.S. Exercise Physiology