If you’ve ever tried Weight Watchers or another structured weight loss plan and failed or relapsed, you need to read this book: The Cheat System Diet.
I recently received an advance copy of The Cheat System Diet and I think it will be a valuable resource for a lot of people. Here’s why:
What I Love About the Book
Systems like Weight Watchers rely on portion control and calorie restriction. These can work for a short time but aren’t usually sustainable long term because they rely heavily on will power and restriction (both of which are mentally taxing). Additionally, lack of will power is not usually the cause of the problem and the mindset of dieting can do more harm than good over the long-term.
You’ve probably had this experience yourself or know someone who has: you start a diet and are gung-ho for a few days/weeks/months until you have a little slip (cheat) and then figure “Oh well, I already messed up for today so I’ll just eat the rest of this chocolate cake/bucket of french fries/pile of sugar.” This leads to a failure mindset and it is really difficult to get back to the diet.
Also, it may just be my natural rebel nature, but when I “can’t” have something, I want it more. The Cheat System Diet builds this natural desire in to a healthy eating plan in a way that let’s you keep your mental sanity and reach your weight loss goals.
I recently had the chance to meet Jackie Wicks in person and she is the real deal. She founded PeerTrainer.com after she struggled to lose the 60 pounds she gained during pregnancy. She is a busy mom with kids and she wanted to create a system that was do-able for other moms. She and I had the chance to chat over dinner and she is not only in great shape and inspirational but she struggles with the same issues that all of us moms do so she writes from a perspective of understanding.
The Cheat System itself is great, especially for those who don’t have any specific food intolerance and who have the goal of losing weight as it creates a framework for building a relationship with food. It encourages readers to eat certain foods (“Eats”) and limit other foods while still being able to enjoy them (“Cheats”). I like that it takes lifestyle in to account so you can earn more “cheats” by adopting healthy diet and lifestyle choices.
Unlike many diet books, The Cheat System Diet doesn’t encourage severe restriction or counting calories, fat, or any other factor. It encourages you to eat as much as you want of the healthy foods and to only consume the “Cheats” after eating your healthy foods for the day. This creates a focus on consuming the healthy foods rather than avoiding unhealthy foods and encourages consumption of more vegetables.
I like that Jackie delves in to cortisol and stress and explains that it is one of the reasons that diets, long distance running and other factors that increase cortisol can cause you to GAIN weight instead of lose it. She also recommends against snacking, which is beneficial for many people who are trying to lose weight.
I also like that Jackie addresses inflammation since this has been a big part of my own recovery from thyroid disease.
I knew Jackie and I could be friends when I heard her talk about exercise. She advocates optimizing exercise and points out that less can be more, especially for those with cortisol issues.
She encourages walking and light exercise as well as weight training but first recommends a series of stretches and exercises that help align the body. I think that the “more is more” attitude toward exercise has created more problems for people since it stresses the adrenals and can lead to weight gain.
Overall, I think the Cheat System Diet will be really helpful for a lot of people, especially those with good intentions and good goals who have tried many diets without success. I think that it helps create a healthy relationship with food and can break the cycle of restriction/binging that many people have.
Ever tried a diet and end up falling off the wagon? Share your experience below!