If you’ve been in the bodybuilding and fitness game long enough, you know you look forward to your cheat meals almost as much as an inmate looks forward to the day they get out of prison! And the truth is, a good diet plan should include cheat or “re-feed” meals. Increased food intake (carbs in particular) helps boost a hormone called leptin, a key hormone when it comes to losing bodyfat. Dieting lowers levels of this key hormone as your body enters starvation mode and tries to hang onto bodyfat, so a cheat or re-feed meal is sometimes in order to boost your leptin levels. The key is keeping your calories just above maintenance and consuming the extra calories from carbs.
Of course there are times – in particular after months of contest dieting – where a cheat or re-feed meal simply gets out of hand. We asked our brand ambassadors from all corners of the globe to tell us what their most epic cheat meals were. And yes, sometimes the athletes with the best bodies on the planet truly consume some of the most mind-boggling amounts of food! These epic meals aren’t for everyone, so don’t try this at home!
When it comes to cheats, I love an old-fashioned English carvery. Basically, it’s all sorts of meat (beef, gammon, ham, chicken, etc.), mashed potatoes, roasted potatoes, Yorkshire pudding, cheesy cauliflower, all sorts of veg and lots of gravy. You can have as much as you like. And of course, no cheat can end without a cheesecake – don’t care if it’s toffee, strawberry, chocolate – either way it’s getting demolished.
Suki Hayer, MuscleTech UK Brand Ambassador
I usually like to keep my cheats relatively clean, but my Nutella brownie is definitely a favourite when I want to go crazy! I make it with a chocolate chip cookie base, a layer of Double Stuff Oreos, then a chocolate brownie layer and topped with Nutella butter cream! It’s definitely one to share so it’s perfect post-competition!
Ellie Hargreaves, MuscleTech UK Brand Ambassador
My most epic cheat meal creation came after a seemingly endless contest prep. It made this cheat all the more sweeter. So here it is, an epic double cheeseburger.
- 2 1/2 lbs. beef burger
- White American cheese
- And the piece de resistance: 2 fresh glazed donuts for the buns
The best way to enjoy this is with a PHASE8™ chocolate shake and plenty of napkins! Enjoy!
Mike Wolfanger, USA MuscleTech Brand Ambassador
Okay, my most epic cheat meal took place after I came second as an Intermediate under 90kg in a British finals qualifying show back in 2011. The reason why this still to date is my most epic cheat meal is for 3 reasons:
- My inexperience of it being my first show – I made the mistake of actually thinking I could eat the world!
- I was very annoyed and upset I didn’t win. I was a clear winner, even the guy that won admitted I should have beat him, so with a self-destructive attitude I just kept eating and eating and eating!!
- And lastly, I was in so much pain afterwards I thought my stomach was going to explode! Guess what! From that day I have never done it again lol. It’s true that you learn from mistakes 🙂
Here we go:
- 3 x starters, nachos with cheese, camembert with dipping bread, and chicken wings.
- 2 x main courses of 2 x double stacked burgers with cheese, bacon, mushrooms and onions. 2 servings of onion rings and – here is the best bit – the meals included bottomless chips!!!! So as you can imagine, I just kept ordering more and more and more and more chips!!
By this point I was already in a state and couldn’t manage a dessert, but I forced one down. This is where the PEANUT BUTTER comes in lol.
- 1 x peanut butter cheesecake!
Rob Cannon, MuscleTech UK Brand Ambassador
My most epic cheat meal had to be, of course, after my most recent competition in Dallas. So my cravings have already been through the roof for weeks, so what better way than to celebrate than with some donuts and pigs in a blanket!? This donut store was located in Round Rock, Texas a few minutes outside of Austin, Texas. They are famous for their donuts’ taste but also for their size. I, of course, got about a dozen donuts and a dozen pigs in a blanket with some chocolate milk. The best donut I had was about the size of a toilet seat, and I had half of it glazed and half chocolate. Needless to say, I left after that cheat meal very happy . . . and bloated.
Jesse Hobbs, USA MuscleTech Brand Ambassador
My idea of epic meal as of now is for Indian ’Bhatura – n – Chhola’ . Its spicy and oily but absolutely mouthwatering, and when it comes to desserts the only thing i can go beyond imagination to get by any means is ’Moong Dal Halwa’ It’s a treat for anyone who’s got a sweet tooth.
Rajiv Khanna, India Neulife/MuscleTech Athlete
My epic cheat meals are ice creams, McDonald’s chicken cheeseburgers, Coke and some Indian dishes, like chicken biryani and fish curry.
I remember one situation where I cheated when I went to attend my friend’s marriage. I packed my clean meals too, but the situation went wrong and I was compelled to taste some dishes, including the chocolate ice cream. I started eating by eating one cup of ice cream but finished eating a full ‘family pack’! I couldn’t control myself!”
Vipin Peter, India MuscleTech Brand Ambassador
“I’ve had a few epic cheat meals but here is one of my favourite ones. . .
Alex ‘Big Gunz Diesel’ EPIC Cheat Meal:
- 2 double burgers
- 3 hot dogs
- Large fries
- 6 Krispy Kreme donuts
- 1 large milkshake
- 6 Lindt chocolate bars”
Alex “Big Gunz Diesel” Babatunde, UK Brand Ambassador
“After receiving my Pro Card as a WBFF Pro Muscle Model in Las Vegas and strict dieting for 16 weeks, I decided to celebrate with an epic stack of pancakes.”
Eiren Gauley, Canada MuscleTech Brand Ambassador
This wasn’t a cheat meal . . . as much as a cheat ‘trip.’ After Junior Nationals 2014, where I took tenth place in MPD, it was a cheat trip around the best places in Chicago, IL.
First stop, Donut Vault, one of the best donut shops in the U.S.! The line builds up around the corner . . . for donuts. FOR DONUTS!!
Second stop, Kumas Corner in downtown Chicago for metal and a fantastic burger. Highly rated in Chicago and the U.S.
Finally, classic ice cream shop at Brown Cow Ice Cream Parlor. Banana split.
Afterwards I was in a coma. So . . . much . . . Food #cheatharderthanme
Ed Honn, USA MuscleTech Brand Ambassador
“My epic cheat meal I have every Sunday. I know some people will be like, ‘this is not even that bad,’ however, the way I diet year-round, it’s a huge cheat meal for me. I grill a 9 oz. steak, which I love very well done, and 10 oz. of red potatoes. I usually have about 6 pieces of bread and 6 oz. carrots, as well. To top it all off, I have 10 regular-size chocolate chip cookies and ice cream. All aboard the gain TRAIN!!!!!!”
Jeffrey Gmerek, USA MuscleTech Brand Ambassador
In 2012 after my first bikini competition, placing second, my family and I went out to dinner. I stuffed myself with multiple slices of Chicago-style, deep dish pizza, which is my favorite cheat meal, as well as a juicy burger and sweet potato fries! After the pizza, I then ate the 5-pound cupcake my trainer baked for me, chocolate with frosting and sprinkles! No, I did not eat the whole thing at once, haha, but I had the world’s biggest food baby. I couldn’t even move! But it was so worth it 😉
Brittney Despain, USA MuscleTech Brand Ambassador
First one was with my partner: We went to Burger Foundry; I had a lamb and mushroom burge, and we shared an additional chicken and camembert burger between the two of us. Also had large chips and a serving of potato gems.
After consuming our entrées and mains, we then picked up some Krispy Kremes – a dozen glazed box of course!
I made a creation for dessert that included Krispy Kreme donuts and Ben and Jerry’s Couch Potato ice cream combined with coconut Tim Tams, Maltesers, plus a sea salt and caramel protein bar.
Later I continued to consume about half a block of chocolate while watching a movie.
It was an epic feast: burgers, chips, donuts, ice cream and copious amounts of chocolate. Made us a little ill but I was in heaven!
Bianca Hoffman, Australia MuscleTech Brand Ambassador
Nachos for two, BBQ ranch burger topped with extra onion rings and sweet potato fries, white chocolate and blueberry cheesecake, and Oreo cheesecake to go.
Charlotte Smith, UAE MuscleTech Brand Ambassador