Looking to lose weight and improve your health? This is the programme for you!
There’s a good chance that by the time you hit your fifties you’ve tried and tested more than one or two diets to help you to lose weight. Alternatively, you may have a few pounds to shed and could be thinking for the first time about embarking on a weight loss plan to help shift that middle tummy that has become hard to shift.
If you’re looking to lose weight by following a diet, it’s worth considering the wider health issues that affect middle aged women when deciding on what plan you want to follow.
Diets are synonymous with poor adherence and few women make it past the first few weeks so, ultimately the most successful diet is always going to be the one that you can stick to. And regardless of how you choose to lose weight there needs to be a level of commitment.
Cheats & Eats is a lifestyle programme that has been developed by Jackie Wicks, the founder of PEERtrainer. A successful US weight loss management programme that not only helps you to lose weight, but is tailor made to manage hormonal issues that can affect women over fifty.
Watch our video where Jackie Wicks and Rob Hobson explain more about the Cheats & Eats programme
What makes the Cheats & Eats programme different from other diets?
The methodology behind Cheats & Eats is really simple in that you choose ten foods from the ‘cheat’ list each day and then fill up on as many ‘eats’ as you like. The food equation of protein, healthy fats and vegetables means you feel and remain full, which helps with weight loss, whilst the combination of anti-inflammatory foods, limited sugar and bad fats can have a positive impact on your hormones.
Cheats (choose ten)
- Refined wheat and yeast products (rice, pasta, wheat snacks, pizza, fried foods, chips, cakes, desserts)
- Dairy products
- Sugar and sweeteners (such as honey, agave and maple syrup)
- Artificial sweeteners
- Grains (such as barley, oats, rye, spelt and corn)
- Fatty or processed meats
- Hard fats (such as butter, lard and ghee)
- Condiments (such as ketchup, brown sauce and hollandaise)
- All vegetables
- Lemons and limes
- Beans, lentils and pulses
- Pseudo grains (such as quinoa, kana, amaranth, teff and buckwheat
- Herbs and spices
- Herbal teas
Eats (limited - first one of each is a daily eat and the rest across the day are cheats)
- Animal or soy protein
- Nuts and nut butters
- All fruits and juices other than berries
- Oils, tahini and avocado
Why do most diets fail?
Two reasons why people don’t stick to a diet are food denial and hunger. Adopting a way of eating that limits or excludes huge swathes of foods can lead to side effects such as mood swings, headaches, brain fog and fatigue, which for many people is enough to quit. Whilst other people battle on, these symptoms completely defeat the object of feeling light, energized and clear-headed by losing weight and eating well. Very restrictive diets can also lead to cravings and have you feeling guilty if you do fall of the wagon and indulge in ‘forbidden’ foods. The impact of this can lead you to abandon your diet completely or binge in the shadow of your so-called failure. Using the Cheats & Eats method of eating means nothing is off the menu, so you can still enjoy all your favourite foods without feeling as if you have done something wrong.
Spending your whole time starving to death is another quick road to diet desertion. There’s no reason why you shouldn’t be able to lose weight without feeling hungry the whole time. Cheats & Eats enforces this message and explains how by composing meals of proteins, healthy fats and lots of vegetables and other plant-based eats, you can remain full and well nourished.
Why has Cheats & Eats been so successful?
Many diets offer little in the way of flexibility, which is why Cheats & Eats has also had so much success. If good plans go to waste in the morning, then simply count these as your ‘cheats’ and continue to focus on your ‘eats’ for the rest of the day. If you have a social engagement planned with your friends and you know that is going to involve a few glasses of wine then save your ‘cheats’ across the day, again by focusing on your ‘eats’.
The abundance of plant-based foods and healthy fats in this diet and the limited amount of bad fats and sugar means you are helping to fight inflammation, which we know is at the root of many long-term diseases. Inflammation can occur over a long period of time being overweight and has implications for health further down the line, which is particularly relevant for post-menopausal women who are at greater risk of heart disease in the absence of oestrogen.
The Cheats & Eats programme may also help menopause symptoms
Cheats & Eats diet is also rich in substances that may help with symptoms of the menopause such as flavonoids and lignans found in certain vegetables (dark green leafy, kohl rabi, celery, fennel, sweet potato), nuts (almonds, cashews, walnuts), seeds (flax/linseed, sesame, sunflower) and wholegrains (corn, buckwheat, rye, oats), pulses/beans (chickpeas, mung beans), sprouts (alfalfa, mung bean) and fruits (berries, dried apricots, dried figs).
Eats are also high in fibre, which not only supports weight loss but helps to remove excess hormones from the body. Fibre also helps to balance blood sugar, which can impact on cortisol levels in the body that contribute to ‘meno-middle’. The high-fibre content of ‘eats’ further supports cardiovascular health by binding with cholesterol in the gut and removing it from the body.
Losing weight is obviously the key purpose of going on a diet and finding one such as Cheats & Eats that allows you to still enjoy the foods you like to eat and ward off hunger is more likely to encourage adherence. Finding a diet that also supports other key areas of your health is an added benefit to be gleaned alongside your weight loss goals, which is why Cheats & Eats works well for women over 50.