15 Strategies to Not Gain Weight During Your Next Vacation

dream vacation in indonesiaIt’s not just the return flight’s anticlimactic tedium that sucks. After 10 days in some exotic locale, a work tsunami awaits you at the office and you’re feeling the effects of overindulging one too many times. 

Not just an I let myself go one night and ate a gargantuan bowl of double chocolate walnut brownie sundae splurge either. You’ve had an all-out, epic-proportion food and alcohol orgy these last 10 days. 

Now, sitting in a cramped middle seat in row 47, you feel the waistline of those jeans you swore felt a little loose before you left pushing against your stomach, so you reluctantly loosen another buckle.

As you await takeoff, you brainstorm ways to rid those 10 pounds you’re certain have accumulated around your midsection during vacation. You’ll double-book your trainer, have salads for lunch and dinner, and blow off drinks with your friends this coming Friday. 

Damage control works best when you think ahead. Realistically you’re not planning to lose weight on your next vacation. You’ll indulge, yet with these strategies, weight gain won’t be among your return-flight regrets. 

Muscle Recovery: A Complete Guide

Woman mountain biking in forest on road

Gaining strength and improving endurance are often associated with lifting a lot of weights, pushing yourself to new limits, and “feeling the burn”. Often, pushing through pain day in and day out is seen as an advantage for muscle building, fat burning, and strength gaining.

However, muscle growth and gains in strength are actually developed when you’re not exercising. When you exercise, muscles are broken down, and muscles need to be rebuilt during recovery

Recovery days and cycling your workout intensities are also needed to prevent injuries and burn out. Training too many days in a row leads to overreaching, which can increase your chances of injury or illness, but which you can recover from quickly by resting and decreasing training load.

Cheat System Diet Challenge Day 7

Hi There-

One of the most important parts of the plan are the incentives that we put in. Do not ignore these, they are there for a reason.

For example, in week one (Chapter 5) you learned that you can earn an extra cheat for the week by following our exercise plan. We promote that hard because it works. Getting your cortisol down is one of the key drivers to better hormonal balance.

Another incentive we have built into the system is you earn a cheat for eating a 1/2 pound of greens after 5pm. There is a logic to this. Most people have “the wheels come off” after 5pm.

So by filling yourself up during this time with super healthy greens is great overall, but also helps to blunt the damage of any night eating, emotional eating or binge eating.

Which happens to pretty much all of us, no?

Also make sure to take the other incentives very seriously- the suggestion about programming your phone with certain messages- this works wonders. I have programmed my friend Erin’s advice into my phone, and it has helped me so much. Simply reminding yourself that “I am awesome” or “this is the year” gets your brain in a very good state, and helps to gently rework the grooves in your mind that might suggest otherwise.

A final note today about the incentive system- not everyone is a shake person, but this is a habit that equals SUCCESS.

If you are a shake person, follow our recipe. Period. The exact ingredients become a lifeline for so many, especially at breakfast time.

This Chocolate Shake Recipe contains all the ingredients for success. Work different flavors, and find what is right for you, but do NOT adjust the ingredient types.






Cheat System Diet Challenge Day 6 (Why Pain Equals Gain)

Hi There-

Welcome to Day 6 of the Cheat System Diet Challenge. The #1 tip today is to ensure that you treat Chapter 3 as one of the most important parts of this plan.

Most traditional diets focus on the food plan and treat exercise as an afterthought.

The fitness and exercise chapter in The Cheat System Diet presents some critical ideas on how to get out of pain, avoid pain, and exercise in a way that helps you burn more fat.

When you pay close attention, you’ll start to bring the levels of stress and pain down in your body. You’ll also start to feel better and lose weight more easily.

Why Is This Different From ANY Exercise Plan You Have Ever Been On?

The Cheat System Diet exercise and fitness plan is really the polar OPPOSITE of what most of us have been taught. We have been taught that pain is normal, and have been conditioned in a “No Pain, No Gain” culture.

What we have learned from some of the top athletes in the world is that when you avoid pain, when you slow down, when you get your body in alignment, and when you find exercise you truly love you have a doable fitness plan for you.

You start to burn more fat, you prevent injury and you have a lot more energy.

As your challenge today, I want you to read or re-read Chapter 6. There is a lot in here, and these ideas take time to really integrate and learn.

The response to Chapter 3 has been powerful so far, because we really give people permission to go in a whole new direction. The guilt and internal pressure of “no pain no gain” really lifts. You will feel better, and your cortisol levels will begin to come into better balance.




Cheat System Diet Challenge Day 4 (How To Prevent Brain Chaos)

Hi There-

The responses to the Day 3 Challenge were really amazing.

My own takeaway is that you guys “really want to change.”

People dug into the Success Index which is a tool that we put a lot of thought, effort and money into developing.

When you get into the 80’s on that Index you are REALLY in a place where there is no going back. We call that the Point
of No Return. The place where life may and will happen, but where there is no more beach ball bouncing back up, no
more yo yo that you see with old fashioned diets.
However, in order to get to this place, you have to pace yourself.
When you do too many things at once you create what Dr. Srini Pillay calls “brain chaos.”  We discuss this in depth in Chapter 1 of the book. This chapter helps to teach you why the Cheat System Diet will succeed where other plans have
If you skimmed or skipped Chapter 1, read it now, please.

What Is Brain Chaos?

Brain chaos is when there are so many signals and circuits lighting up in the brain that it can’t make a decision. When the brain is experiencing chaos, we either do NOTHING about the situation or stress out trying to do EVERYTHING.
When we create brain chaos in the context of dieting- this almost always results in quitting and giving up.
Last year Habib was speaking to a group of people at a conference, explaining to people in our industry what we were up to with The Cheat System Diet.

He was explaining that CSD was designed to be a bridge between the conventional world of weight loss and the really advanced stuff that we personally know works, but that people have a hard time incorporating.

Habib told the group that this system was designed to go to where people were, and find the next step they were willing
to take. And then go from there, step by step, in a way where there was no such thing as failure.
After Habib spoke, someone responded and said something to the effect of “I teach brain science at Harvard Medical School
and what Habib just described is really the only way a diet of this kind can work. This diet works the same way the
brain likes to work.”
That person was Srini Pillay, and they became friends immediately.
Srini taught us that your brain is a excellent deal maker- that when you ask it to do things that are easy for it to handle, you
avoid brain chaos. The Cheat System Diet does this- it presents a set of rules that your brain can deal with, and doesn’t ask you
to do everything all at once.
You become a lot more successful immediately.
Srini’s wife Uma is also a professor, and happens to be an amazing cook. On pages 208 and 209 we have 2 dressings
that she created for The Cheat System Diet.
So as a challenge to today, I want you to really read or re-read Chapter 1. It explains why you really ARE going to
succeed here.
You are going to feel success, you are going to feel more hope, you are going to feel more in control, and all of that conflict
and bad feeling you feel inside you is going to pushed out of you.
PS:  If you bought the book on Amazon and feel like leaving a review that  would be so appreciated. Also take a few minutes to
read what others have written.
If you find something helpful or interesting, please say so. This helps us to tell the story of this book!  Cheat System Diet Book Amazon Link

Cheat System Diet Challenge Day 3

Today is Day 3 of this 21 day challenge. If you lose or don’t get any of the emails, you can just google the day of the program and you will find it!

Today’s challenge is to take the PEERtrainer Success Index:


This is a tool we developed that measures your current habits, and then assigns you a score on a scale of 1 to 100. This score measures your “odds” of permanent weight loss.

The higher your score, the better your odds. The Cheat System Diet helps to teach you everything you need to do to increase your score.

So take this quiz today, and please post your score in the team or in the comments section below.

Have a GREAT day,


Cheat System Diet Challenge Day 2

The Day 2 Challenge is to take another quick look at Chapter 8- The
Magic Fridge. 
For those of you who are new to PEERtrainer, I developed this concept
for people who do not like to cook, do not have the time to cook, but
who still want PILES of tasty food that is cheap and easy to make.
This is the biggest shortcut there is to success on the Cheat System.
If I can dramatically increase your ability to make the Cheat System
recipes, your success is going to explode.
Pay VERY close attention to this chapter. That is your Challenge
today. Please do this!!

Cheat System Diet Challenge Day 1

Hi There-

I have been blown away by the feedback so far. I really did not expect people to respond as well as they have to the pain and exercise part of the plan.

But I am very happy you are all paying attention, because it is a difference maker.

From what I am seeing, many people have simply not been told that it is ok to not be in pain and guilt over exercise.

Keep the feedback coming- it is EXTREMELY helpful to us.

In this first day we are going to go back to basics. I want you to think about a goal for the next 3 weeks.

This can be ANY goal, related to ANY aspect of the plan.

Take a breath, and think about something that you personally want.

Not what you think other people might want- what YOU want.

And I want you to program that goal into your phone, for the next 3 or 4 weeks, to go off about 30 minutes after you normally wake up.

You can write the goal down if you are not a phone person. Personally I have 4 goals on my phone that go off at different times during the day.

One of my goals has been “this is the year.” My friend Erin would tell me this during the hard part of the book writing process.

During those moments of self doubt, I would remind myself that “this is the year.”

And now that the feedback about the book is coming in, I see what Erin was talking about.

This year, I’m going to be YOUR Erin, the person who is here to remind you that “this is the year” and that whatever objective you have set for yourself- it awaits you.

The plan is here. You have read the book, and now I am going to teach you how to harness the plan to feel better and change anything you want.

You may have already understood that this is so much more than a diet and fitness book. This book is here to reprogram your belief system.

When you begin to have unshakeable physical confidence and well being- this radiates….to every single aspect of your life.

So today- very simple ask…. meditate on this email. And think about your goal or goals.

Use technology to bring daily focus to them.


PS: Please ask questions. Ask them here in the Challenge Team

Hit reply to this email and ask me directly.

This conversation that we are starting will help to make SURE that you get to the place you want to do, and that you DESERVE to go.

Do not for a second believe that you are not worthy.

You are, even if you have been programmed to think otherwise.



Cheat System Diet Challenge Day 5

Hi There-

In the Day 5 Challenge we are going to dig into Chapter 2. Before we start I want to share with you an email I was sent from someone who is just starting:

“I’ve been logging my food since Friday. I went from 18 cheats on Friday,  15 on Saturday, to 10.5 for yesterday. It’s the first time in a very long time I have been honest with myself about what I’m eating. There have been at least 2 times I have cried while I have been reading your book. The first time was when I came to the part where you prompt the reader to say “I am so frustrated with losing weight, I’m so $#@*^% frustrated.” I’m getting choked up even now as I write.

You get it. You really get it!! The other time was the chapter on exercise. When I read the sentence “Are you exhausted already?” I started crying again. I have a lot of inflammation (RA ,fibromyalgia, and knee pain). I had hernia surgery in Oct of 2012 because I was over training. Since then I have been over eating and sitting a lot. I lost my “groove” and my faith in my ability to find balance in my life in the areas of eating and exercising. When I read “Whether you’re suffering from inflammation or are just burned out from overtraining, it’s best to start small until you feel like exercising again. That was
a healing moment for me.”

You get it. You’re writing to real people who are unique. You realize one size doesn’t fit all. For the first time in
2 years I finally have the encouragement I need to get healthy and shed the last 10 (nagging) unwanted pounds. When I bought this book I told myself it was the last “diet” book I’m buying, because I spent a lot of money over the years on trying to lose weight. Now I realize this is the last “diet” book because it makes eating healthy and fitness a very doable  way of life. If you ever write an updated version you should think about renaming it “The Cheat System Life Style”  This isn’t even
in the same realm as the other “diet” books on the market.”

In Chapter 2 of The Cheat System Diet the SINGLE most important thing to understand is to learn the difference between a macronutrient and a MICRONUTRIENT.

Micronutrient is the #1 underused word in weight loss. We hear a lot about carbs and paleo and fat and sugar and points. But micronutrients are the key to the kingdom.

These are nutrients found primarily in plants, and the basic deal here is that people do not get enough of them. Our friend Joel Fuhrman has pointed us and others to a PILE of research that shows that when micronutrient intake goes up, weight and risk of disease goes down.

This is a fundamental thing that nobody argues with. You can debate the merits of any other diet approach and idea, but you cannot debate the mountains of research connecting higher micronutrient intake to better health.

The “Eats” in the Cheat System contain high levels of micronutrients. As you bring your “Cheats” down, you naturally replace them with Eats.

You do this at your own pace, and don’t trigger “Brain Chaos.” You keep working the Eats and Cheats columns, and work the overall Cheat System plan, and you will succeed in a big way.

As a Challenge today, re-read Chapter 2. And make SURE to look at the graphic of the 3 stomachs on page 37 of the book!


PS: Please ask questions and leave comments in the comments section below. And if you have not bought a copy of the book you can get it here on Amazon.

The Cheat System Diet “Brain-Body Blockage” Challenge

Last summer my husband Habib was introduced to Dr. Eric Cobb here in Boulder.

Eric was in town to meet with a couple leaders in our industry to help get the word out about his company: Z-Health. Long story short, the work Eric does helps to smooth out the “brain language” between your brain and your body.

Any blockage in this connection between your brain and body can result in pain, inflexibility, poor posture and lack of coordination.

To introduce the work, Eric did a session with my husband and 2 others. Habib had no idea what to expect. Eric asked him if there was “anything going on” physically, and Habib said other than overdoing it with exercise, no.

Eric asked if there was anything emotional going on, and Habib said other than some 9-11 related “stuff” that he had taken care of a few years back, no.

Habib was then asked to do some simple range of motion exercises. Stand up straight with arms out and palms together, and then turn from side to side. Which he did, with the others watching.

Eric then pulled a pen out and had Habib stand still and then follow the pen with his eyes. Every time Habib’s eyes were pulled to the upper left field of his vision, he started to get very uncomfortable.

Within a few minutes Habib was sobbing in front of his colleagues. During the morning of Sept 11th in NYC, he had been very close to the towers. The area that the first plane hit was high up in the upper left quadrant of his vision.

Eric explained that Habib had been visually avoiding this quadrant- and quickly did a series of eye exercises to help re-train him to use his full field of vision. He then re-tested Habib’s range of motion, which improved instantly.

Another colleague had been thrown through a car window as a teenager, and had a different set of “brain-body” blockages. Eric did his exercises and helped increase this persons range of motion.

Essentially, every single one of us, in some way or another, develops “brain-body” imbalances. The simple act of getting older results in most people looking down more than is needed. Some simple eye exercises can help people re-discover their full range of vision.

After Habib came home from this session, I realized that my son was having a hard time catching a football. We did the exercises with him, and within a day his ability to catch a football was increased dramatically.

The Cheat System Diet “Brain-Body Blockage” Challenge

What is AWESOME is that on pages 316-320 of the Cheat System Diet, Eric has provided a basis set of these exercises that you can do in about 5 minutes. When you do these exercises, and then read all of Chapter 3, you have put in place the start of a very good plan to get out of a lot of physical pain.