After a long week of eating right and diligently exercising, your cheat meal is a reward for your success. Cheat days are usually the 1 or 2 days a week, you get to indulge in your favorite foods. Now lets talk cheating:
Cheat days are great because they promote a calorie fluxation in your week. As you eat relatively the same amount of calories a day in any given week, your body can adjust quickly to this and make your weight stagnant. If you are trying to lose weight, this is when you hit a plateau of not being able to lose more weight. To help boost your metabolism, having a cheat meal can help your body burn more fat quicker. The higher amounts of calories can help spike your metabolism to work harder.
Cheat meals are rewarding! Eating chicken breast and vegetables 90% of the week is healthy but it is not as satisfying as eating a cheeseburger. If you have been working hard and eating right, a cheat meal is a gift rather than a setback. You earned it so enjoy it!
How to Cheat?
1. The most important thing to remember is that your cheat meal is 1 meal out of a day and not an entire day of munching on cupcakes. Having a month's worth of cheat meals in one day will set back your entire week of progress and affect your goal. Your cheat meal should also be planned. Having a scheduled day to cheat helps you keep your usual eating schedule in sync. If you tend to go out on the weekends or on nights, schedule a cheat meal for those special occasions to you can enjoy them to the fullest.
2. Cheat meals, although are for you to indulge, still have some restrictions (☹️ ). Your cheat meal should not consist of a sleeve of Ritz crackers and soda. Your cheat meal should still have components from the 3 main food groups: carbohydrates, proteins and fats. Your meal, however, can have unhealthy components you do not regularly eat, like fried chicken instead of baked or french fries instead of sweet potatoes.
3. Your cheat meal should be higher in calories, but you shouldn't be exceeding or consuming a 3500 calorie meal. Remember you are giving yourself a treat, not trying to gain any weight you lost back in one sitting. Still use portion control methods to cheat and try not to overeat.
4. The frequency of your cheat meals should range from 1-2 meals per week, leaning more towards 1. Having too often cheat meals will cease your progress and aid in you gaining weight. Plan for 1 cheat meal a week and 2 if you are desperately craving something.
5. Do not "pre-starve" yourself for a cheat meal. You know the day before or of thanksgiving, when you try to eat as little as possible to stuff your face later? This technique is a recipe for weight gain and overeating. You do not need to do anything extra like doing 2 hours of cardio or not eating to earn or enjoy your cheat meal. Treat it like just another meal in your day.
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