Here Is How Having Cheat Meals Can Help You Lose Weight
There are conflicting theories regarding cheat meals. Some say they act as a distraction and actually cause you to gain more weight. However, as Beauty and Tips will show in this article, cheat meals can actually help you lose weight.
Metabolism is a funny thing. Some days, we can survive off the merest of scraps and not feel hungry, while on other days we’re absolutely ravenous and can’t stop eating. However, there is always room for a cheat meal, right? The concept of a cheat meal was invented to act as a motivator when dieting got too rough. If the thought of eating greens all week was too much to bear, the lure of a cheat meal at the weekend was enough to help keep us going. It gives us something to work toward – a nice reward that we look forward to. As we’ll find out in this article, the cheat meal also has nutritional value and is actually essential to a healthy diet. How? Because of something called the 90/10 rule. The first thing to understand when we talk about a cheat meal is that it’s very much a cheat meal and not a cheat day. This is where some dieters go wrong. A full-on cheat day will mess with your diet, and we don’t recommend that at all. The 90/10 rule, when applied to your diet, means that 90% of your meals should be healthy, while the remaining 10% can be whatever you like. This gives you a bit of room for manoeuvre. While you shouldn’t dedicate a whole day to cheating, you can spread your cheat meals out through the week, rather than just having one cheat meal every seven days. Let’s say you consume 35 meals a week. If you implement the 90/10 rule, you can then have up to four cheat meals. We can’t stress enough how important it is that you don’t eat your four cheat meals together. Doing so just means that all your hard work has been for nothing, and you’re back at square one. If weight loss is your goal, dedicating a whole day to cheat meals will prove to be a massive setback each time you do it.
Why Cheat At All?
Good question. We shouldn’t cheat just to get our mitts on junk food. The cheat meal we look forward to shouldn’t be solely about how much sugar we can intake. Instead, it should serve to give us a psychological boost – a reward, something to look forward to that gives us the motivation to keep our diet up. Whoever the dieter is – be they the most dedicated gym goer or America’s top model – no one can stick strictly to a boring diet with absolutely no treats all year round. We all need relief. Having something fun to look forward to prevents us from getting moody and irritated by our diet. It’s the same with anything in life. If we’re crushing it at the gym, we need something to mix things up now and then. Otherwise we’ll get bored and plateau. Let’s say we’ve decided to work 14 days straight. Unless we knew we were going to dedicate the 15th day to relaxation and a maybe a few cheeky cocktails, we’d find it a lot harder to tough it out for fourteen consecutive days. Moreover, seeing substantial results from our weight loss efforts can take time. We might have been dieting for a few weeks and seen very little change to our weight. Without a reward now and then, a weight loss regime that takes to long to kick in can be really disheartening, and we might lose our motivation.
There Is A Science To It, Too
Of course, there is a science behind cheat day and it involves a protein called leptin. Leptin is made by fat tissue. Its purpose is to regulate your fat mass and body weight. It does this by interfering with your energy balance and appetite. If you stick to a hardcore diet, you might end up with a calorific deficit. This could see your energy levels take a tumble. The result? Well, you’ll feel pretty exhausted and fit for nothing! Consuming a cheat meal – which is basically a calorie bomb – can turbocharge your energy levels, ensuring they don’t dip too low, so that you’re able to keep performing at your peak throughout the day.
When Is A Good Time To Eat A Cheat Meal?
Unfortunately, things aren’t quite as simple as just scoffing down some junk food now and then, or whenever we get the cravings. All things in moderation, and you need to practice some self discipline and self control. Also, you need to be willing to make compromises. Whatever you eat, it’s still important that you feed your body the three macronutrients, fat, carbs and protein, as these are essential for building muscle and maintaining your energy levels.
Look at your cheat meal as an opportunity to indulge in the bad side of the macronutrients – bad fats and too many carbs. This could mean eating fried chicken on a Friday night, or stuffing your face with simple carbs. It’s a good idea to consume your cheat meal after you’ve just had a workout, as this is prime time for your body to make use of all those macros you’ll be feeding it. However you do it, you need to make sure that you vary your caloric intake every few days in order to “surprise” your body. If you stick to the same amount of calories each day, your body gets used to your diet and doesn’t burn calories as rapidly. If every few days you add an extra 300 calories, your body – taken by surprise – will work hard to burn calories quicker. Essentially, it’s all about keeping your body on its toes; so that it doesn’t have the time to get used to a low calorie diet and lifestyle.
Stay happy and healthy!