What is a ‘cheat meal’? It’s the term used for when dieters take the day off from their eating plan to indulge. To many people, its a negativity and spoils all the hard work of sticking to a routine, but there are actually many benefits to having weekly cheat meals when dieting…
While some dieters may not choose to cheat, some find it a vital part of their week. Studies have shown that as long as your are following your diet 90% of the time, you can enjoy a cheat meal every week.
Remember, an ideal diet is not about restriction but about making healthy choices.
The perks of cheat days and meals
A weekly cheat meal has been proven to boost your metabolism and ward off any feelings of deprivation, improving not only your ability to lose weight but also the ability to stick to your diet plan too. One way cheat meals can boost your metabolism is by increasing levels of leptins, the “anti-starvation” hormone responsible for sending hunger messages to the brain.
Throwing a cheat meal into the mix tricks your system into thinking food is plentiful and that it’s good to burn through fat stores.
Cheat meals can help to reset hormones responsible for metabolism and insulin regulation, replenish glycogen for increased energy and it helps to keep calories brining and fat torching mechanisms high.
Planning is key for cheat meals
Preferably for a time when you’re most likely to be craving fatty foods, such as on a weekend or for a special occasion. This way you can fit it around your calorie intake that day and it’s great to have something to look forward to, giving you that extra motivation to do well during the week.
This also allows you to choose a “cheat meal” that you’ll really enjoy.
How to avoid cheat meals turning into cheat days
A cheat meal can also be great psychological relief. The feeling that you’re not totally restricted to eat certain foods. However, it’s important not to let your cheat meals turn into cheat days. Cheat meals can be useful for fulfilling any cravings you may have during your restricted dieting and sometimes help to boost metabolism. However, don’t cheat yourself by letting cheat meals get out of hand, as they can seriously undo any hard work very quickly.
To maximise your results for cheat meals, try not to binge too much. Have what you want but don’t overeat as this can impact your week’s progress massively.