Whenever someone goes on a diet plan, one of the first questions they often as is whether or not they will still be ‘allowed’ to have a cheat meal. Do they really have to cut out all the foods they enjoy? Or is there room to still eat some of their favored items?
The truth of the matter is that any diet plan should be flexible enough to allow for a cheat meal from time to time, but as you do this, it’s important that you ‘set yourself up for it’.
If you just proceed to cheat whenever you feel like it you will likely suffer the consequences from that and see a reduction in the overall weight loss you’re able to experience.
But, if you design your cheat meal properly and set yourself up for it when it is going to occur, the cheat meal can actually help you reach your fat loss goals rather than hinder progress.
Determine The Frequency
The very first thing that you should do so that you don’t suffer weight gain because of a cheat meal is to make sure that you schedule a proper frequency of cheat meals.
You obviously cannot have a cheat meal every other day or you’d hardly be on a diet to begin with, but if you can limit yourself to having one once a week, for most diets this won’t be a problem.
Also, the leaner you currently are and the lower your total calorie intake is the more often you will likely have to have a cheat meal since it’s at this point that your body will be fighting you harder to continually see fat loss taking place.
Your body doesn’t like you being incredibly lean and will slow down the metabolism because of it. The cheat meal can help to reverse this process as you’ll trick the body into thinking the diet is over.
Schedule Your Workout Accordingly
The second must-do when planning a cheat meal is to schedule your workouts accordingly. In an ideal situation you would perform a hard workout on the day you plan to have your cheat meal since this would create a ‘calorie sink’ for which those excess calories can be used towards.
If you can, try and make this workout a higher rep workout as well, since this will be better for depleting muscle glycogen stores, meaning more of the carbohydrates you eat will go to the muscle cells rather than potentially ending up in the fat cells.
Cheat In The Evening
The next point to remember with your cheat meals is that it will be best if you can have them in the evening hours.
For some people once they do start cheating they find it hard to stop so if you have it mid-afternoon, you may make it a cheat day rather than a cheat meal.
Having it at night limits this possibility since you’ll soon be going to bed.
Eat Carb-Rich Foods
Finally, the last point to note about cheat meals is that you should try and choose low fat, high carb foods as often as possible. These are the foods that will best serve to stimulate the thyroid gland, while also resetting all the vital fat burning hormones in the body.
Additionally, since extra carb calories can be shuttled towards the muscle cells, you will have a reduced risk of gaining body fat during the cheat than if you ate high fat food items. The only storage for incoming fat is in the fat stores, so your body will really have no option for where to deposit those calories.
So there you have the must-know tips about structuring your cheat meal. If you plan it properly, a cheat meal can definitely be part of an effective diet and not only help you from a physiological point of view, but from a psychological point of view as well.