Plan To Pig Out Once A Week!
Today we’re going to talk about everyone’s favorite topic – cheat meals.
If you’ve been on a diet before, you know that the minute you start restricting the foods you can eat is the minute it seems your cravings go into overdrive.
Cake. Biscuits. Pizza. Ice Cream. You want it all. And you want it now. This is exactly how it feels.
If you tell yourself that you’ll never eat these foods again – at least not while you’re on this diet, it suddenly becomes very hard to stick with that diet.
You just don’t have the will power to deal with ‘never’ and as such, typically will throw in the towel one or two weeks in, indulging in a weekend-long food binge.
Our minds do not like feeling restricted and any time we’re told we ‘can’t have something’, it’s the one thing we want most.
This is why cheat meals can be so beneficial. By having them in your diet plan, you aren’t telling yourself ‘never’, you’re now telling yourself ‘later.’
If you want to reach your goals bad enough, ‘later’ is something you can typically deal with.
If you set up your cheat meals properly, they can in fact increase your success rate, allowing you to see better progress than if you had tried to stick your diet out.
And, you can enjoy them without guilt. Let’s show you how to do this and why they are a beneficial tool in your diet arsenal.
Why Cheat Meals Help
First let’s talk about why cheat meals can help. The first reason is obvious – it helps with psychological cravings.
If you are craving a bowl of ice cream and haven’t had it for five days, being able to finally indulge can help put it out of mind so that you can get back on your diet plan again.
At the same time however, you do need to be sure that cheating on this food doesn’t send you into a food frenzy. Some people have a hard time controlling their consumption once they get started.
If this is you, you either need to work on mastering this skill, or consider forgoing cheat meals entirely. In your case, they may not actually be beneficial.
Provided you can control yourself, they also offer another important benefit: metabolic enhancement.
After being on a diet plan for so long, your body is going to eventually begin to adapt.
It realises that you have less fuel available and as such, wants to ensure you don’t starve to death.
Its way of dealing with this is reducing your overall metabolic rate so that you burn fewer calories each and every day.
As it does this, your fat loss results slow to a crawl. It’s a very frustration situation and one that almost every dieter has been in before.
By having that cheat meal however and suddenly boosting your calorie intake significantly, you signal to your body that it’s okay to speed its metabolic rate up again. You’re now eating enough calories and it shouldn’t fear starvation.
As your metabolic rate speeds up, you then resume your diet and fat loss continues on.
Well planned cheat meals every so often in your diet plan can go a long way towards helping you avoid hitting that dreaded plateau.
Finally, one last benefit is that if you choose the right types of foods, they can be great for restoring muscle glycogen levels.
This is the storage form of energy in your muscle tissues and will be used for any sort of intense exercise.
Over time, with a lower carb diet plan, your muscle glycogen levels will slowly be depleted and when they are, exercise will feel that much more challenging.
By restoring them, you’ll find that your workout performance is quickly elevated.
These are the three key reasons why cheat meals can be a good thing. You just need to know how to do them properly.
How To Cheat Properly
Don’t just cheat whenever you feel like it. If you don’t have a clear schedule in place, you’ll likely find yourself cheating more often than you should and in time, this will set you back. You can only cheat so often and expect to continue to see results.
For most people, a cheat meal once a week or once every two weeks is perfect.
The leaner you get, the more often you’ll need to have that cheat meal as the harder your body is going to fight you to keep burning up body fat – through that slowed metabolic rate we talked about earlier.
Now, when you do cheat, remember it’s a cheat meal, not a full cheat day.
Most people will see best results by placing the cheat meal at the end of the day. This way, once it’s over, they simply go to bed.
There’s no chance they’ll keep eating for the rest of the day. Have a cheat meal at breakfast and it can be hard to get back into that healthy eating mindset.
Learn yourself and your tendencies and choose what’s best for you.
Finally, in order to get the cheat meal to be most beneficial for boosting your metabolic rate and restoring muscle glycogen levels, you’ll want to cheat primarily on high carbohydrate rich foods.
These are the foods that will help restore your leptin levels, which is a hormone that managers your metabolic rate.
In addition to this, carbohydrates are also the only nutrient that will be stored as muscle glycogen as well, so if you want that refilled, you need to eat carbohydrates.
You should still keep your protein intake constant – don’t just eat carbohydrates, but if you can, turn to more carbohydrate dense options.
Think pasta, pancakes, cereal, or low fat ice cream. You should aim to keep fat lower – you don’t need to be fat free entirely, but the less fat you take in, the less of a risk of gaining fat you’ll have during that cheat meal.
Having a very high fat intake along with a very high carb intake is the perfect recipe for weight gain, so by keeping fat lower, you can avoid this.
And lastly, don’t stuff yourself so full you can’t move. Remember to practice moderation.
There will be another cheat meal in a week or two, so there’s no point to eat until you are so uncomfortable you feel like that meal might be coming back up.
Try and keep your total cheat meal calorie intake somewhere around 600-1000 calories.
Going over this is just going to increase the likelihood that you may someday suffer from binge eating – a disorder you definitely do not want to have to deal with.
So there you have the facts on a cheat meal. If done wisely, these can be a great part of your overall diet plan.
You do need to plan them into your protocol however and stick with it. Never allow yourself unplanned cheats.
You might say you’ll cheat today and forgo your cheat coming later in the week, but the chances that you actually do so will be really quite low.
Stick to your plan and you can cheat without the guilt.