Having a Cheat Meal
When you’re dieting or on a strict meal plan it’s hard not to give in to your cravings and indulge in some of your favourite snacks, I know I do. But what’s so bad about having some of our favourite junk foods in moderation? The main thing that you have to take out of this post is that having certain foods or types of foods in moderation is key. I’m not saying that you will benefit from eating 6 burgers, and a large fry, but having one burger and a small fry may not be so bad. There are actually a few ways to benefits from having a cheat meal while you’re dieting which can help to increase your chances for weight loss.
Plan it Out
Plan out your cheat meal. I normally have my cheat meal on Friday or Saturday night. After a long week at work and at the gym, it’s nice to reward yourself with a tasty treat that you normally may not have in your day to day meals. But with that being said, pick one day and one meal. The one thing I have learned over the years is that it is cheat meal, not cheat day, so try to keep the cheating to one meal specifically.
Eat in Moderation
Eat in moderation. With touching on that previous point, eating in moderation will help to solve cravings, but also keep you on the right path of weight loss (or whatever your dietary goals may be). If you end up eating a cheat meal every day, then it isn’t a cheat meal anymore and it is just adding extra calories to your daily intake.
Try to have a cheat meal that isn’t super unhealthy for you. For example, I try to stick to sushi as my cheat meal ( all-you-can-eat of course ). Although consuming large amounts of sushi wouldn’t be something I would recommend for a regular diet plan, it is one of the healthier choices for a cheat meal. Sushi contains a lot of carbohydrates ( if you’re having rolls ) which has a great influence on leptin levels, which helps you burn fat and feel satisfied.
The biggest benefit of a cheat meal is that it boosts metabolism by increasing leptin levels. What the heck are leptin levels and why the heck do I keep saying it? Leptin is the “anti-starvation” hormone which is responsible for sending hunger messages to your body. Basically, when you’re dieting, your body realizes that there is a calorie deficit and drops leptin levels which in turn slows down your metabolism. Having a cheat meal basically tricks your body into increasing metabolism, which in turn will start to burn through some of your fat stores.
With all that being said, it’s very important to introduce a cheat meal to your diet, if not for the benefit of increased weight loss, but for your own sanity too. It’s hard being on a diet or a strict meal plan and not being able to eat everything we want, but sometimes throwing in a nice big burger or cheesy plate of nachos will motivate you and keep you on the right track to reaching your goals. But remember, everything in moderation.
Kyle | Health and Fitness Contributor