"Cheat meals" gives dieters the opportunity to take a break from strict eating.
The gist of these cheats is to eat clean for the better part of your week, stay active and reward yourself by indulging in something you really want to eat.
While some dieters may not choose to cheat, some find it a vital part of their week.
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 ok to burn through fat stores.
Cheat meals can help to reset hormones responsible for metabolism and insulin regulation, replenish glycogen for increased energy and 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.
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 day(s). 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.
Don't weigh yourself for at least 2-3 days after cheat day. As long as you do everything right, you should still make progress after this period.
Remember, for every gram of carb your consume, your body holds nearly 3 grams of water. Plan for extra water the day after your cheat meal.
An ideal diet is not about restriction but about making healthy choices.
Studies have shown that as long as your are following your diet 90% of the time, you can enjoy a cheat meal every week.