So much eye candy in these pictures….
When I started losing weight, I used to do a cheat meal pretty regularly. I have heard varying opinions about cheat meals. I have always thought they were a myth up until recently. I don’t like to do cheat meals once a week now. I do them about once a month to kind of have that as a celebration of all the work I did that month. Makes me feel more empowered to work harder & longer. If I give myself cheat meals more regularly, I am apt to cave easily.
The frequency of your cheat meal is completely up to you. Make sure the cheat meal is just a meal. Don’t turn it into an entire day. I always like to have my cheat meals on days that I did a lot of cardio. You burn more calories doing cardio and you’re more likely to burn off most of the extra calories and fat you consumed. When you’re on a weight loss diet, you should consume fewer calories than your Total Energy Expenditure. Overtime, though, your body will grow used to eating less and then adjust accordingly, which can lead to a plateau. A cheat meal high in calories and carbohydrates can actually assist in revving up your metabolism and regulating the leptin and grehlin hormones. This encourages the body to keep burning calories rather than adjusting to this lower intake.
Now a cheat meal is something you are doing to reward yourself, but you still need to keep it pretty healthy. The ingredients in your meals should still be fairly healthy. Use healthy fats and less processed food. If you go with packaged foods, go with ones that have the least amount of ingredients on the package. It is recommended that you cook them from scratch so you know exactly what the ingredients are. It has been proven that people who cook their own food from scratch, tend to be healthier, because the food has more natural ingredients. One of the first things I did when I started losing weight, was to look for the healthy versions of my favorite meals. The biggest thing to keep in mind is that you don’t need to derail your weight loss by eating 3000 calories in a meal. Most people think it’s just a free pass to eat the worst food and binge in a meal. You’re only trying to jump start your metabolism, not gain 5 unhealthy pounds in a meal. If you know that a cheat meal could just lead to a cheat day, then take measures to prevent it from doing that.
The day before as well as the day after a cheat meal, I like to make sure my eating is extremely healthy and clean. I like to make sure I do more cardio and drink a ton of water. I also never do a cheat meal right before my weigh in days. You tend to weigh more the next day due to your body swelling with the additional carbs. This is why you drink more water to counteract the swelling and make it go away faster.
In the end, cheat meals can be extremely useful when they are done properly. You have to plan them out just like you do your healthy lifestyle. Cheat meals are part of your healthy lifestyle. They are a tool to aid in your weight loss when used properly. I hope this helps!
Here’s a link to my Healthy Recipes Pinterest Board.