Should you have a cheat meal?
It seems that everyone who’s tried some sort of diets nowadays knows about cheat meals. For many people, this can be the highlight of the week because they diet so hard. Should you have a weekly cheat day, cheat meal or not have any at all? Here’s what the experts have to say
- The leaner you are, the more you can (and should) have cheat meals
The lower your body fat percentage, the more you are insulin sensitive. This means that your body will be able to use the insulin better and absorb the nutrients more effectively. It is also necessary to replace your glycogen stores in your body. In other words, get your body fat down and you can then have more carbohydrates!
- If your goal is to lose body fat, you probably shouldn’t have more than one cheat meal every 4-6 days
Try different things and see what works for you. In general, keep your low carb meals to cheat meal ratio to 20:1 or 30:1. This means that for every 20 or 30 meals, you can have a cheat meal. Start with once a week and see how you react.
- Plan your cheating!
Make it worthwhile. Plan a dinner at your favorite restaurant instead of just having snacks while watching tv. This will make it more meaningful and more satisfying.
- Psychologically, having cheat meals can have benefits.
Very often, people feel restricted on a diet and find that having a cheat meal keeps them sane. Having a dessert or burger to look forward to on the weekend can indeed help to make it easier to stick to your diet during the week, but you have to be careful not to let it get out of hand.
Rules for your cheat meals:
- 1- Start your cheat meal with your protein.
This will help reduce the blood sugar spike which happens eating lots of carbohydrates. It will also make you feel fuller faster and help you from going overboard.
- 2- Once you leave your chair, your cheat meal is over. Set up your cheat meal on the table and enjoy it, but if you start getting up and going to get more foods after it will get out of hands. Planning is key.
As mentioned earlier, try different cheats, different quantities and different frequencies and see how your body (and your head) react. It is not necessary to have a cheat meal every week! If you’re trying to drastically lose fat before you travel to Greece in 3 weeks and think that you can keep it healthy until then, maybe small cheats such as some chocolate or some snacks can be enough to keep you going.