You’ve been excellent for the whole week, huh? avoided fried meals and opted for a salad instead of a steak with added fat. And don’t forget all those times you resisted the urge to eat cheesecake. Ignoring cravings is difficult when it comes to food. A duty that, every so often, should be rewarded with something fitting. After a period of strict dieting and regular exercise, a cheat meal might serve as a welcome reward. Not to worry, even your dietitians approve of this occasional splurge.
Still, why cheat meals?
Your weight loss efforts can benefit from a cheat meal. That’s right, you did hear us. If consumed within reasonable limits, these foods will not derail your exercise routine. Finding a personal motivator can be a great boost to your exercise efforts. Come with us as we break it down for you.
The mind plays a crucial role in successful weight loss. The basic reasoning behind these special occasions is that eating them makes you really content. Since at heart we are all the same, the benefits accrue primarily to our minds rather than our bodies. In 80 percent of cases, we’re on our game, and the other twenty percent is when we like to relax and take it easy. We get that kind of fulfillment from eating burgers, pizza, and pasta. When consumed in moderation, even these luxuries pose no health risks.
Is having one cheat meal in a week bad for your health?
When done in moderation, change of any kind is beneficial to physical health. A cheat meal can be defined in two ways. One is that we’ve been so good all week with our diet that we deserve a day off to relax and unwind. The second is when we’ve been following a healthy eating plan for the past week but decided to treat ourselves to all of our favorite meals for one day. Instead, a cheat meal is more of a treat for yourself, a “feel-good” aspect, in the former scenario.
In addition to providing a mental lift, a cheat meal during a weight loss program might cause your metabolism to take a temporary nosedive. Have fun while trying something new. A cheat meal may have beneficial effects on your metabolism. A cheat meal can help kickstart your metabolism when you’ve hit a weight loss plateau. The increased metabolic rate aids in the reduction of body fat. A cheat meal here and is fine, but make sure you keep track of how often you have it. If you eat more than you burn off through diet and exercise, you will gain weight. You completely undermine your efforts to lose weight.
Having a cheat meal helps your metabolism since it prevents you from feeling deprived, as shown by studies. Leptin, the “anti-starvation” hormone, may also be to blame for the metabolic spike. A hormone that triggers the body to feel hungry. It’s important to remember that your body is its own entity. For a short time, a cheat meal might increase leptin levels, which in turn can help with weight loss. However, just because you’re having a cheat meal doesn’t give you unlimited powers to ignore the number of calories you should be maintaining.
How do cheat meal affects our body?
Changes in body composition and weight management are not simple. The ideal meal is the one you can actually follow. In order to lose weight, it is common knowledge that one must consume fewer calories than one uses up. It follows that if you can successfully implement a well-planned diet and keep your overall calorie consumption low, the payoff cheats meal or cheat day technique may be helpful. (Also Read: The Best Indian diet plan for weight loss).
Following are the changes you will notice in your body
Reduced Body Fat and Physiological Alterations
There is a common belief that cheat meals, which cause oscillations in the hormone called leptin, would lead to observable improvements in muscle mass and metabolic function. Leptin is a hormone that helps control appetite. The hormone leptin may be reduced, according to certain studies, in the case of dramatic weight reduction. But this finding conflicts with those of other research efforts. According to one school of thought in the field of weight control, eating too much food is less likely when leptin levels are high because the hormone effectively communicates fullness. Possible consequences include rapid weight gain once the effect wears off.
In addition, promoters of the cheat meal technique for weight loss argue that eating higher-calorie foods on occasion will temporarily mislead your hormone pattern into making more leptin, so reducing the impulse to binge after a time of dieting. Sadly, there is a lack of solid scientific evidence to back up this notion. How changes in leptin levels due to weight affect a person’s capacity to regulate their eating and keep the weight off is still a mystery. Therefore, more investigation is required. At this point, adhering to a structured regimen the majority of the time and restricting increased unhealthy food is more likely to result in weight loss with the cheat technique than any other strategy.
Using Premeditated Treats to Get the Job Done
The idea behind the cheating diet is that if you give yourself permission to eat items that aren’t allowed on your diet every once in a while, you’ll be more likely to stay on track the rest of the time. Here is where the psychology of losing weight connects with the cheat meal plan. Knowing that they have a cheat day coming up helps some people avoid giving in to temptation, but not everyone has the same level of self-control when it comes to their food intake. Therefore, it is not possible to promise everyone the same outcomes.
Moreover, if you don’t exercise at least some moderation during your cheat meals or days, you may sabotage your weight loss attempts by consuming an excessive number of calories. It’s important to plan ahead, even for cheat meals or days. As such, they shouldn’t be promoted as an open invitation to pig out. It bears repeating that the best plan for weight loss is the one that you will really follow. Some people do well by following occasional indulgences as part of an otherwise healthy diet, while others may do better with a Plant-based diet or with a different strategy.
Following are the things to keep in mind before having a cheat meal or cheat day
Better preparation will help you to enjoy your cheat meals
When you have an event to go to on Saturday but your cheat day is Sunday, give in to all your urges on Saturday. If you’ve been good all week, it would be for naught if you went on another binge on Sunday.
Never Lie to Feed Your Hungry Mood
If you are extremely hungry, it is not a smart option to go on an unhealthy eating spree. You’ll inevitably overeat because you’ll forget about the calorie reserve you’ve built up and start snacking mindlessly.
Try to balance out your diet
It’s unacceptable to indulge in food and then conveniently skip your training. Be careful to work off those extra calories the following day at the gym.
Just one cheat meal won’t ruin your day
Feel free to eat to your heart’s content, whatever that may be. Still, moderation is key. And by no means should it be indulged in all day long. Lunch of spaghetti and pizza? Dinner should be on the lighter side.
What are the other approaches to thinking about cheat meals?
Everyone is different, so only you can decide if a cheat meal plan is the best option for you. One must always keep in mind that the greatest and most efficient diet plan is one that one can adhere to for an extended period of time. It’s possible that cheat meals can help you reach your fitness goals, but they shouldn’t be the only thing you do. In addition, to cheat meals, you may wish to try out some other methods that are more tailored to your specific needs.
Paying Attention to your cheat meal
Keeping track of everything you eat, especially on your “cheat days,” is an important part of any cheat dieting strategy. When you practice mindful or intuitive eating, you eat just when you’re hungry and stop when you’re full. The key is to take your time and really taste each and every bite. The results of preliminary studies suggest that conscious and intuitive eating practices can help curb stress and binge eating. However, more study is required to confirm their potential role in preventing weight gain.
You may have better results sticking to your diet program if you incorporate these eating strategies. In addition, it could help you control your portions for more decadent cheat meals.
Make a Game Plan
Being well prepared is the key to making any significant lifestyle change stick. In order to resist temptation, having a plan that is designed to back you up is essential. Knowing when to hit the brakes on cheat days or meals might be challenging for some people. Your diet may not succeed as well in the long run if you can’t exercise self-control. Sticking to your diet plan requires a strategy for cheat days as well as regular dieting days. As a result, you can still exercise self-control even when eating stuff you typically wouldn’t.
To begin, you should determine when and where you will indulge. You may choose to schedule your cheat meal on a social occasion like a birthday party or Friday night happy hour if you know you’ll be overindulging at the end of the week. From there, you’ll be able to devise a strategy for sticking to your portion control goals, even when indulging in your favorite meals. If you’re a pizza fan, for instance, you might want to just get a personal piece instead of an entire pie. It’s also possible to reframe the cheat day as just another day to eat healthily without worrying about macros and calories. Without boosting your cravings for unhealthy meals, this provides you a respite from keeping watch.
Make Your Daily Diet Delightful
Diets fail because people can’t stick to them since they have to consume food they don’t enjoy. Controlling your portions and sticking to a predetermined eating plan can be challenging on its own, and eating foods you don’t enjoy can just add fuel to the fire. You shouldn’t feel obligated to consume food just because it’s considered healthy. You can still achieve your fitness and weight loss targets without resorting to consuming items you despise. When trying to lose weight, it can be helpful to incorporate snacks that you enjoy eating even when you’re not taking a cheat day. It may also aid with restraint, which is useful on both diet days and cheat days.
The Bottom Line
You can cheat as much as you like, but it won’t undo the efforts you are putting up in the gym, and don’t forget your fitness goals.