Cheat Meal Yay or Nay?!
So all of us out there love having a cheat or two every now and then but it can be hard to completely stay away from everything bad and unhealthy day to day as it gets shoved into our faces through adverts and deals in shops on a daily basis. Take this nutella advert for example; posted all over Facebook even our social media sites are enticing us to be unhealthy! BUT look at the difference with this advert, by cleverly placing healthy alternatives (celery and fruit) into the picture they are trying to fool us with pretending nutella can be healthy and to the untrained eye people will get sucked into buying it and consuming it more often that they usually would.
So when is it okay to eat things like this? Are we allowed if we are dieting and trying to lose weight? And is there a best time to have a cheat meal?
Yes … Yes and YES!
Hallelujah I hear you say J we can have a cheat meal and still lose weight and reach our goal weight, remember a diet shouldn’t make you stressed it is about creating a new, healthy you and should be a lifestyle that you want to create for yourself. However how, when and how much we cheat with will dictate whether you reach your goal faster or never reach it and these basic rules are what you need to follow if you want to stay on track but still enjoy that one moment of naughtiness every now and then.
1. How often can we have a cheat meal? … From personal experience a cheat meal should only be consumed once a week. Now this is a cheat MEAL not a cheat day as some people like to call it! This means you can eat absolutely anything you like for that one meal, for me I have this as dinner on a Sunday.
2. What is cheat meal? … A cheat meal can consist of a starter, main course and a dessert in a restaurant, a take away with a dessert when you’re at home or anything high carb, high fat and high sugar that you want to cook for yourself. For example, I would possibly have a pizza take away with some chocolate (maybe a big bar) for dessert as my cheat meal. You can eat anything you like but you need to make sure that you remember it’s only for one meal so don’t continue the day like it!
3. What is the benefit of a cheat meal? … When dieting and trying to lose weight during the week we live on a calorie deficit and most of us live on a low carb diet and exercise high amounts. This can make our carbohydrate stores extremely low and sometimes make us quite lethargic and low in energy. When picking a high carb cheat meal we allow our bodies to replenish our glycogen stores within our muscles and liver allowing our bodies to recoup from the week of weight loss. Additionally, this gives us a great deal of new energy to use for the next day/week of training and dieting.
4. When is the best time to have a cheat meal? … Like I mentioned I have my cheat meal Sunday evening, a lot of my friends have it Saturday evening and most people I know will enjoy one within the weekend. However from my personal experience when I have tried a cheat meal on Saturday it has always rolled onto the next day and created about three cheat meals across the weekend which is a big no no! Most people tend to have it across the weekend as I am presuming most of us out there work the normal Monday to Friday and look forward to the stress free weekend. Therefore, having a cheat meal across the weekend allows us to stay more focused and motivated across the working week. Additionally, having something to look forward to can really help you stay determined and concentrated on the goal in sight.
So, if you follow the 4 points above and remember to always be smart with your cheat meals then go for it! Enjoy the little naughty treat once in a while as us the people that train hard, work hard and stay healthy are the real people that deserve it!
Written by Hayley Madigan
Follow Hayley on Twitter @HayleyMadigan