When dieting I highly recommend that you reward yourself with “cheat meals” or “cheat days”.
What is a cheat meal or a cheat day? A cheat meal is a meal where you allow yourself to not follow the guidelines and basically eat something that you are craving even if it is unhealthy. A cheat day is the same concept but it is an entire day of eating whatever you want.
Although you are allowing yourself to eat unhealthy and shouldn’t feel guilty about what you eat I still think that you should try to somewhat limit the amount of poor and processed food you are eating.
To me a cheat meal might be a fast food combo (cheeseburger, fries, and a sugary drink). Some people when dieting crave for unhealthy food so much that they take advantage of their cheat meals and might eat something ridiculous like a fast combo + a milkshake + some candies to finish it off. The reason I don’t suggest the later is mostly because you will often feel like crap after eating that much junk and that might carry on to the next day and could lead to a poor workout.
How often can I eat a cheat meal?
In any type of diet I put myself I usually go with a cheat day instead of a cheat meal, where I will allow myself one day a week to eat whatever I want (usually Saturday or Sunday). Others like to have 3 or 4 cheat meals spread out through out the week. Whatever you chose it doesn’t matter – both have the same positive effects.
If you are on a diet that requires 6 small meals/snacks throughout the day you would be fine with rewarding yourself with a cheat meal every 12 meals/snacks or once every two days.
If you wanted to do cheat days instead I would go with 1 cheat day every week (weekends work best for most).
If you want to hit your fat loss goals faster I would recommend a cheat meal every 3 days, or a 1/2 cheat day once per week where you would eat healthy in the morning and then whatever you want in the afternoon and night (or vice versa).
So why should I eat a cheat meal?
Firstly a cheat meal or cheat day is important for your sanity. It is extremely hard to resist your favorite unhealthy foods for long periods of time and some people will even feel some withdrawal feelings when dieting. Rewarding yourself with a small cheat meal will satisfy any cravings, and is a great way to make dieting a little more “fun.
And next cheat meals can actually help speed up your metabolism when you are dieting. If you are eating extremely healthy all of the time your metabolism will start to slow down because it doesn’t have to keep up with burning all of those calories. This will cause your fat loss to slow down and of course that isn’t what we want. Eating these unhealthy meals once in a while will kick start your metabolism and help it burn fat 7 days of the week.
A cheat meal is something that everyone should be incorporating into their diets. I personally don’t know if I could handle dieting without them!