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Starting a diet takes motivation and commitment. It’s impossible to stick to a healthy diet all the time. Cravings and the desire to just let loose, come and go for everyone.
There’re days when you’ll crave a slice of pizza or a burger.
So, while it may look like a cheat meal can spoil or upset your healthy goals, in fact, it can actually be essential to your diet.
You might be surprised to discover that you can still lose weight while enjoying a cheat meal.
Moreover, a cheat meal is not the same as a cheat day and it’s also not a permit to eat whatever you like.
Fortunately, I can help you find the right strategy to enjoy your cheat meal.
Here, I have to break down why cheat meals are important and 5 ways you can cheat on your diet—and win!
Before jumping on the 5 Cheat Meals Ideas for weight loss, first, you need to know its importance on your diet plan and exercise.
Ghrelin is a peptide hormone that gives you signals when you’re hungry. When you’re following a low-calorie diet and are trying to lose weight, your ghrelin levels can actually increase.
On the other hand, Leptin is a hormone that controls satiety and regulates your appetite; it actually signals when you’re full.
Your Leptin production relies on your calorie intake; if you consume excess calories, your leptin will increase and decrease respectively.
You should consume fewer calories compared to what your body needs to function normally especially when you’re on a weight loss diet. This is called your TEE (total energy expenditure).
However, eventually, your body will grow used to a calorie diet and adjust accordingly, which can further lead to a plateau.
A cheat meal high in carbohydrates and calories can actually assist kickstart your metabolism and regulating these hormones.
In this way, you stimulate the body to keep burning these calories, instead of fine-tuning to this lower intake.
What better enticement to stick to your healthy diet plan than knowing that you have a cheat meal waiting at the end of it?
With a generous reward acting as the light at the end of the tunnel, people find that they are more motivated to remain healthy than 80% of the time.
In addition, that meal will definitely taste delicious knowing that you’ve earned it!
In your childhood days, you must have taught that cheating is bad. Even you may have heard that ‘cheats never prosper’.
After cheating you might think that no one will know, but you’ll know and it’s you that it really affects.
But cheat meals are good! If you have a cheat meal every week, it can actually help you stick to your diet, boost your metabolism and even prevent loss of motivation.
The trick is to have the best strategy for your cheat meal plan. Soon you’ll discover this is not just possible but actually pleasant.
Apply one or all of these cheat meal rules and you’ll be looking forward to your cheat meal without thinking that you are spoiling all your hard work and effort so far.
Through “banking” the majority of your daily calories (mainly those from fats and carbs), you can minimize the damage of a cheat meal the day of your feast.
There’re a couple of ways to apply this trick effectively. If possible, fast before taking the meal.
In other words, if you’re cheating at dinnertime, move your first meal to lunchtime.
Minimizing the number of hours you’ll be eating not only shifts your body into a “fat burning” state, but also saves you calories.
Make sure you eat one high-protein meal before you cheat, preferably with low-starch, high-fiber veggies to slow down digestion.
For example, a big green salad with simply grilled chicken breast and a squeeze of lemon would be the best cheat meal ever because it maximizes satiety for the lowest amount of calories
When it’s time to feast, you won’t be starving, and you’ll still have your whole day for saving up those calories.
There’s a cheat day and there’s a cheat meal. And finally going nuts on the weekend because you’ve been on point with your diet during the week isn’t a great idea.
Consider the average restaurant meal serves up 1,200 calories, and it’s easy to see how cheating too frequently and too big, can undo your weight loss efforts in a matter of hours.
So, limit yourself to one cheat meal per week, if you’re serious about losing weight. Pick a date, a restaurant and a mealtime; and put it in the diary.
Cheat meals have the potential to boost the metabolism by increasing leptin levels, the “anti-starvation” hormone is accountable for conveying hunger messages to the body.
When your body senses a calorie insufficiency, leptin level frequently drops, prompting the metabolism to conserve energy and slow down.
Throwing a calorie enriched cheat meal into the mix can significantly trick your system into thinking food is plentiful and that it’s OK to burn through the stored fats.
Additionally, cheat meals can help weight loss by temporarily boosting leptin in the context of strict dieting.
However, if you’ve been careless with your meal plan, the leptin argument is an arguable point.
In other words, you have to be nice before you can afford to be wicked.
Another trick to abate fat gains from your cheat meal is to reduce your glycogen stores – the sugar in your system that your body burns up to generate energy.
Why does it work?
Until and unless its glycogen reserves are full, the body won’t store carbohydrate, so the emptier your tank, the more room you have for, say, spaghetti, before it ends up on your thighs.
How do you do it?
Before you cheat meal don’t forget to hit the gym. High-rep circuit style workouts are considered to be the best depletion workouts.
Every 20 minutes can make a dent. Do you want an extra dose?
Before you start your sweat-sesh, have a cup of black coffee.
According to the studies, caffeine can increase fat metabolism when taken as a pre-workout supplement.
As per the expert’s opinion, some cheat meals are better compared to others. And a moderate-protein, high carbohydrate meal, however “naughty,” can help you stay on track with your diet.
Carbohydrate has the greatest impact on leptin levels, which helps you burn fat and eventually feel satisfied.
As you know protein has the greatest impact on satiety due to its effect on appetite-regulating hormones and high thermic effect – the process of protein digestion requires more energy of your body than any other macronutrient.
Cheat meals are a great way to push your body to burn more fat and break weight loss plateaus.
Letting yourself to consume a few extra calories will also keep you focused and uplift your mood all week long.
So, go ahead, use these cheat meal strategies for weight loss and get slimmer in no time.
If you’ve any questions related to cheat meals, please post them in the comment box below.