- Cheat meal helps you to stick to your diet well. Cheat meal, if decided well, are planned breaks in your regularly recommended diet that will help you to remain happy.
- A properly planned cheat meal even will not make you feel guilty.
- Hence instead of torturing yourself to the diet’s frustrating point, you can occasionally give in to cravings and have a sense of satisfaction as in you have received your reward of managing with a diet plan.
Chocolate soufflé, double cheese burst pizza, butter chicken. Mamamia sounds yum. But we tend to restrict ourselves from going overboard with these foods, especially if you are planning a diet for weight loss. But the good news is that going off the diet regime once in a while is beneficial as it prevents the diet watchers from growing resentment towards their diet and ultimately disliking it.
An occasional cheat day in the midst of the diet regime help in losing weight effectively rather than chucking out the cheat meal totally. The purpose of a cheat meal is to allow ourselves to eat the foods that we love in a controlled manner. This will increase the chances of adherence to short term and long term diets significantly. However, we cannot go crazy and still needs to maintain that control. Some amount of sanity and level-headedness is essential for a well-planned cheat meal.
Confused? Then let us know the strategies of cheating the meal successfully without jeopardizing the value of having a healthy meal.
How To Plan Your Cheat Day Wisely?
1. Consider As Single Cheat Meal Rather Than A Cheat Day
Instead of stuffing with cheat meal for the whole day, you can just consider one of the meals in a day as a chance to have cheat meal wherein you can throw away your caution from the diet. This will prevent you from going overboard which can throw the diet regime off track and then feel guilty later. Cheat once in a week is quite good enough. When we plan our cheat meal, you tend to prepare in advance by cutting down the calories in the before meals. Even if there is a special occasion coming up in that week, you can reserve that meal as a cheat meal.
2. Schedule A Cheat Meal
Pick a day of the week which is labelled as the day to have your cheat meal and stick to it. If you tend to just haywire succumb to the craving, then you tend to be susceptible to having cheat meals every day. Cheat meal needs to be a part of your current diet regime where you eat your meal just once rather than the whole day.
3. Do Not Cheat When You Are Overly Hungry
Some people have this thinking of not having anything for the whole day and then burning calories by doing workouts in advance. This will help them in enjoying the feast thoroughly. But then you more likely tend to eat more when you come to the table famished and overly hungry. Then the weight loss plan and the hard work tends to backfire if you start binging on cheat meals.
4. Plan Your Cheat Meat Well
An occasional munching of sugary titbits is fine but splurging into sugar-coated, poor nutrient foods can act hindrance to progress towards healthy weight maintenance. A well-balanced food with high calories and carbohydrates are preferable than the refined counterparts.
Carbohydrates are preferred in cheat meals as this nutrient act as the direct energy source for the body as well as it can save the protein for building muscles. Some of the options that you can prefer are Fresh vegetable overloaded pizza, beans and cheese tortillas, pasta with vegetables and sauces and fruit loaded gelatos. Thus foods taste yummy but you will not go overboard with the sugar and fat.
5. Get Moving
You have planned for a cheat meal and not cheat workout where you can skip the workout for that day. Just because you are going to cheat one of the meal doesn’t mean you get an excuse to skip workouts. On the contrary, you need to work out before and/or after the meal. This will help to move the glycogen stores and activate the glucose transporters in the muscles resulting in insulin sensitivity. Once the glucose transporters get activated and in the presence of glucose, the glucose moves from the blood to muscles. Then you require ample amount of calories and carbohydrates to store as glycogen.
6. Avoid Overindulgence
Yes, you got a chance to eat your favorite meal but that doesn’t mean that you can gorge on these high-calorie meals. Do not stuff yourself till the brim that you get sick. Eat a calorie less than normal. Do not eat to the point of discomfort or sickness. Prefer eating till you are just satisfied or you feel full.
7. Cheat According To Your Own Stride
If your cheat meal is actually eating out then do not get tempted with the variety of menu available in the list. When there is a wide array of food laid in front of us, we tend to eat more. Hence mentally try to limit your food choices to the meal that you absolutely love and urge for. Even choose a restaurant that has a menu rather than a buffet and in advance to decide what would you like to eat. There should be no room for “Can I try other options too?”. Stick to only those foods that you will enjoy the most.
8. Bank On Your Calories
You can reduce the damage caused by cheat meal by banking on the calories, especially from carbohydrates and fats. If you are planning to have a cheat meal for dinner, then you can shift the mealtime in the morning from early morning to later in the day. Thus when we reduce the number of hours of eating, it saves our calories and shifts the body into the burning stage.
Before we have a cheat meal, make sure you eat high-quality protein or high fiber and low starch veggies which will slow down the digestion. Having a green salad with grilled chicken breast would be an ideal pre-cheat meal as it improves the satiety value adding less number of calories. Hence your stomach is not empty when you have a cheat meal and you have the good allowance of carbohydrates and fats.
9. Work Out Well To Have Cheat Meal
Another way of reducing the fat gains from the cheat meal is by depleting the glycogen stores, the store that body burns for energy. The body cannot store carbohydrates as body fat until and unless their glycogen stores are full. Hence when the storage tank is empty, you will have more room to store as glycogen before it settles down into the thighs. Hence hit the gym before you have your cheat meal. Cycling or swimming or jogging can also make the difference. Even 20 minutes’ workout will make a difference. Hence you need to work hard to be able to enjoy your meal.
Hence let’s not use the word “cheat”, let’s use a positive word like “reward” or “Brownie” meal, the meal that you are able to have after a weeklong diet restriction and exercise regimen. Keeping a favorite meal in between will always reduce the craving of having a high caloric meal as you will know that you will get the opportunity to have your favorite meal once a week. It is considered as the food that you have truly earned. Just keep the record of the cheat meal and do not go overboard. Moderation is always the key to a cheat meal. If you find confusion in planning for a cheat meal, you can always take the help of a nutritionist.
Frequently Asked Questions About Cheat Meal
1. If I take a cheat meal today for dinner, then should I go back to my normal diet plan the next day?
You can plan detox the next day. Eat raw until lunch time or having liquids till dinner for the whole day. Raw foods are essential to alkalize the body and can add enzymes that can help in digestion. Having salads, soups, vegetable smoothies can also make detox the body and make us feel light. Even preparing detox water and drinking it for the whole day is also a good way of adding nutrients.
2. How often can I have a cheat meal in a week?
Ideally, you can have a cheat meal of 1 or 2 in a whole week. However, if the calorie deficit is more as in about 750 calories, the cheat meal can be taken more often. However, that also not more than 3 times a week. The fear is that the meal should not go overboard and you should not give in to your cravings.
It should not be the case where the cheat meal will be a cheat day and a cheat day to a cheat week and then you cannot come back to your diet regime. Cheat meal should be considered as just a break from the regular diet pattern which will always motivate you to do well in the diet pattern.