One of the most difficult parts about losing weight is eating healthy and sensibly. This can be a major challenge in current times when food is available in abundance. The prospect of not being able to eat the food that you love could be a major put-off to start losing weight. That is where the cheat meal comes in.
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The Challenges With Eating Healthy if You Have Not Been Doing So
Eating healthy and clean all of a sudden can be too much of a deterrent for most people. They cannot imagine themselves having to give up all the food that they love. As a result, they postpone wanting to lose weight. Being forced to be disciplined maybe too much for most people to handle.
The Cheat Meal
The cheat meal is a meal where you can eat and drink what ever you want without any restrictions or guilt. Some people call it the reward meal. They treat it as a reward for being diligent and disciplined for the week.
Opinions on the Cheat Meal
There is a lot of mixed responses about the concept of the cheat meal. Some experts say that it sets you back as all the added calories will be converted to fat.
Some say that the periodic over-consumption of calories ensures that the body does not activate its starvation response.
Others say that people who are on a strict regiment need an outlet so that they can continue with their weight loss efforts.
People who are fit and in shape are probably of the opinion that cheat meals are unnecessary. The more fitter and leaner one gets, the lesser his or her body craves for junk food. Their taste buds hunger for healthier foods. Most people stop craving cheat meals when they cross the exercise threshold.
Most people judge a cheat meal from their own perspective. If they are not taking it, others should not either.
Are Cheat Meals Beneficial
Cheat meals definitely do not physically help your weight loss efforts. All the excess calories will be stored as fat. Anyone who thinks that their high metabolic rate or exercising can compensate this, is kidding himself. Adding alcohol to a cheat meal can be even more detrimental as this will cause more calories to be stored as fat.
But there may be a psychological benefit. A cheat meal is like a relief valve for a lot of dieters. It helps relief built-up pressure from being extremely disciplined the entire week. More people stop their weight loss efforts for psychological reasons than anything else. They cannot handle the deprivation or the discipline.
Taking a cheat meal is a compromise that some people may be willing to take to keep themselves on their weight loss regiment. While they are taking 3 steps forward and 1 step back, it is certainly better than stopping all together. Cheat meals are a compromise. You could theoretically do much better if you avoided cheat meals all together.
Only Take Cheat Meals if You Exercise
Exercise is an important element in reducing the amount of damage caused by cheat meals. People who starve themselves and go on all sorts of starvation diets should be cautious about cheat meals. The results could be very unpredictable. The body could react in unexpected ways.
Exercise keeps the metabolic rate revving. It keeps the hormones balanced. It allows for disturbances and helps your body cope better with the sudden intake of junk food and excess calories.
When Do You Deserve a Cheat Meal
You should only indulge in a cheat meal if you have been strict and disciplined with your diet and exercise for the entire week. This is a reward that you could give yourself. Even then, the cheat meal should be limited to one sitting. Going for an all out 3 hour buffet could set you back quite a bit.
Conversely, if you have missed exercises or have not been able to follow your planned diet, skip the cheat meal for that week.
The Conclusion on Cheat Meals
If the cheat meal is what it takes to keep you on a weight loss or fitness program, by all means take it. Do be aware that the added calories will be stored as fat. A such, only take it when you have been strict and disciplined the entire week.
Make sure its only a single meal. This is not an excuse to binge the entire day. The best rule to follow is to eat whatever you could fit on your plate at a single fill. Second helpings should be avoided. You could add one non-alcoholic drink and one dessert.
There will be times when you do not crave a cheat meal. Do not take it for the sake of taking it. What is important is that you are making progress and losing fat. If you are not losing fat, take a step back and re-look at your cheat meal.
Would the cheat meal motivate you to stay on your weight loss or fitness regime? Vote below.