What’s a cheat meal?
How often should I eat cheat meals?
Should I schedule cheat meals into my routine?
These questions are very typical when it comes to cheat meals. Odds are you have read or heard many different opinions around the best approach. It can be overwhelming, I know, I’ve been there. So first and foremost, what is a cheat meal? To put it simply, cheat meals generally contain little to no nutritional value and contain large amounts of excess sugar, carbs, and fats. You could also call this junk food. Still not quite sure about what qualifies as a cheat?
Common Cheat Foods
- Ice Cream
Hopefully your starting to get the picture.
When To Eat Cheat Meals
Now that you know what is considered a cheat meal or cheat food lets talk about when to eat them. Cheat meals, if used properly can be extremely beneficial for meeting your fitness goals. So you’re telling me, I can eat cheat meals and still get fit? You got it! It’s important to understand though if your not eating clean healthy foods on a regular basis, 80 – 90% of the time cheat meals will not be beneficial. The reason cheat meals are beneficial for those who eat clean 80 – 90% of the time is because our bodies produce a protein called Leptin. Leptin is produced by fat tissue and aids in regulating appetite and energy. After 72 hours, your body’s Leptin levels will drop significantly causing your metabolism and fat burning capabilities slow. So go ahead and eat that cheat meal because once you do your Leptin levels will return to normal and you can get back to burning fat. Typically, my cheat meals fall on a Wednesday and Saturday or Sunday. I will generally have 2 to 3 cheat meals a week but that’s just me.
Balance Is Key
You now know about cheat meals and when to eat them. The last point I want to talk about is maintaining balance between cheat meals and clean eating. As I said previously, if you aren’t eating clean 80 – 90% of the time cheat meals will not be beneficial for you in regards to reaching your fitness goals. The key is to start slow and work your way up to consistently eating clean on a regular basis. Many of the people who don’t stick with it try to go 100% clean eating and once they don’t see any results after the first week they quit. Well the sad fact is one week of healthy eating and exercise won’t make up for years of bad eating habits. You have to remember you didn’t get the way you are in one week so why do you expect to lose it all in one week. Sorry folks, it’s not going to happen. Give it time, stay consistent, and eat healthy foods. Results will come!
From all the articles and videos I’ve watched one thing stands out, one healthy meal won’t make you skinny just as one unhealthy meal won’t make you fat. It’s all about consistency; eat healthy, train hard, and have a cheat meal when you need it.