Having a cheat meal can be a great way to reward yourself once a week for a great job you just did in the past week sticking to your diet.
Cheat meals are also an excellent method to use for those of you who are having difficulties saying goodbye to all your favorite foods that made you gain weight.
But, is it really a good idea using cheat meals together with your diet? What if it backfires, causing you to fall back on your old eating habits, or just make you gain weight?
These are concerns you must think about if you decide to use cheat meals with your weight loss diet. Not taking these concerns into consideration may sabotage your whole diet!
With this article, we are going to help you get the best out of using cheat meals. We are going to give you a set of rules you must follow to avoid these common pitfalls.
But, first, we are going to talk more about the benefits of using cheat meals because if you do this right it will benefit your diet a lot.
Benefits Using Cheat Meals With Your Diet
There are quite a few benefits to get if you want to incorporate a weekly cheat meal in your diet. Let’s have a look at some of them
A Great Way to Eliminate Food Cravings
Thinking about a particular food daily can make you go nuts when trying to lose weight. Now you can tell yourself that you can have the specific food with the following cheat meal. It is often enough to eliminate food cravings and give you something to look forward to instead.
You Can Use Cheat Meals as a Reward
Having 12 or 16 weeks of weight loss dieting in front of you can be a difficult task that really can de-motivate you. A way to solve this and keep you motivated is to use a cheat meal once a week as a weekly reward.
You merely reward yourself for a well-done job by having a cheat meal.
But be aware, when you use cheat meals as a reward system, it is essential that you don’t develop a punishment system as well.
Some people directly get too hard on themselves if they fall for cravings during the week. They end up taking away their cheat meals as a punishment for not sticking to their diet. It is not the way to do this. Your weight loss diet must be a pleasant journey.
Cheat Meals Can Help to Boost Your Metabolism
Low-calorie dieting causes your metabolism to slow down. In the end, your metabolism can become so slow that you can barely eat a carrot without gaining weight.
Having cheat meals together with your diet will boost your metabolism by increasing your levels of Leptin. It is an anti-starvation hormone that drops when you are creating a calorie deficit. Low levels of Leptin will result in a slow metabolism, making it difficult to lose weight.
So when you have a weekly cheat meal, your leptin levels will go up causing a boost in your metabolism.
Avoid Reaching a Weight Loss Plateau
A weekly boost of your Leptin levels and metabolism will also give you other benefits. Because you are cycling your metabolism up and down, it becomes a lot easier to avoid the dreaded weight loss plateaus where your weight stagnate.
Gives You a Well Deserved Break
Going on a weight loss diet can be tough, especially if it is long term. Having that weekly cheat meal will merely make your weight loss life easier.
The Rules You Must Follow When Using Cheat Meals
One downside from using cheat meals is that it does require you to follow a set of rules, so one cheat meals do not become uncontrollable cheat days.
Your Cheat Meals Must Be Planned
When using cheat meals with your diet, it is essential that they are planned. You know exactly what day and what time you have your cheat meal. I recommend you to use Sundays, but it is up to you.
Don’t Turn Your Cheat Meals into Cheat Days
One meal one time per week, that’s it. Make sure your cheat meals are not turning into a Sunday eating feast having a family barbeque all day long. I know they are nice, but not suitable as cheat meals.
Alcohol Is Not a Cheat Meal
Now you may think! Why not get some alcohol instead of a cheat meal? Keep in mind, alcohol is a different ball game and can not be counted as a cheat meal.
Don’t Spare Your Leftovers
If you have any leftovers from your cheat meal, make sure to get rid of them, so you don’t get tempted to eat them the following day.
One of the reasons why we gain weight in the first place is because we believe that we have to consume everything that is being served to us. Give your leftovers to your children, poor people or your pets. Get rid of them.
Eat Slowly And Take Your Time
Perhaps you were a slow eater or a fast eater before you went on your diet. Eating slowly is very important when you have your cheat meals. Just sit down and enjoy every bite of it.
Eat Whatever You Want, Eat Dirty
In my personal opinion, you can eat whatever you want with your cheat meal. The purpose of having them is to eliminate potential cravings for bad food during the week.
If you put limits on yourself by leaving out the carbs or avoiding sauces, it is no longer a cheat meal but a diet meal.
No worry you have twenty main meals and a ton of snack during the next week to make up for the extra calories you ate too many of in your cheat meal.
Your Weekly Cheat Meal A Good or Bad Idea?
There is no doubt that having a weekly cheat meal can benefit your weight loss diet a lot. It can give you a necessary break during an extended period of dieting. It can provide you with something to look forward too when your life becomes all about healthy eating and counting calories.
Finally, it can help you to deal with the dreaded cravings many dieters are experiencing on a daily basis because you will now you can have them with your next cheat meal.
A good thing that many cheat meals dieters are experiencing is that the need for a cheat meal will decrease over time. In the end, you may end up with no need for cheat meals and no cravings for bad food at all.
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