Oh dear, if you know me a little bit, you know how crazy I am about food! Especially treats and very unhealthy burgers! I could trade my sister for a plate of lasagna. Woopsssss!
Cheat meals are seen as very unhealthy most of the time but actually this can help you progress towards your fitness goal! Yes you heard right! If you are hitting a plateau having a big meal like this can help you make a move! It allows you to rebuild the energy that you lost during your week and re-stock in energy. Moreover it can boost your happiness and motivation! After that cheat the diet seems easier and you won’t crave sweets too much!
But now, that’s where you need to read carefully, there are still some important rules to follow…
Plan your Cheat Meal
A cheat meal needs to be planned in advance, you can’t just decide out of nowhere to eat that yummy Ben&Jerry ice cream ! Yes that’s the difference between planning a cheat and giving up into food craving!
Personally my cheat meal is always during a weekend, either the Friday or Saturday night. The rest of the week I try to keep myself away from too many temptations (pretty hard with my colleagues who brings cakes and treats!) If you know that you have a date or a birthday party, just try to stay away from unhealthy food until then. You will enjoy cheat time even more!
How many cheat meals?
A cheat meal is a cheat meal, only if you are not doing it every 2 days! It’s very important to not over cheat every week because then it loses its benefits and you will start creating extra fat!
If you are bulking I would definitely say you can have a cheat meal every week however, if you are trying to cut I would recommend to do it only every two weeks, if you can resist. One cheat can definitely affect the shape you are trying to achieve, BIG TIME.
Naughty cheat… but still a bit of control please!
Yes I know, you see all the fitness athletes just smashing burgers, fries and ice cream on social media… the dream! But you need to keep in mind a few things!
- Those people go to the gym every day, once or even twice sometimes, so they can burn a lot of calories every day.
- Social media isn’t the reality… a picture is a picture, what proves that this athlete just ate that plate of lasagna ( I know I’m obsessed!)
Anyway, you need to understand what food is best for you to restock in energy and to do this you will probably have to try different approaches. See how you feel the morning after a cheat meal, are you bloated? If yes maybe stay away from heavy carb meals.
Also, I think there is some confusion in what is a cheat meal. It’s not just smashing a super size cheese crust pizza! A cheat meal is something that isn’t in your current diet plan, it more than often increases your caloric intake mostly with carbs. So to be honest there are two types of cheat meals:
- Controlled one -> This cheat meal isn’t about junk food, but about increasing carbs in your system in an healthy way, in order to give you that extra boost. You probably won’t gain any fat from this one. It can consist of adding 50-100g of rice/pasta/piece of bread to your dinner for example. Nothing too crazy here!
- The junk one -> Well as you understood this one is all about junk food. Your body can be a bit overwhelmed sometimes by what is happening to it, as you are stuffing yourself with french fries and pizza slices. This is why this one can be a bit more destructive for the shape you are trying to gain.
I personally go for the second one a lot of the time because it makes me feel good and happy ! That’s all that matters, right?
What can I have for a cheat meal?
Let’s separate this with the different cheat meals.
My favorite controlled ones can consist of:
As you can see, this is just normal carbs… If you have a very strict diet ( with caloric restriction) this is going to give you loads of energy! You will probably enjoy your next training much more, trust me!
My favorite junk ones can be more like:
- Ice cream
- Cakes or any kind of sweets stuffs!
What’s your choice?
So tell me what are you going to choose for your next cheat meal? Are you going to get a little bit crazy, or try to stay on track and reach your goals a little faster?
Want to go healthy but still enjoy some treats? Try my Avocado Brownies 😉
Enjoy & Smile