A Cheat Meal should really be seen as a ‘treat meal’ for those who stick to a strict diet for the week and then allow themselves the luxury of indulgence as a reward.
We all know how hard it is to adhere to a healthy diet 100 per cent of the time. Cravings come and go, and when we eventually relapse, we feel a failure. The good news is that there are advantages gained from having a cheat meal, and you should feel no guilt if you apply the practice correctly.
Here are 4 of the best pros of the ultimate ‘Cheat Meal.’
The best reason to have a cheat meal is to treat yourself after the hard work you’ve been doing to keep yourself fit. The brain loves rewards, and the perfect reward for your brain is to indulge in your favourite food from your favourite restaurant!
Having a day off will increase Dopamine, also known as the happy hormone, and this will lift your mood. There is a positive relationship between sticking to your diet and taking a planned break – so next time you feel bad about sneaking a cheat meal, remember the scientific facts.
Keep Yourself Motivated
This might sound surprising, but cheat meals can help motivate you to stay on track with your diet. Psychology plays a big part in weight loss. When you plan a cheat meal and look forward to that reward, you have fewer chances of snacking randomly. This gives you the power to overcome temptation and provides an incentive to stick to a healthy diet. You’ve planned when you’ll take that reward, and when you do, it will be more enjoyable knowing you’ve earned it!
Sort Out Your Metabolism
Our body has two hunger hormones – Leptin and Ghrelin and the balance between these hormones regulates your appetite and metabolism. Leptin regulates your appetite and controls satiety, signals when you’re full, and Ghrelin tells you when you are hungry.
When you are dieting, your levels of Leptin and Ghrelin are out of sync, and a decrease in these hormones can make you hungrier, so you’re in danger of eating more! Cheat meals allow your body to fluctuate levels of the regulator Leptin, so you don’t binge.
Take a Mental Break
To achieve your weight reduction goal, you’ve got to be mentally strong, but you also need to give yourself a break. A cheat meal offers much-needed mental relief; constantly suppressing your cravings can be exhausting!
Cheat days should be planned because they are part of your whole diet strategy. It’s no good to impulsively eat a cake and call it your cheat meal because you’ll eventually excuse it as a free ticket to excessive eating! Think of your social calendar and plan to use your cheat pass when you’re out with friends – but don’t turn it into an all-day cheat fest! Remember, the best weight loss plan is the one you can stick to.