Reaching your fitness goals is not always an easy process. When it comes to your diet, it is essential that you design a well-balanced program that is easy to follow during your everyday life. Achieving your goals depends on consistency. However, studies have shown that many people have more success sticking to their diet plan by eating a cheat meal once during the week. The following is an overview of cheat meal basics and how you can use them to meet your goals.
Cheat Meals are for Mental Reasons
Cheat meals are designed primarily for mental reasons, rather than physical ones. The idea behind these meals is to give you one meal to look forward to, so you can stick to your diet more easily. Many people designate an entire day to eating indulgent foods. However, experts recommend sticking to just one meal per week. That way, you don’t erase an entire week of healthy eating by consuming 4,000 calories in just one day.
What to Eat?
So, what will you eat during your cheat meal? You can add one food you typically avoid such as bread or pasta if that helps satisfy your cravings or you may feel like eating an entire cheat meal. The key to using cheat meals is to enjoy it without feeling guilty, then picking your regular diet plan as usual.
When to Eat?
While you can eat a cheat meal anytime, there are times that may lessen the impact on your waistline. Here are some of the best times to eat a cheat meal:
Right After A Workout
One perfect time to eat a cheat meal is after a workout when your metabolism is still in high gear. Studies have shown that your metabolism remains elevated for up to 4 hours after a workout. This means you are still in calorie burning mode when you consume a calorie dense cheat meal.
In The Morning
Eating a cheat meal during the morning hours will give your body time to burn off the extra calories throughout the day. You could use your cheat meal for breakfast or brunch and still have plenty of hours left in the day to get in a work out or a run.
Cheat meals can be a great way to help you stick to your diet. However, it is important to note that maintaining a strict nutrition program depends on how satisfied you are overall. If you are barely able to stick to your diet, you are going to cheat here and there. This will definitely have an impact on your long term success. For some, the cheat meal concept has a negative connotation and that isn’t healthy. To be successful, you must incorporate healthy eating into your everyday life. It really is a lifestyle change and not a diet plan.
If you are going to eat a cheat meal, consider doing so at the above times. Doing so will allow you to enjoy a meal you love, while maintaining the integrity of your diet plan. Remember, life is all about balance and making adjustments to incorporate an eating style into your lifestyle.