A cheat meal is a meal that has been designated to one day of ANY type of food you like. Body builders or people who want to lose weight also call it treat meals. For those who are unfamiliar the concept, it is that one meal in the whole week of dieting when all the foods that are yearned for can be eaten. Some cheat meals include pizza, cakes and other foods that make eating and dieting more exciting. Cheat meals are designed to keep you sane, as our natural compulsions usually take the better of us, a cheat meal helps normalize cravings and keeps you on track with your diet plan or exercise regime.
Anyone can decide whether to eat cheat meals during the whole day or in just one meal. If properly incorporated with the diet program, there are 5 benefits of cheat meals.
- Cheat meals improve leptin production levels. Leptin is the hormone that encourages metabolism of fat and at the same time, it manages appetite. Normally, the leptin level in the body is reduced after one week of dieting. This level is restored to the normal level during cheat days. Therefore, the body is once again prepared to burn fat and to contain appetite for the next diet week.
- Cheat meals also re-establish muscle glycogen levels which is low during the week in which intake of carbohydrates and calories is restricted. Eating meals that contain high levels of carbohydrates restores the glycogen level of the muscles. You would regain your strength, become energized and motivated to go on with diet the following week.
- Cheat meals boost metabolism. During diet week, the body’s metabolism assumes that it is starving and therefore slows down. Having a cheat day ensures that calorie intake is increased and at the same time speeds up metabolism. Thus, more fat is lost with faster metabolic rates.
- Cheat meals also lessen cravings during non-cheat days. Foods that can be eaten during cheat days reduce the desire to eat the same foods when dieting.
- The final advantage of cheat meals is that a cheat day every week makes the diet program more rewarding. Therefore, cheat meals make it easier to stick to the diet and lessen the chances from falling off the bandwagon.
We hope that this information was beneficial to you! It is very hard to stick to a strict diet and it is normal to feel a craving for a food, try incorporating cheat meals once a week in order to curb those cravings and let us know in the comments how you went.
If you have any recipes on some favorite cheat meals feel free to share it with us below.