It is necessary to strategize in order to go about making use of cheat meals. One needs to plan when to eat and what to eat as part of the cheat meal strategy. It is indeed a good idea to line up that cheat meal on perhaps a weekend or social occasion. By planning one’s cheat meal, one will be eating and can cut a few extra calories earlier in the day.
One needs to avoid consuming too many carbs and thus avoid bread and desserts. One must avoid such high-calorie intakes in one sitting. One tends to splurge and that tends to add calories.
Table of Contents
1. Earn the Burn
One way cheat meals can boost the metabolism is by increasing the levels of leptin, the “anti-starvation” hormone that is responsible for sending hunger messages to the body. When one’s body senses a calorie deficit, leptin levels do drop, prompting the metabolism to slow down and conserve energy. Throwing a calorie-rich cheat meal into the mix tricks one system into thinking the food is plentiful and that it is okay to burn through fat stores. In the context of strict dieting, cheat meals can also aid weight loss by temporarily boosting leptin.
2. Do not cheat when you are famished
Some people indulge in a cheat meal by punishing themselves on the treadmill and also severely restricting calories for days in advance. They are probably the same folks who tend to sleep with the heat off and live by candlelight in order to save for a mini vacation. One tends to starve much in advance as part of cheat meal in order to splurge on a special occasion. This tends to back-fire as one cannot cut down calories but will actually gain weight.
3. Cheat in Moderation
A solid diet and exercise program will indeed help one to lose 1 to 2 pounds per week—a deficit of about 3,500 to 7,000 calories. One can consider the average sit-down restaurant meal that serves up 1,200 calories, and it is easy also how cheating too big or too frequently, can undo one’s weight loss efforts in a matter of hours. If one is serious about losing weight, limit oneself to one cheat meal per week. Pick a date, meal time and a restaurant; and put it in the diary.
4. Create a Calorie Buffer
One can minimize the damage of a cheat meal the day of one feast by focusing on one’s daily intake of calories. One can fast before the meal. In other words, if one is cheating at dinnertime, one can move their first meal to later in the day (lunchtime). Reducing the number of hours one eats not only can save one’s calories, but it also can shift one’s body into a “fat burning” state.
5. Avoid being famished
Showing up at the table hungry is also not a good idea. One must make sure one eats a high-quality, high-protein meal before one’s cheat, preferably with high-fiber, low-starch veggies to slow down digestion. One can have a full plate of salad as it can be a pre-cheat meal. On will not be starving before a meal and thus be able to restrict the calorie intake. One will have one’s daily intake of carbohydrates and fats.
6. Work Out Before One Feast
In order to minimize fat gains from one’s cheat meal, it is essential to deplete one’s glycogen stores, the sugar in one’s system that one’s body burns up for energy. The body will not be able to store carbohydrate as body fat until its glycogen reserves are full, so the emptier one’s tank is the more room. One has for more eats. One can hit the gym before one cheat meals. High-rep circuit style workouts are no doubt the best depletion workouts. Even 20 minutes can have quite an effect.
7. Take One’s Own Order
One can get overwhelmed by temptations on the menu. One is presented with multiple food options, they eat more. Try to mentally limit the food choices one is allowed in advance of one’s cheat meal by focusing on the options one absolutely loves and craves. Choose a restaurant which has a menu over a buffet and, if possible, think of the options in advance. Go to a restaurant with a game plan. Do have a good idea of what one is going to order before the waiter does arrive at one’s table. Take what one is familiar with.