Today I’m going to explore the concept of cheat meals so that you can determine if they’re an appropriate part of your fat loss/stay lean/healthful eating plan.
What is a cheat meal?
This is usually defined as any food or mix of foods that stray from the typical dietary. It’s usually done for a psychological purpose more than a physical benefit. And it’s relative to the individual. For some, it may be a greasy, high-fat meal, and for others, it might just be a larger portion of clean, healthy carbs or simply a day off from working out.
I’m no stranger to indulging, but I never considered it “cheating”. The reason for this is that I don’t distinguish between “good” and “bad” foods. I either eat or I don’t. If I’m going to eat, I might as well choose the most optimal foods available that also serve my purpose.
And if I eat ice cream? Big deal. It’s sweet (artificially so), will deplete my body of B vitamins, and will sit in my stomach for hours, making me feel lazy instead of wanting to get up and be active.
What about the metabolic increase from cheat meals?
It’s true that your metabolic rate increases from a sudden dose of high calories, but this is never enough to actually override the calories contained in the food. Plus, any excess will cause your weight/body fat to increase, and at that point, who cares about a metabolic increase?
We eat for purposes other than nourishment and that’s okay. My opinion is to rid yourself of the concept of “cheat meals” and instead adopt a healthy relationship with food for life–even if that plan includes a daily dose of chocolate mousse.