Cheat meal: how to eat sweets and fast food and stay fit
Cheat meal is a planned violation of the diet. A meal consisting of foods that are tasty, but forbidden on ordinary days, such as sweets, fast food, or alcohol.
This eating habits are very popular in the bodybuilding and fitness freak communities - hobbyists who do not perform on stage, but do strength training and strive for a muscular body with a low percentage of fat.
It is believed that cheat meal helps to reduce psychological stress from the inability to consume your favorite delicious foods and thereby maintains the readiness to continue dieting. .
It is also speculated that the periodic surplus of calories and carbohydrates helps to speed up the metabolism, slowed down in the process of weight loss, and pushes the body to further shed body fat.
Cheat meal can support metabolic rate and maintain muscle mass on a low-calorie diet. But only if you plan it and control the amount of food consumed. However, the main positive point of cheat meal is not about physiological reasons, but about psychology . And in this regard, it can really be useful.
People in both groups lost about the same amount of weight, but those who could afford the cheat meal were more positive, did not stop believing in the diet's effectiveness, and did not lose the motivation to maintain it. Unlike the participants who were constantly undernourished.
The ability to sometimes break strict rules protects against an irresistible urge to eat something forbidden, which can result in overeating and refusal to diet.
It will be easier for you to keep from a donut or a slice of pizza if you know you can afford it tomorrow (or in 2-5 days). And at the same time, do not break your eating plan and do not feel like a criminal.
Guilt or celebration? Associations with healthy eating attitudes, perceived behavioural control, intentions and weight-losshow people's attitudes towards food affect their weight loss success. It turned out that those who associated forbidden food (chocolate cake) with the celebration made more progress in three months than those who associated goodies with guilt.
So this perception does not help people to diet and choose healthy food. The less you worry about your food sins, the better your chances of successfully losing weight and maintaining weight.
People write that they lose control and cannot stop - they absorb from 1,000 kcal at a time, and then punish themselves for the breakdown with even stricter restrictions and serious loads.
Scientists noted that cheat meals in all respects strongly resemble episodes of impulsive overeating - a painful phenomenon that underlies eating disorders.
If you can't stop and go beyond all reasonable measures, and then feel guilty, induce vomiting, or punish yourself with even more restrictive and exhausting training, cheat meal is not for you.
Moreover, any rigid dietary framework will only support an unhealthy relationship with food. So instead of the most effective diet, you better find a good therapist. .
This limitation promotes dietary ketosis, a state in which the body begins to produce more ketone bodies to replace some of the carbohydrates.
Excessive carbohydrates in a cheat meal can disrupt ketosis, and you will have to go through the "keto-flu" delights again.
Along with the spike in blood sugar , the participants also increased the concentration of substances that indicate vascular damage. As a result, the scientists concluded that hyperglycemia after a high-fat diet can negatively affect the state of the cardiovascular system.
How to arrange a cheat meal so as not to harm the results
Here are some tips on how to make your cheat meal really useful and prevent breakdowns.
People tend to underestimate the calories and the amount eaten, so you may not notice how much surplus you are creating from cheat meals. Especially if you arrange it whenever you want.
To avoid overloading calories , plan your cheat meal ahead of time. Decide on a day that you will eat more than usual and include prohibited foods in your diet. For example, do this on weekends or every sixth day of your diet.
Also think about what kind of food it will be and in what quantity. By defining this ahead of time, you will reduce your risk of overeating, high calorie surpluses, and feelings of guilt.
So that cheat meals will certainly not reduce your weight loss results, you can slightly reduce the calorie intake on normal days.
For example, if you set the bar at 1,500 kcal per day, this would be 10,500 kcal per week. In order not to create a surplus, you can reduce your daily consumption to 1,400 kcal, and arrange a cheat meal for 700 kcal on Saturday. For example, it could be a burger with fries or a large ice cream.
At the same time, the total calorie content for the week will not change. This is the model that has been used in intermittent diet studies and has shown good results.
There are several reasons to include high-carb foods in your cheat meal:
Effects of short-term carbohydrate or fat overfeeding on energy expenditure and plasma leptin concentrations in healthy female subjectsin 10 women showed that carbohydrate loading (an additional 40% kcal from carbohydrates) increased leptin levels by 28% in the next 24 hours after overeating. It can be assumed that this will work in people of both sexes.
You will be able to accumulate more glycogen. This can be important for athletes before a competition or hard training session. Excess carbs will replenish muscle glycogen stores and increase your performance.
Feel free to include your favorite sweets and pastries, potatoes and pasta in the cheat meal, eat with pleasure and do not suffer from guilt.