What Is A Cheat Meal? Why An Occasional Binge May Not Be A Bad Idea

So, you have been good all the week. Refrained from fried foods, chose to pick a salad over the fatty steak. And, let's not forget the cheesecake cravings that you successfully managed to ignore!

Sushmita Sengupta  |  Updated: March 29, 2018 12:59 IST

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What Is A Cheat Meal? Why An Occasional Binge May Not Be A Bad Idea
Highlights
  • Refrained from fried foods, chose to pick a salad over the fatty steak
  • Cheat meal is one such incentive you can treat yourself
  • Cheat meal could help you in your weight loss goals
So, you have been good all the week. Refrained from fried foods, chose to pick a salad over the fatty steak. And, let's not forget the cheesecake cravings that you successfully managed to ignore! When it comes to food, not giving into the impulses is a task. A task, that calls for a due reward from time to time. Cheat meal is one such incentive you can treat yourself with, after a spell of eating clean and staying active. Don't worry; your nutritionists would not mind this occasional binge either.

But Why Cheat?



Cheat meal could help you in your weight loss goals. Yes, you heard us. These meals do not have an adverse impact on your fitness goals, provided they are taken in regulated quantities. Finding yourself an incentive may motivate you more in your fitness journey. Let us explain how.



Weight loss has lot to do with psychology. Consultant Nutritionist Dr. Rupali Datta explains, "The simple logic behind these occasional meals is that it makes you very happy. We are all human beings at the end of the day, the positive effect is mostly psychological than physiological. We are good eighty percent of the time, and for a good 20 percent we like to put the guards down. Eating burgers, pizza, pastas gives us that kind of satisfaction. In moderation, even these indulgences don't harm.

Also Read: 6 Cheat Meal Mistakes You Should Never Make!

cheat meal

Cheat meal could help you in your weight loss goals.

Cheat meal may also impact your metabolism in a good way. Dr. Rupali says, "Any change is good for the body, if practiced in moderation. When we talk about cheat meal, there are two aspects of it. One is that we have eaten clean and healthy for the whole week and want to take it easy on one last day of the week. Second is when we are on a specific diet plan for a week and take a day off to satiate our taste buds with our favourite foods. In the former case, a cheat meal is more of 'feel-good' factor, a reward for yourself. If you are on a weight reduction program, a cheat meal, in addition to being a psychological boost, also helps shake up the metabolism. Try something new and enjoy."



When you have reached your weight loss plateau, a cheat meal lets your metabolism to awaken to something new. This revived metabolism helps you to lose weight. But, make sure, the cheat meal is regulated, cautions Dr. Datta. If you end up noshing more calories than those you have saved in your diet and workout. You defeat the entire purpose of even being on weight reduction diet.

(Also Read: How Many Times Should You Eat Everyday To Lose Weight?

weight loss

A cheat meal lets your metabolism to awaken. Photo Credit: iStock

Research shows that cheat meals boosts your metabolism by warding off feelings of depravation. The spike in metabolism levels may also be due to increased levels in leptin - the anti-starvation hormone. The hormone responsible for sending hunger messages to the body. Your body has a mind of its own. When it senses a calorie deficit, leptin levels drop. This prompts your metabolism to conserve energy. And, it starts burning fat stores for energy. Eating cheat meal temporarily boosts leptin and aids weight loss.



But, a cheat meal doesn't mean you go all out and forget about the calorie count you are required to keep track of.



Things To Keep In Mind Before You Cheat.



1. Plan Your Cheat Meals Better



If your cheat day falls on a Sunday, and you have a party to attend on Saturday, make sure you appease your cravings to your heart's content on a Saturday only. Going on binge spree again on Sunday, would defeat all the good you have done the past whole week.



2. Don't Cheat When You Are Starving



It is not the best idea to go on a binge spree when you are starving or are famished. Not only would end up eating much more, but will also forget about the buffer of calories you have created for yourself, and go overboard.

hunger

It is not the best idea to go on a binge spree when you are starving ​

3. Make Sure You Make Up For What You Eat



Conveniently skipping your workout after all the indulging is a strict no-no. Make sure you burn up all the calories at the gym the very next day.



4. Allow Yourself A Cheat Meal, Not A Cheat Day



Comments

Eat anything you like to your heart's content. But, don't overindulge. And, definitely not keep indulging the entire day. If your lunch was a mix of pastas and pizzas make sure your supper is light.

pizza recipes
Eat anything you like to your heart's content.

Cheat as much you want, make sure you don't nullify all the hard work in the process.



About Sushmita SenguptaSharing a strong penchant for food, Sushmita loves all things good, cheesy and greasy. Her other favourite pastime activities other than discussing food includes, reading, watching movies and binge-watching TV shows.

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