01 Dec Should you use cheat meals?
This is a pretty popular topic and an often asked question. Should I use cheat meals? Well like most nutrition related questions that answer depends on alot of factors. Do you workout? How low in calories are you relative to your needs? Do you have thyroid issues? How is your sleep? Are you cheat meals planned or do you simply fall off your nutrition plan? How close to your goal are you? What is your bodyfat % now? Will a cheat meal cause you to lose control?
So hopefully you can see there are alot of factors why someone would and should use a cheat meal. But honestly most people do not need them at least initially.
People who should use a cheat meal:
– someone who workouts intensely with both weights and cardio several times a week
– someone who has a lower level of body fat (below 15% male, below 22% female)
– someone who has been dieting and training hard for a long time AND has a sluggish thyroid
– someone with good nutritional control (cheat meal is planned and not used an excuse to fall off diet on a weekend or when a special event happens)
People who do not need a cheat meal:
– someone who does not exercise or just walks for activity
– someone with higher bodyfat then mentioned before
– someone who has poor appetite and cravings control
– someone just starting a fat loss program
If you cheat what are the rules?
– non processed and gluten free, no frankenstein foods
– try to avoid both sugar and fat combos (double insulin spike and worst fat storing recipe)
– it is one plate, not a buffet
– make it planned once a week, at least 5 days a part
– if you want alcohol it is part of your cheat and you need to reduce your starch intake
– you should still have protein and veggies present first to help control appetite, then you are allowed your starch
-do not think of it as a cheat meal, think of it as a refeed meal of healthy carbs
The point being, most people do not need cheat meals for sometime. How do you determine if you might need one? You are consistent, workout and you are starting to see a plateau in fat loss progress. And if you use them, use them wisely, not an excuse to eat like a drunken frat boy. If you know you have craving issues and might lose control, dont use a cheat meal. Simply throw in some brown rice or a sweet potato with a steak and keep it simple.
Till next time!