Many people prefer having a cheat meal when they are in a weight loss regime. Here’s how and when you should have a cheat day.
Being firm on a weight loss regime can be quite hard for a lot of people. It can be difficult to stay on a diet schedule without exploiting any rules, including having junk food or missing daily exercise. Losing weight becomes even more tough when you have different delicious as well as unhealthy foods around you. Therefore, mostly everyone expects to have a good cheat meal or day as a reward of controlling the cravings during the weight loss journey. Cheating with a meal or day while following a diet plan has to include proper calculation and planned allowance from your inner self to take a break from your strict diet routine.
You have to be sure about breaking any rule during this time period. It is basically a reward for yourself to indulge into some treats. Even a lot of experts suggest you to have a cheat meal to give your body and mind some relaxation. People either go for a cheat day or meal while taking a break as an approach. As the name suggests, a cheat meal/day is basically a single meal/day that allows you to have a planned diet pattern with willing breaks of other food choices in between. Dr. Anam Golandaz, Nutritionist, Masina Hospital, Mumbai, about the same. Read this article further to know everything about having a cheat meal while losing weight.
Is having a cheat meal right?
Obesity is rising everyday all over the world. It is important to control it to prevent a number of health conditions and diseases. One of the biggest challenges to lose weight is maintaining a strict diet plan. Weight management and body composition changes are complex processes. Each and every human body responds in a different way as they are on varying diets. If you consume fewer calories than you burn, weight loss is likely to occur. In this way, the reward-based cheat meal or cheat day strategy may be effective if you’re able to execute a well-planned diet and maintain overall reduced calorie intake.
According to Dr. Anam, if you are on a diet, your body must use the stored fat and stored carbohydrates, without gaining any extra calories. The amount of calorie intake should be less than what you are burning per day. Another disadvantage of having a cheat day while losing weight can lead to uncontrollable binging again and again. For some people, it is satisfying to have one or two cheat meals, but others are not able to control themselves after having one unhealthy meal. It makes them long for more and more tasty treats. Rewarding yourself should not make you weak in following your actual diet plan. Disturbing this path can lead to long term failure in achieving your goals.
How and when to have a cheat meal?
The foods you eat as cheat meals is different in every individual as people have personal choices and tastes, but they mostly include high-calorie foods in their cheat meal. It majorly has those foods that are not allowed for consumption while following a strict diet plan. However, you still have to maintain the overall calorie count while eating those indulging foods. As per Dr. Anam, if you are following 90 percent of your diet plan honestly, then allowing yourself for a cheat meal twice a week is fine. Having a cheat day can be too much for your body, but having one single meal is not considered as an enemy for your weight loss regime.
There is no exact time or day to have a cheat meal, but you can set it for yourself or with the help of your dietician as suitable for your body. However, do not give up on working out even if you are not having a cheat meal break. According to some studies, you can enjoy one cheat meal every week. Providing a mental and diet break can be good for your metabolism and leads to healthy weight loss.
Are cheat meals effective?
The effectiveness of cheat meals is different for everyone and it majorly depends on your type of diet and the calorie intake of your meal. Although, it is important to keep in mind that you need to consume fewer calories than how much you are burning in a day. Exceeding this limit can put your diet plan out of balance and interfere with your weight goals. Therefore, it works the best for those people who are strict and loyal with their diet plan. Some researches say that having a cheat meal is effective, while some prove that it is not effective for healthy weight loss. Successful weight loss is only possible if you are maintaining the overall calorie intake even while cheating.
Along with the motivation to eat healthy foods, cheat meals can also help you in staying active and engaging in physical activities. If you know you will be getting a perk at the end, then there are higher chances of you to play by the rules until you have your cheat meal in front of you. It can help you stay super focused on eating healthy and working out, which makes the cheat days all the more rewarding. They also help us in keeping ourselves mentally focused as well.
Cons of having a cheat meal?
Some people have a cheat meal to take rest from strict self-discipline and it also gives them motivation and helps in maintaining their commitment. However, for other people, it can lead to a loss of self-control, self confidence and pushes them to give up their healthy eating plans. Having a cheat meal will not ruin your progress of losing weight if all is going well with your other plans of diet and working out. Healthy eating should not be a pressure or compulsion for you. It should always be enjoyable and achievable for your body and mind.
So, this is how, when and why you should have cheat meals while following a weight loss diet by Dr. Anam Golandaz. However, ou should talk surely talk to your dietician before making unhealthy or healthy changes to your weight loss diet schedule. Every body and the metabolism of each individual is different, hence an expert advice is required for you. Opting for lighter meals to cheat also depends on your own choice.