Well, here’s a topic that creates loads of confusion, plenty of debate and makes for a guilty conscience as though food murder has been committed.
So let’s tidy this one up and create some clarity around the cheat meal. As many of you can appreciate Monday to Friday can seem like an eternity when you’re limiting your calories, sticking to a plan and chasing a goal. You may be cutting carbohydrates, cycling macronutrients or perhaps a combination of a variety of dieting techniques that place pressure on the body both physically and mentally.
Regardless of your journey, that beloved craving at the end of the week draws closer as we approach the weekend. That ‘cheat meal’ becomes a reality through a response to temptation, perhaps a reward, or because you feel like you deserve it, and good on you!
So how bad is that meal for you? Given it’s a meal and not the start of a roller coasting day that finishes 48 hours later, it can only be positive. You’ve worked hard all week, you’ve seen progression and you have rewarded yourself as you said you would. Well done.
The reward aside, sanity through balance is everything. Your cheat meal serves as a great opportunity to find that balance, reset the system and draw a line in the sand prior to the start of another strong, successful block of consistent training and clean eating. There must be milestones and this is one of them.
Although they are cheat meals to some, to others, they are known as a ‘re-feed’. Equally as important the re-feed provides opportunity to activate and exercise important hormones internally like insulin (among many others). Insulin sensitivity is at all-time high, insulin responds rapidly and transports much needed nutrients to the muscle and other areas of the body, another win.
So – let us ask you, is the cheat meal negatively effecting you physically? Or mentally? If not then its is ok in our book.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are entirely an opinion by The Body Factory or representative thereof and do not take into account your individual health, circumstances or needs. For personal guidance, you should contact us or other qualified fitness or health professional.