Are “cheat meals” ever ok?
Well, here’s a topic that creates loads of confusion, plenty of debate, and makes for a guilty conscience as though a 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 tunnel draws closer as we approach the weekend. That “cheat meal” becomes a reality through a failed 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?
Well I’ll start by saying this – 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!
Although they are cheat meals to some, to others, they are known as a “refeed”. Equally as important, the refeed 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 me ask you, is the cheat meal negatively effecting you physically? Or mentally?
Now that we’ve tidied the physical side up, perhaps that’ll ease the other side too.