Cheat meals have long been associated with indulging in something incredibly naughty which is not part of your diet which is why it is called ‘cheating’. However, this is far from the case as these meals / days aren't cheating at all. They can actually help you psychologically deal with the shift in your diet. Some people find it extremely hard to cut out their guilty-pleasures to eat clean, so cheat meals are a way of dealing with this stress. Weight-loss should not be boring, so by knowing that there is some manoeuvering with your food, it helps to keep a positive mind set and prevents your diet determination from to plummeting.
There is also a great benefit in cheat meals, it is said that they can trick the body into believing that it is gaining substantial calories which send the body in starting the fat burning process. Whilst all the above might sound like music to your ears, there are some things to be aware of:
DON’T treat this as a reward
You should never complete a workout just because it means you get to eat a chocolate bar afterwards. This mentally of rewarding yourself with bad food will only directs your focus away from the gym. If you have worked extra hard, try having a weekly reward but associate it with something other than food.
DON’T binge eat
A cheat meal is a moment to treat yourself but there's no need to take advantage and eat all of the naughty food in sight. Not only is this detrimental to your health, but it’ll only leave you feeling deflated and disappointed in yourself afterwards.
DO: limit yourself
To stop yourself from going overboard, try setting a time limit on your cheat meal. Allocating perhaps 1 hour in your day will prevent you from binging out, allowing you to maintain full control and discipline over what you eat.