Also known as a diet break or treat meal, cheat meals can be very helpful to your weight loss. I know, it sounds crazy, but hear me out.
- help you not feel as deprived so you don’t binge/overeat and allows foods you love (but your goals don’t) in moderation
- gives you something to look forward to during the week so it’s easier to stay on track
- after a calorie-heavy cheat meal your metabolism is slightly higher for a period of time, increasing your energy output and decreasing chances of weight loss plateaus.
See? I told you. The science wants you to indulge! Smartly, that is. There's a chemical called Leptin that signals to your brain when you are not hungry. When you’re in a calorie deficit (trying to lose weight) your leptin levels can decrease over time. When it’s time for your cheat meal those leptin levels are actually increased a bit.
My goal is to help you meet your goals in a healthy way. Allowing for cheat meal-type foods aids that.
Being too restrictive does result in a calorie deficit and weight loss, but is ineffective long term and certainly damages your mental and emotional wellness. To make it work for here, here are some tips:
Cheat with carbs - carbs will release insulin which increases leptin secretion
Plan it - schedule it and have all your other meals according to plan that day
Make it fun - make your cheat meal on a day you have a social gathering or want to go out to a restaurant
Don’t go overboard - don’t eat until you’re overly full or make yourself sick. Thoroughly enjoy your meal but then stop when you’re full and get back on track