Okay cheat meals- the double edge sword. This is the meal you look forward to but also dread at the same time. Once the meal is over you automatically start thinking of what the physical outcomes is going to be. Here is the thing:
Cheat meals actually have benefits, here are a few:
Speeds up metabolism
For some, a boost in testosterone levels
Give your body something different to deal with and creates confusion
There are also Re-Feeds
Re-feeds and cheat meals are different.
A cheat meal is something that you would not have in your typical diet
A re-feed is a planned day where you increase in caloric intake, mainly consisting of a large amount of carbs
For those on low-cal diets and looking to restore glycogen re-feeds are the way to go
Remember it is a Cheat Meal, 1-2 cheat meals a week are totally fine if you keep them to what they are, MEALS. Cheat meals do not become cheat days, when they do you get fat storage.
Person Goals Must be Kept in Mind
Someone below 10% body fat can get away with more cheat meals per week then those higher into the 20’s. I would recommend that if you have a certain goal then stick it through and get to where you want to be before you start setting aside cheat meal days. Re-feeds are a better option at this point for those dropping fat. Once you are where you want to be it is always easier to handle that cheat meal.
The Psychological Aspect
Many people include cheat meals to deal with cravings, emotions, just life in general
Having a certain day where you can have a cheat meal tends to keep others in line during the week with their diet making this tactic beneficial to them.
A proper cheat meal will not ruin your diet, it is one meal- the psychological part is what can be the killer. Are you mentally strong enough to limit yourself to just one meal that day?? Or will it continue on for a few days?
Once the mental aspects of cheat meals are conquered it becomes smooth sailing when dealing with these meals.
Use that cheat meal as an energy source hours before your workout
Use the meal for post-workout refuelling
There are always healthier versions of meals that taste just as good
Remember your usually daily caloric intake, stay in the ballpark- not go 2-3X usual amount
Relax and Enjoy it!
Eat well, drink well and smile while doing it!