I was good all week long and now I "deserve" a cheat meal right ?? WRONG. The term cheat meal gets me frustrated when working with clients. I prefer to have a designated day for a refeed meal vs. a cheat meal. Why? There are a few reasons behind the term refeed vs. cheat and what psychologically happens when talking about them.
Cheat meal- An excuse to have a meal that has a psychological reward through food as comfort. Eating foods in excess because they are deemed "off" limits during the week causing a binging effect and not listening to your natural hunger cues.
Refeed meal- A planned meal with an increase in carbohydrates from complex sources and a decrease in fat to restore glycogen levels. Your goal for this meal is to raise your metabolic capacity to restore your natural hormone levels.
I want to ask you a very serious question. What is the reason you feel the need for a cheat meal? The reason for a cheat meal is for people who are eating in a caloric deficit to boost leptin levels up after having a period of food restriction. The goal of the cheat meal is to increase your metabolic rate and kickstart fat burning when you go back to the deficit numbers the next day. It refuels glycogen levels and restores breakdown for a period of time.
Now if you are not in a caloric deficit, why do you need a surplus of calories? I am a firm believer in setting a goal and accomplishing it in as little time as possible through proper nutrition and fitness. So in my opinion putting anything in your body that is going to make the process longer is not a good idea. If you live healthy 95% of the time you will still reach your goals very quickly. Let’s say you eat 6 small meals per day that’s 42 meals a week. Having 1-2 cheat meals weekly would mean you are still eating perfect 95-97% of the time.
Cravings happen to us all and any time during the day. If you are having a specific craving at a certain time of day, you might have a behavior change that needs to take place such as changing your nighttime routine. Just like training, when you diet, your body goes through the same routine schedule. You have to get in the routine of eating your meals around the same times per day not overeating; not skipping meals and that late night urge will eventually go away.
A good tip for cubing that late night sugar issue it to get rid of the bad stuff. Yes who cares if you just bought that tub of ice cream, you do not need to eat it ! Throw that away and move on. What if you just can't stop that craving? Try out these sneaky diet tips to keep you full. Make Jello, eat some rice cakes ( they are not as bad as people think ) drink some tea, and the funny one is eat some broccoli !! No one gains weight from broccoli.
Find your balance and stop thinking a fad diet will work.There is only one way of getting in shape physically and mentally.. Hard work and eating right. If you ever need help, reach out to me and my coaching services !