17 Ways to Create the Perfect Cheat Meal
“OK That diet plan looks great, but I’ve got 1 more question… when can I have a cheat meal?”
So I get asked this question probably more times than any other when it comes to helping people with their nutrition.
Cheat meals are a great way to:
1. Relieve the boredom of dieting
2. Increase your metabolism
3. Stop you from reaching a fat loss plateau
4. Help you maintain a social life when you’re dieting
5. Eat the foods you really love and still get great results
They should be used in the right way
Here are my 17 ways to help you create the perfect cheat meal
Before your meal:
1. Use it (don’t abuse it)
When you’ve been dieting for a while, a cheat meal can be a really good way to help jump start some of the processes that lead to fat loss in the body.
But please don’t over use the cheat meal strategy just because you want to have more cheat meals.
The main reason a cheat meal works is that it is a once a week kind of meal. If you start having them every couple this plan will not work out the way you hope it will and you will end up back at square one with your diet if you are not careful.
2. Plan it
Set a date in your diary for the week when you are planning on having your cheat meal. Saturday night works well for a lot a people as that means they can tie that in with a meal out with friends or a night in with a takeaway.
When you plan it, it also means that you are less likely to fall off the wagon that week because you have a meal that you are looking forward to.
3. Look forward to it
You should look forward to your cheat meals (I know I do!)
Don’t be scared of a cheat meal, I know it can seem daunting, especially when you’ve been sticking to a diet for a while, but as long as you have been given some good advice on when to start having your cheat meals you will be fine.
4. Create a calorie buffer
If you have a cheat meal planned in for an evening meal, then choose lower calorie foods earlier in the day to create a small calorie deficit. That way you wont go too overboard on your daily calorie allowance when it comes to your cheat meal
5. Have a tough workout
Anther great way of prepping your body for your cheat meal is having a tough workout. I often recommend to my clients that they do the toughest workout of the week on the day of their cheat meal. Your metabolism will be increased and your muscle will be ready to use the extra calories as part of your bodies recovery.
6. Have the right kind of meal
When you’ve planned in your cheat meal, make sure that the meals you have earlier in the day at the right kind for your diet. Don’t get sloppy and add in some cheat meal foods earlier in the day as the cheat meal will lose its effectiveness.
7. Don’t starve yourself
Don’t “save yourself” throughout the day so that you are absolutely starving by meal time. If you do this you are more likely to overeat and you will probably enjoy your cheat meal less because you were too busy trying to eat it as quickly as you can.
8. Stick to your order
Whatever you have decided to have as your cheat meal, stick to it. Don’t fall into the trap of ordering a bit of everything. I’ve done that before many times and always left the table feeling a bit let down because I’d been looking forward to having something else all week.
9. Choose the right meal for you / what you want to eat
This is a big one. It’s your cheat meal, and you have worked hard all week for it. So make sure that it is actually something that you want to eat.
10. Set a time limit
Don’t let a cheat meal turn into a cheat day, cheat weekend or a cheat week. Set a time limit or use this simple rule that once the plate is empty, then your cheat meal is over. Don’t start adding in extra unplanned desserts or bags of crisps or chocolates after your meal.
They will send you way over your calorie allowance for the meal and you will probably feel really full and bloated.
11. Use portion control
Just because you are having a cheat meal, that doesn’t mean that you will never have another meal again. Don’t go crazy on your portions sizes and pile your plate as high as physically possible, as you must remember that your digestive system may not be able to handle such massive portion, especially if you’ve been dieting for a while.
12. Drink plenty of water
It’s more than likely that your cheat meal is going to be high in salt, MSGs (a nasty food additive) and other flavorings that your body will not be used to. So make sure you drink extra water to prevent you from getting too dehydrated.
13. Take your time
Enjoy your meal, remember you’ve been looking forward to it all week.
After your meal:
14. Stop at the end of the meal, not the day / week / month
Remember, it’s a cheat meal, not a cheat weekend or a cheat week. Don’t undo all of your hard work from the previous week by getting greedy after your cheat meal.
15. Get back on track next meal
The next meal after your cheat meal is just as important, because it marks the tarts of a new week when it comes to your meals. I’m sure you will have enjoyed your cheat meal, but its back to work now so that you can get the results you’re working so hard to achieve.
16. Go workout
After your cheat meal, your bodies energy stored n your muscles (called glycogen) will be replenished so make sure that you use that extra energy in the gym. Do a high intensity or a high rep workout to get your body and mind back into the right kind of zone you need to help you lose weight.
17. Experiment – see how you feel after certain meals
Finally when it comes to planning your next cheat meal, look for signs and reactions in your body how you feel after these meals. If you have a lot a bloating and feel very lethargic after a cheat meal then that is a sign that you might have some kind of intolerance to the foods you’ve just eaten.
So you might want to try a different kind of meal for your next cheat meal to avoid the same thing happening again.
Your body will always give you clues about what it likes and doesn’t like so try to listen to your own feedback as this knowledge can be very valuable when it comes to helping you lose weight.
If you feel like you need some guidance and a clearer plan on what you need to do with your nutrition and your training, go to the link below to find our how our 8 week program can help you
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