The ultimate cheat meal is going to be different for everybody. For me, totally depends on my mood!
Sometimes I might want Thai, pizza, a burger and fries. Those are generally the usual suspects. However, my approach to cheat meals does not change.
The thing to remember is it’s not that serious. Will the cheat meal throw you off a bit? Yeah probably. But will it be worth it? Let’s figure that out.
Are you competing?
If not, skip to part 2.
If yes, you might want to consider the following…
Do you have a coach?
You should probably talk to them about how you’re feeling and any cravings you’re having. They’re sure to guide you in the right direction. After all, you’re paying them to help you through times like these.
How far away is your competition?
If you’re more than 8 weeks out, having a cheat meal probably won’t deter you from staying on track for more than a couple of days, but if you’re just a few weeks or days out, you might want to reconsider.
A controlled re-feed might be something to consider if you’re feeling flat, sluggish and low energy, and your workouts are suffering along with your mental status.
How are you feeling?
Similar to above, if you’re really feeling the diet and you’ve been suffering for more than a week, it might be a good time to have a cheat meal. Having a cheat meal can help replenish low glycogen stores and hormones in the body that tend to decrease when the body is in “diet mode”.
Your mood will likely boost and you’ll probably have lots of energy to expend during your workout!
So you’re not competing, but you’re probably dieting for your own reasons.
If you’re reading this article, chances are you’re just interested in the idea of cheat meals (we all love food!) or you’re trying to decide if having a cheat meal is really worth it.
As said in the beginning, it’s not that serious. Yes, your weight will most likely increase the next day, you might feel bloated depending on what you’ve eaten and how hard you went on the cheat meal (or day, let’s be real here!). But there are a lot of benefits, too.
You can give your mind a bit of a break.
If you’re wanting to plan a cheat meal, try to plan it around a family/friend outing like a birthday or celebration. It’ll allow you to really enjoy time with the people you love rather than worry about how many grams of fat are in grandma’s famous pecan rolls.
Additionally, even if you aren’t competing for anything, you’ll still feel increases of energy and a mood boost, which both your mind and body will love and thank you for.
Take Home Message
Should I be eating cheat meals?
Ultimately, it’s up to you. Think about some more pros and cons of your own and see if the cheat meal is worth it!