The cheat meal is one of the things that most people who go on diets look forward to.
I usually give my clients 1 of these a week.
I prefer that they have it on weekends and preferably on Sunday night as it will make it less likely that they will cheat all weekend.
Often times I will get asked by clients if they have to do the cheat meal if they don’t want to.
My answer is no they do not.
The purpose of the cheat meal is to give the person a mental break from the diet, but for some people it will make the diet harder to get back on for the first few days.
The longer you cheat the harder it is to get back on the diet.
Which is why if a person doesn’t feel like it then I recommend they skip it as there isn’t that much of an upside besides a small carb load.
People will argue that it helps with weight loss hormones and enzymes to be up regulated after being depressed from dieting.
Yes, long term dieting will down regulate certain weight loss hormones and enzymes.
But one meal or even a day isn’t going to help much with that.
This is why you take short diet breaks.
2 weeks is usually needed at eating at maintenance calories and x number of carbs to get your fat burning hormones and enzymes back to normal.
In some cases longer.
How long you can diet hard without a diet break will depend on how much weight you have to lose.
The more weight you have to lose the longer you can go without needing to take a diet break.
So the take home message is this:
If you don’t feel like a cheat meal then don’t do it.
Also, if you have been dieting very aggressively for a long time then you should consider taking a 2 week diet break.
The diet break should be at maintenance calories with x number of carbs.
THIS DOES NOT MEAN A FREE FOR ALL AND EAT AS MUCH AS YOU CAN.
Eating a huge surplus of calories for 2 weeks will undo a lot of the weight you worked so hard to get off!
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