What Should You Have Cheat Meals or Cheat Days?

What Should You Have Cheat Meals or Cheat Days?

Every Bodybuilding/fitness enthusiast stays on a disciplined diet. These disciplined diets become a part of the lifestyle of bodybuilding/Fitness enthusiasts over a period of time. Everyone who stays on a disciplined diet experiences craving for their favorite food which they cant consume during their diets from here comes the concept of taking cheat meals once in a long time to satisfy our taste buds. In this article, we will study in-depth about all the information surrounding Cheat meals

Cheat Meal or Treat Meal?

We should change our ideology around Cheat Meals. If we will start considering Cheat Meals as Treat Meals it would be better. A Treat meal is a meal that you give as a gift/treat to your mind and soul. Remember, our Body needs only macro nutrients , it does not care about where those macros are coming from and how does the food providing this tastes like. It is our mind and our taste buds that crave for our favourite food items. Treating your body with a treat meal after a well disciplined diet is the best practice to maintain your fitness in a long Run.

Cheat Meal or Cheat Day?

According to My personal experience, Cheat Meal is a better option because it limits the bad food intake to just one meal. If one bad meal is consumed in a day it can be neutralized by adjusting the macros of other meals consumed during that day. Cheat day one the other hand, allows a person to consume unhealthy, fried, processed, high sugar Foods for a whole day. There are huge chances that people who follow Cheat days can eat in very big calorie surplus. Unhealthy food items are made with a very large number of ingridients and its very difficult to track their exact macros and calories. These items when consumed during the whole day lead to an undesired caloric surplus that a person might not be able to track.

Also, Refer to Why Your Biceps Aren’t Growing!

Binge Eating in Cheat Meal?

You must decide the upper limit of Calories that you dont need to cross while having Cheat Meal. People often eat Cheat meals worth more Calories than their maintanence calories for the whole day. They try to include everything they are craving into a single meal which is a very wrong eating strategy. After completing this cheat meal they also take their regular diet which takes them into huge calorie surplus. Apart from this , taking Cheat Meals in Extra large quantity may also lead to Upset Stomach, Vomit etc because our body develops a habits of recieving healthy food and when all of a sudden we eat unhealthy food in large quantities, the body is not able to process it properly.

Will one Cheat Meal ruin your diet?

The answer to this question is very subjective and depends upon how you take your cheat meal. If You adjust the macros of the day on which you will take cheat meal in such a way that , even after taking Cheat meal you are still in caloric deficit or under maintanence calories it will not ruin your diet.  If you will take Cheat Meal that takes you above the maintainence calories , in a caloric surplus that might harm the overall progress.

Can We take Alcohol in Our Cheat Meals?

Alcohol consumption slows down the metabolic rate of the human body. Even in small quantities alcohol when taken will always have an effect on your fitness goals. But in the end, we all sometimes like to loosen up and party! If you want to include alcohol in Cheat Meals, try to avoid eating anything rich in fats and Carbohydrates along with alcohol or during that entire day. Drink lots of water, eat green vegetables and drink Alcohol in a capacity that your body can tolerate minimizing the side effect of taking Alcohol.

Check Alcohol and Bodybuilding – Effects and Causes for more details

Facts Regarding Cheat Meals

Before thinking about the proper ways of taking cheat meals we must be clear about some facts.

1. Our body doesn’t need to cheat on the meals. It’s our mind that is telling us to cheat on our diet. Our body uses the food we eat as fuel to do the work. The body does its job by using the Macro and Micronutrients irrespective of the food that these Macro and micronutrients are coming from. It is our mind that needs our favorite food. In the end, we are all humans and sometimes need to enjoy our favorite food just to remain sane and feel good.

2. The Role of Taste Buds And Craving- If a person who used to eat loads of junk goes on a disciplined diet. He will experience more cravings as his/her taste buds become acclimatized of junk food. These types of people will often feel demotivated and low while dieting because they will think that their bodies are not capable of being on a long disciplined diet but that’s not true. The truth is their body doesn’t need that junk food. It’s their taste buds that are desiring junk and when they are not able to eat junk the desires of taste buds aren’t met and the person feels very low. Here, Self Control is the only thing that can help these types of people to achieve their fitness goals.

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Benefits Of Including Cheat Meals

1. Cheat Meals Help us to stay disciplined during Regular Diet Days. When we  know that we are going to eat our favourite food after a period of time. We are eventually able to follow our diet more religiously because in our subconcious mind we know the exact time frame after which we will be able to eat the food which we are craving. For example- If a person takes a cheat meal on Friday afternoon. He will be able to use this as a motivation to stay on a disciplined diet from Saturday to Thursday. He knows he will be able to satisfy his craving or have his favourite food on friday.

2. Cheat meals help to keep our body familiar with different food items. People who don’t include cheat meals in their diet often experience many problems like upset stomach and gastric problems. This is due to the fact that our body functions like a machine. When we feed the machine with something that it is not familiar with it starts malfunctioning. The same happens in human bodies. When people don’t take cheat meals for a very long time, the body forgets how it used to process excess salt, sugar, and spices. When a person who doesn’t take regular cheat meals eats something unhealthy after a very long time his/her body is not able to accept the food because the body is not familiar with the ingredients of that junk/unhealthy food.

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Final Advice

If you are planning to take a cheat meal. You need to follow some basic tricks that will not allow a cheat meal to cause any major changes.

1. Include more protein in your diet for 12 hours before and 12 hours after your cheat meal.

2. Decrease carbohydrate and fat consumption on the day of having your cheat meal.

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