Cheat meals – an essential in the persistent dieters tool kit!

Eat it or starve!

On today’s menu : “Eat it or Starve!” :-)!

Well almost.

Enter the cheat meal.

The weekly scheduled cheat meal is what I consider one of the more important considerations of my fat loss journey. I emphasize cheat meal because (for me) cheat days are a little bit too much. The cheat meal provides the necessary mental break of eating in a structured calorie deficit for an extended period of time as well as re-ignites the fat loss process. There is plenty of criticism out there regarding cheats (scheduled and unscheduled) – how they do not work or are even detrimental to weight loss. However, since I have been tracking my meals since January of this year…I can confidently say that they DO work. Even cheat days work! Case and point – if you eat too much one day on occasion you are likely doing yourself a favor IF you are consistent with everything else the majority of the time. Consistency over the long term is what pays off.

Benefits of cheat days/cheat meals:

1. Mental break: Humans are creatures of habit, yes. But doing the same thing over and over again can drive you crazy. Reignite your motivation to continue dieting with the scheduled cheat meal or day.
2. Increase your metabolism (and thus fat loss): If you have eaten at a deficit for a while, your metabolism may have slowed down. Fire it back up with a scheduled cheat meal or day to let your body know it is OKAY to shed the flab.
3. Keep your temptations at bay: This is a benefit listed by many health and fitness writers. After you eat clean (minimally processed foods) for a while your former temptations may cease to exist and be replaced by new, healthy ones. I think that this can be great tip for those just starting out on eating real, whole foods.
4. Keep your social life fun: In today’s society, socializing is often centered around food. Have fun with your friends without depriving yourself at your next gathering. Eat, merry and be happy with a scheduled cheat.

Here are some of what I consider to be very well written and informative articles written by experts on the topic of “cheat days/cheat meals”. Strategies included!

http://www.coachcalorie.com/cheat-day/

http://www.coachcalorie.com/cheat-meal-tips/

http://www.coachcalorie.com/refeeds/

One very interesting thing that I learned in reading the information above is that when you do have a scheduled cheat it’s best to increase your carbohydrate intake and keep fat intake low! An increase in carbohydrates will increase insulin levels which cause fat storage. Why would you eat fat along with something (carbohydrates) that causes it to be stored? (in the paradigm of cheat days/meals)

So today is my cheat meal day and guys – I will be posting what it is I choose to eat later on today!!!

Until then!

xoxo

Ginger

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