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Cheating on your diet: You did it (or will), now what?

Cheat Meals: An Overview On Giving In (You Probably Should)

Cheating a Diet is considered a huge taboo when it comes to weight loss. It’s typically the result of giving in to cravings or special occasions that call for big meals. Two things usually result from this: One, most people usually call it quits after a day (or even several) of eating things outside of their planned regime. Two, they start the whole diet over because they think all their results have gone out the window.

What if we told you Cheat Meals aren’t bad? Here, we will dissect the misconceptions of cheat meals and show how you can utilize it as a great tool to help you stick to your diet for the long haul.

“Avoid Cheat Meals”: Why The Public Says Cheating Your Diet Is Bad

  • “You’ll lose results”

Many publications and other people we probably know will often say that cheating on your diet will undo everything you’ve strived for. This is typically because cheat meals entail high calorie foods i.e. french fries, pizza, big bowls of noodles etc. As a result, it’s best to stay clear of cheating to maintain your results. If you don’t you will be doomed and deemed a failure.

  • “You’ll continue to binge”

So you eat one meal and you think, “It’s just one, no big deal” or “I only ate half, so it should be ok”. Many are against this because although  your one instance of cracking is small, it’ll lead you down a slippery slope of gluttony. Eating a cheat meal may increase your urges, ultimately leading you to quit your diet. A huge chunk of dieting is a mind game, so it’s best to not tamper it with temptation.

  • “You won’t be able to adapt to a healthy diet”

When getting on a new diet, you’re exerting a stress on your body that it is not familiar with. As a result, your body will need time to get used to the new conditions you’re putting it in. Afterwards, your metabolism will adapt and you’ll get used to the new diet. If you cheat, you’ll ruin the chance of reaching this level of stability to maintain weight loss. And who wants to lose that?

  • “You’ll feel guilty”

The after effects of a glorious cheat meal is not worth it. You’ll feel guilty, fat, and demotivated. A cheat meal is just not worth the few minutes of happiness.

  • “Normal food is unhealthy”

All the typical foods the general population eats is horrible- you don’t want that in your body. They are filled with sodium, fat, ridiculous amounts of carbs, and worst of all, Calories. Stay clear of them at all costs. Stick to salads, fruits, nuts, and lean meats. All of these are high in nutrients and healthy fats. Clean food = clean body.

Share this article if you’ve heard these reasons.

Debunking What The Public Says About Cheat Meals

Everything from the above section is the general belief of dieting…which is mostly wrong. Here is what we have to say about each:

  • “You’ll lose results”

So…if you cheat, will you lose all your hard earned progress? You essentially won’t. Let’s math it out and see why.

To lay a few numbers out, a pound of fat is 3500 calories. This sets the bar for why you should eat 500 calories under your maintenance (calories you eat to maintain your weight) per day to lose one pound per week.

So let’s say your normal state/maintenance level of calories is 2000. This means you need 1500 per day to lose a pound per week. It’s a Saturday and you and some friends really want to eat a nice buffet. You eat well and have a good time. At the end of the day, you end up eating 1000 calories more than you should have. So in total, you’ve eaten 2500 calories that day.

To put it all together, you’ve only eaten 500 calories more than what you need to maintain your normal weight, which is 1/7 the amount of calories in a pound of fat. So as you can see from that one meal, it’s no big deal.

Check out our in-depth guide if you want to learn more about calories and dieting.

  • “You’ll continue to binge”

If you cheat in moderation or plan for big meals, binging won’t really be an issue. Having a cheat meal here and there, or even a cheat day, will help you endure the diet much longer.

In fact, studies have shown that those who do not cheat are more at risk of binge eating. Why? Because no one has infinite will power. As a diet continues, temptation rises.

  • “You won’t be able to adapt to a healthy diet”

Adapting to a diet is actually a state you do not want. If the human body adapts to an external force, it’ll cease to change. In terms of dieting, if your body fully adapts to your food intake, you’ll stop making progress. We’re not exactly telling you to constantly make huge changes and shock your body. In fact, you should make small incremental changes for gradual, long lasting progress.

  • “You’ll feel guilty”

If you accept that cheat meals are necessary (and normal), you won’t feel guilty. Everyone needs a break, even from dieting. Enjoy yourself, and continue on.

  • “Normal food is unhealthy”

We wrote an older post on calories a while back that is worth the read. It’ll help you understand this a little better. Essentially, weight loss and dieting comes down to calories in vs. calories out. Whether you take in 200 of your calories from an apple, or 200 from chocolate, 200 calories is still 200 calories. This pretty much goes to show that there isn’t necessarily a food that is more superior to another. At the end of the day, food is energy.

Why You Should Implement Cheat Meals

As previously stated, everyone needs a break here and there. Dieting is taxing and the best way to endure something taxing is to rest in between phases of high amounts of stress. If you view dieting and the implementation of cheat meals on the macro level, your overall caloric deficit will be greater than if you did not cheat because you took those mental breaks and continued on the diet for a longer duration of time.

So basically, cheat meals are good for your mind and emotions.

Consequences Of Cheat Meals – Bad…Or Good?

If you cheat for a day or several, what can happen? You may gain weight, maintain weight, or lose weight. If you gain weight, most of it will be water weight and a very tiny amount of it will be fat. But it is totally worth it if it can help you continue your diet longer.

Let’s say you lost 5 pounds and you cheat. After you cheat you gain a pound back. You still net 4 pounds of weight loss. It’s a good trade off if you ask me. And then you just pick up on your diet and continue to lose more.

This is way better than being super strict and then quitting because you could not handle the stress.

How To Implement Cheat Meals Strategically

There are many practical ways to add cheat meals into your diet plan. We recommend you hold off on any cheating for about your first month or two . Afterwards, having one cheat day or meal a week will typically be ok.

What if life strikes and you need to eat like a normal person? Eat like a normal person. At the end of the day, you should not compromise meaningful experiences (what we believe at least) in life, such as eating out with family on a special occasion, for dieting. Enjoy life and continue on with your plan where you left off.

To learn more about dieting and how you can be flexible with it, check this article out.

If you like this article, share it with your friends on Facebook. Let them know that cheat meals are ok

The post Cheating on your diet: You did it (or will), now what? appeared first on HK FITLIFE | Hong Kong's Fitness Hub.

This post first appeared on Hong Kong Fit Life | HKFL, please read the originial post: here

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Cheating on your diet: You did it (or will), now what?


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