Pizza, fries, chicken wings and cookies – they’re not exactly the first things that come to mind when we think about fit and healthy bodies, but after day six of eating out of a Tupperware container, counting macros and firing up the George Foreman grill, why are they the only damn things we can think about? Like diving head first into a pool of molten chocolate, devouring a mountain of Cheetos or finishing off a family sized tub of ice cream.
But more importantly, how come cheating is always considered to be so wrong when it feels so right?
Well guess what? It’s not! In fact incorporating cheat meals into your health and fitness plan could be the best thing you ever do and here’s why.
Cheat Meals are Good for Your Metabolism
We all know that eating clean is like soooo good for our bodies and even though sweet potato, kale and seasoned chicken can tasty pretty darn good at times, eating the same foods everyday, just like performing the same workouts, can eventually lead to a plateau. So having a cheat meal once a week can actually prevent this occurring.
Through eating different types of food your body is kept guessing and hunger hormones are reset, helping to kickstart your metabolism in the best possible way. So next time you’re biting into a fat juicy burger remember it’s all in the name of progress. Take that, haters!
Cheat Meals are Good for You Psychologically
Dedication to the game is frickin hard work and can drain even the most controlled of people, so give yourself a break and enjoy a cheat meal. You might find it’s the only way to keep you from going completely insane and more importantly stop you from turning into a moody b***h that quite frankly nobody enjoys being around. Reward yourself for all of your hard work and dedication – yes I know your body is going to be your ultimate reward, but you still need to give yourself a break along the journey. Plus this way you’ll feel happier because you’re not depriving yourself of anything.
Cheat Meals Can Help You Stick to Your Diet
Completely disallowing yourself the freedom to eat the food you love and enjoy is unhealthy and in a lot of cases can end up doing more harm than good. Ever had one of those situations where you stick to a clean eating plan religiously even though you’re craving that one slice of cake? You feel demotivated and unhappy and eventually you end up binging and eating the whole damn cake instead? Yeah, been there, done that and it ain’t pretty.
Scheduling cheat days here and there as part of a balanced diet means that you are actively preventing yourself getting to your breaking point and are therefore much less likely to sabotage all of your hard work in the process. So go on, have that slice of cake and then get back to work – you deserve it and you’ll be doing yourself a favour in the long run.
Cheat Meals Allow You to Enjoy Unhealthy Food Without the Guilt
And while we’re at it, when you’re eating that cheat meal you can freaking enjoy it. Yes that’s right, if you’ve planned a cheat meal as part of your routine you can savour all of the goodness without feeling an ounce of guilt. Reality check: One cheat meal is not going to make you fat, just like one healthy meal is not going to turn you into a fitness goddess. So once you’ve shovelled that last spoonful of apple pie into your mouth there’s no need to go through the usual cycle of self-hatred, disappointment and depression that an unplanned binge creates.
Basically if you’re going to eat unhealthy food what’s the point unless it brings you joy and oh boy the amount of joy a meat feast pizza can bring you is totally unparalleled.
Cheat Meals Give You More Energy
A cheat meal that’s full of carbs contains a bucket load of glycogen, (glucose that’s stored in your muscles and ultimately used for exercise), so if your levels of glycogen have been depleted due to a low carb diet, restoring these levels through a cheat meal can make your upcoming week’s high-intensity or demanding fitness activities more productive due to the newly heightened levels of energy you’ll have.
I mean, Usain Bolt didn’t eat a Macdonalds before sprinting into the world record books for nothing and who knows, maybe you’ll smash your PB if you allow yourself that oreo cookie milkshake?
So there you have it, cheating can be great. The trick is to make cheating work for you…I say if you’re going to do it, you might as well do it properly. Now pass me the fried chicken.