Cheat meals have become a generally accepted part of dieting and bodybuilding, but too many men are making basic nutritional mistakes in their cheat meal planning that could derail their whole fitness crusade. Don’t make these common cheat meal mistakes that have entered our mainstream nutritional habits.
THESE COMMON CHEAT MEAL MISTAKES CAN BE EASILY AVOIDED
IT IS A CHEAT MEAL, NOT A CHEAT AFTERNOON
Everyone wants to drag their cheat meal out. What began as a pizza and a pint of beer, is now a starter, main course, dessert, cheese course, a bottle of wine, and post-dinner chocolates. It is a cheat meal, not a cheat-afternoon. Choose your meal and stick to it. Just because you sit at the same table all afternoon, doesn’t mean you are allowed to eat rubbish all afternoon.
DRINKING ALCOHOL WITH YOUR CHEAT MEAL
There is nothing wrong with enjoying some alcohol as a treat every now and then. But pairing it with a high fat, high carbohydrate cheat meal might not be the best idea. Alcohol blocks fat oxidation. This means that it accelerates the rate at which your food is stored as fat.
The alcohol itself won’t make you store fat, but it will increase the rate at which you store your cheat meal as fat. To cheat effectively, eat your cheat meal and drink alcohol on different days.
NOT HAVING YOUR CHEAT MEAL AS THE LAST MEAL OF THE DAY
I am always surprised by how many people tell me they cheat on a Sunday at lunchtime. They go to their favourite restaurant with their significant other and enjoy the end of the weekend. I am left wondering how they then managed to keep their diet on track that evening.
It is much harder to eat what you want in the afternoon and then reign your diet back in in the evening. Try and reserve your cheat meal for the last meal of the day. That way you can go to bed and wake up ready to fall right back into your diet. You don’t have to spend the rest of the evening fighting off cravings.
KEEPING CHEAT FOODS IN THE HOUSE
I always recommend going to a restaurant for a cheat meal. This is because if you cook it from scratch at home, you will likely have all the ingredients available in the house whenever you want to make it again. This is just an unnecessary temptation. Reserve your cheat meals for a setting outside of your home so you aren’t tempted to have another unplanned cheat day.
DO IT RIGHT
Cheat once a week and try not to exceed 150% of your total carbohydrate allowance. A cheat meal is supposed to restore glycogen stores and provide a little bit of relief, not derail the whole train. The more you eat something you like, the more cravings you have for it.
Giving yourself just enough to satisfy yourself, without igniting a string of aggressive cravings is the trick to getting a good cheat meal in. Getting this right will make the diet much easier to follow the rest of the time.