What counts as a cheat meal? The way I see it everyone’s definition of a cheat meal is different. It should be that way, because what I see as a cheat meal might not be a cheat meal to you. Are there universal foods that count as a cheat meal? absolutely! I don’t think anyone would argue about ice cream and donuts being cheat meals, right? But when it comes to foods like chocolate for example, some people count it as a cheat meal where I definitely don’t. I don’t count it as a cheat meal for myself because I am aware of when to consume it so it doesn’t negatively impact my body and I don’t eat excessive amounts of it. When I go away from the moderations and timing of it this becomes a different situation and could possibly make it turn into a cheat. I eat a lot of dark chocolate which actually benefits my daily nutrition, is that a cheat meal? Not to me. You probably have different standards when it comes to cheat meals and that’s for a wide variety of reasons. All of our bodies and lives are different, we have different needs when it comes to macros, our metabolism is not the same, we have completely different lifestyles and our views are not the same. The easiest way to figure out for yourself if something is a cheat meal is to ask yourself if something is a cheat meal. If you’re not sure if something is a cheat meal, it’s probably a cheat meal. It’s a great and easy rule of thumb when figuring this all out for yourself.
Benefits of cheat meals
When your nutrition is on point, you’re eating clean and you’re eating based off your lifestyle, cheat meals can be used to break through plateaus. Cheat meals can be used as a way of relieving the mind, feel good and enjoy some ”mouth pleasure”, they can also be used as a way of spiking your metabolism up which will help you burn more calories in the end. Your body is not used to these foods anymore and it will have to work harder to digest everything. Another reason to have cheat meals, it’s fun, it’s delicious and if you keep that from yourself for too long you’re probably going to end up hating the process of working towards your goals anyway.
The rule here is that the rest of your nutrition has to be right for you otherwise it’s not a cheat meal. That just means that your nutrition isn’t good period and you won’t get any of the benefits that I talked about.
Enjoy your cheat meals
If you decide to cheat, enjoy every single second out of it! There’s no point in feeling guilty or bad about a cheat because it’s already done, there’s nothing you can do about it. You not fully enjoying that moment is only going to make it worse for yourself.
I am big believer in enjoying life while maintaining a healthy body and mind. Cheat meals are a great way of relieving ourselves and enjoying life. We’re only going to be here once, we might as well enjoy it (in moderations). If you’re just starting of by working to your goals I would recommend you forgetting about cheat meals for a bit. Get yourself a solid base to work with first, get some results and move in the right direction before thinking giving yourself the enjoyment of a cheat meal.
When should we eat cheat meals?
Depending on how clean your nutrition is the rest of the time I don’t see a problem with cheating once a week/ every 2 weeks. It’s all depended on how far you’re in reaching your goals, what the rest of your nutrition looks like and how well you can manage the cheat meal. Keeping in mind that it’s called a cheat MEAL and not a day. If you overdo a cheat meal you’re not going to experience the benefits and you’re more likely to feel guilty afterwards. I am not encouraging you to cheat just for the sake of cheating, if you don’t want to or feel the need to, then don’t. Cheat meals should be earned and should not be a regular thing.
Wondering what you should be eating in order for you to earn your cheat meals? check out my blog where I talk about daily nutrition and give examples on what to eat. https://passionthroughlife.com/2020/04/04/daily-meal-ideas-explanations/