I CHEATED to lose weight – YOU can too…
Ok don’t get too excited, that doesn’t mean I have found a quick and easy way lose weight. I haven’t had liposuction or been taking diet pills.
I’ll never do that because I actually LOVE working hard to get my results, it’s really rewarding!
But, I do CHEAT every now and again.
What I am talking about is CHEAT MEALS.
Cheat meals can have a real positive effect on you physically and mentally when you are on your weight loss journey!
I’m going to tell you the 3 main points about HOW and WHY cheat meals work…
First though, let me tell you how I first discovered cheat meals. About 6 years ago before I moved to Dubai during my personal training course my tutor spent half a day talking about them. At the time I thought he was crazy!
I thought, how can you be on a diet trying to lose weight but then sometimes eat what you want? Doesn’t that contradict itself?
Then he started telling me the science behind it. I must admit I still wasn’t convinced!
When the course had finished and I passed all of the exams, an opportunity came my way of working as a personal trainer in Dubai. I jumped at the chance!
As soon as I found out I had got the job I hit the gym and started a clean diet. I wanted to get lean to look my best for when I was chilling on the beach
But, after about 5-6 weeks I hit a plateau with my weight loss. I couldn’t work out why. I was working just as hard in the gym, my diet was still clean, in fact perfect!
I thought back to that day when I was told about cheat meals and thought I’d give it a go…
To cut a long story short (because Im rambling on a bit now haha), a few days after my first cheat meal the pounds started to drop again. Let me explain why…
DONT WORRY, I’m not going to baffle you with science I am going to tell you very simply, 2 ways how cheat meals work!
1. Lets imagine you are on a calorie controlled diet. When you restrict calories your metabolic rate slows down as your body adapts to the low calorie intake.
For example, if you require 2000 calories per day, and your diet programme is providing 1400 calories, your body will become used to this low calorie intake and over time your metabolic rate will slow down as your body wants to hang on to those valuable calories. We call this ‘starvation mode’.
How quickly your metabolic rate will slow down depends on how severe your diet is and how lean you are to start with, but your metabolic rate will definitely slow down over long periods of dieting.
So, a cheat meal simply tricks your metabolism into thinking that the famine that is occurring is not, which in turn will keep your metabolism high.
2. Apart from the metabolic affect, I think the most important part of a cheat meal lies in the psychological factors.
If you plan a day in your week to have one cheat meal, it will change your whole mindset of the diet. You will have something to look forward to, it will motivate you to stay focused during the week and it will probably help you stick to your diet for longer.
As you may have experienced at some point when you are on a diet for a longer period of time, your cravings will begin to intensify. These cravings can be very strong and sometimes may even stop you from continuing with the diet. Cheat meals satisfy those cravings and keep you motivated to continue with your healthy eating plan.
So, although it may be hard to get your head around, give a cheat meal a go as it really does have its benefits.
Here’s how we plan our cheat meals in our house…
We normally have our cheat meal on a weekend, as this is the time when we tend to go off the rails. Knowing we are going to treat ourselves to a cheat meal helps reduce cravings for things like fast food and alcohol at the weekend. It also gives us motivation and something to look forward to during the week.
Sometimes I use my cheat meal at those awkward times when I cannot find a healthy option. Like when I’m at a birthday party or going out for a meal with the family. Or even when I’m out shopping and I need something quick.
P.s. please remember, although cheat meals are good, ONLY ONE PER WEEK and try to control portion size! Don’t go crazy and start having a cheat meal every day. You still need to be disciplined!