How Often Should You Have A Cheat Meal?

How often should you have a cheat meal? From time to time, it is okay to have a cheat meal to balance out a stringent diet.

On the surface, it almost looks as if cheating on pizza and beer after a week of veganism is not a good idea. Believe it or not, occasionally letting loose helps you remain in adherence with a nutrient-rich eating plan.

Your body just needs a break from hard-boiled eggs and kale once in a while. Here is a way to eat your cheat meal to prevent serious imbalance from happening.

Balance Does Matter

Eating perfectly all the time can be tedious and boring. Perfect eating habits may be the reason people end up abandoning a perfectly good idea altogether.

You can think of it like a stretched-out rubber band. With no balance, you can desire something in such an extreme way that you end up snapping and reverting to the total opposite of what once was immaculate eating habits.

You might end up gorging on chocolate chip cookies when you strain yourself too extremely from not eating it. When you allow yourself a regular indulgence, you essentially remind yourself that you can still enjoy everything you used to enjoy while keeping your overall lifestyle healthy.

When you properly fuel your brain and body throughout the day, you won’t feel deprived or get too hungry. When you eat snacks and meals every few hours, you keep yourself under control.

When you indulge in a cheat meal once in a while, there is less of a likelihood you won’t be overdoing it. Restrictive diets can lead to bingeing just because it is off-limits.

Binge-Eating Is Not A Cheat Meal

Binge-Eating Is Not A Cheat Meal

Binge eating is not a cheat meal. So, what exactly is a cheat meal? These are planned cheats that would normally not be included in your diet. They are not mindlessly gorging on an entire Big Mac Meal.

Instead, splurge on meals that you love. When you look at the menu and want a cheeseburger with fries, you can decide whether to skip the fries or the bun.

When you satisfy your actual cravings right from the start, you don’t end up binge-eating the entire menu and eating everything, including the fries, the sodas, the buns, and the placemat. When you like hamburgers, try a meatless burger.

This is based on plants so it does not have as many calories and saturated fat. Another good pick for a cheat meal is a vegan pizza. The healthy vegetable fiber will get you full faster than a three-cheese pizza would.

Cheat meals need to be planned. For example, a slice of cake can be a cheat meal, but eating the entire cake is not. Other ideas for cheat meals can be kiddie portions such as kid-sized ice cream. Side dishes such as a mac and cheese makes a good cheat-meal entree.

You Make The Rules

There is unanimous consensus among nutrition pundits on the notion that for any diet, the 90/10 rule must be met, which means that 90 percent of your food choices are centered exclusively on healthy foods and the other 10 percent on cheat meals.

Essentially, you will need to know more about yourself when it comes to knowing when or how to splurge. Eating a cheat meal a little bit each day is better for some people than waiting for the willpower cork to pop and cheating just one time every week.

No one has the same style of eating, and every person has their own goal. Eating food that you typically don’t get to eat regularly might make it a little bit easier to stick to your main goal and your plan of eating overall.

Think about it, if you eat five snacks daily, that is thirty-five snacks each week. A fraction of that would be three-and-a-half meals which let you eat ten percent of anything you want in moderate amounts. This much leeway will help you meet your goals. If not, you can always make a few adjustments.

When Cheating works

Not everyone can respond to the same strategies of weight management. Body composition combined with the diet you are on is a complex process. The fewer calories you eat and the more you burn causes weight loss.

A cheat day strategy and a reward-based cheat meal might work if you can execute a well-organized diet and maintain a reduced overall intake of calories. So to answer the question of how often should you have a cheat meal, the answer is that it depends on you as a person.

If you keep trying to incorporate a cheat meal into your day and it causes you to binge and lose your motivation, then, by all means, stop. On the other hand, if the opposite is true, then keep going.

Do you see how this works? You can then experiment with what works, which days, which meals are great cheat treats to have.

Planned Indulgence As Motivation

Some think that occasional indulging that is not allowed in your diet works because you don’t feel deprived and feel motivated to stick to the diet you planned at the onset. In other words, losing weight through planned cheating is psychological.

Some people can resist the temptation to revert to old, bad eating habits when they are allowed to cheat, or when they know they can cheat every Thursday, for example. However, some people are not able to resist the temptation and end up bingeing. Thus, there are no guaranteed results for every person.

When you don’t have self control with your cheating days and meals, you risk undoing prior effort to weight loss if you end up eating more than you should.

Appropriately planning cheat days is the key. Keep in mind these cheating days are not free for all when you throw caution to the wind. Some people are okay with cheat days and still cheat “in moderation,” while others go berserk and throw away everything they worked for.

Metabolic Change And Losing Weight

Metabolic Change And Losing Weight

You might believe that a cheat meal is going to cause measurable body changes and improved metabolism due to fluctuating leptin, the hunger hormone.

Some believe that with lower leptin circulating, you might overeat because you won’t have enough of the “satisfaction” or “full feeling” signals.

This could lead to rebounding weight gain. The cheat meal strategy operates on the theory that intermittent high-calorie periods will fool your hormonal cycles to temporarily produce more leptin and prevent rebound overeating. This has no scientific basis, however.

At this point, the reason that people who use the cheat method successfully achieve this by mostly sticking to their diet and limiting junk food with high calories.

Planning Your Cheat Meal

Keep in mind that your cheat meal is not a reward for a hard workout or a stressful day. Managing emotions and stress with other things that are not food is important. When you take too many cheat meals, this can be a cover for other hidden issues you need to deal with.

Find inner motivations for working out and don’t use a cheat meal as a reward. Instead, make your cheating meal part of your daily or weekly schedule.

If you love dessert, have smaller portions daily. Each week, go to the cocktail bar and have a drink or two with the rest of the group. This can be considered your cheat meal. When you regularly schedule your cheat meal, you remove the feelings of absolute deprivation that come with a strict diet.

The Benefits Of Balance

How Often Should You Have A Cheat Meal?:The Benefits Of Balance

Let’s be honest. Your will is not an unlimited resource. Including cheat meals helps provide you with a mini-vacation for your mind and willpower. When you restrict calories and go on a cheat meal once or twice a week, your leptin hormone levels shoot up and helps you feel full.

A cheat meal decreases ghrelin levels which are hunger signals. A high-carb cheat meal replenishes your stores of glycogen in the muscles, which decrease as you diet. This helps boost your performance and energy and lets you work out at the gym harder.

There is an increasingly fervent obsession with weight loss strategies with the rise in global obesity. It can be tough to choose the right method of eating.

Frequently, the biggest challenge to weight loss is to stick to new eating habits supporting your goals of health and your weight-loss objectives without feeling deprived.

After all, you certainly won’t be able to eat each and everything you want to on a healthy eating plan.

No matter what your new plan of dieting is, incorporating cheat meals on purpose has been done for some time among fitness enthusiasts.

These days, the rise in social media has encouraged incorporating cheat meals on your journey to fitness.

Break strict rules of your diet temporarily with planned, calculated food cheats. Contrary to what you might think, this strategy is meant to help rather than hinder your road to fitness.

Cheat Day or Cheat Meal

You might be wondering at this point whether you ought to incorporate a cheat meal each day or a cheat day each week? Cheat meals veer from your diet plan while a cheat day is an entire day of eating whatever you want without going on a binge.

There are broad variables in methods you can cheat on purpose on your diet. Different people implement them differently, depending on the goals and preferences of a person’s diet.

The food you eat in a cheating meal will vary from one person to another because of a person’s tastes. Often, these consist of high caloric junk food that a diet plan simply wouldn’t permit.

There are no rules or guidelines as to how often you have a cheat day or a cheat meal. Your life, your rules. Frequently, people include a cheat each week, whether it is a cheat day or a cheat meal.

The people who have done this long term probably figured out first hand that it does work in helping you reach all those goals you once thought were impossible.

Not For Everybody

How Often Should You Have A Cheat Meal?:not for everybody

Cheat days can potentially induce unhealthy behavior. The trend of getting cheating meals incorporated into your dieting plan is quite popular in the culture of diet and fitness in the USA. This is especially true in platforms of social media that use the hashtag “cheat day.”

It is not uncommon to see photos of huge servings of high-calorie food servings with muscular, fit people giving the impression that a cheat week is okay. For some people, this could work. However, for others, the effects may be detrimental.

The way you look at food can impact the way you regulate eating disorders and resist temptation significantly. The term cheating has a negative connotation in our culture.

It is related to feeling guilty. Using this term to talk about a meal or food impairs your abilities to keep yourself in control even within the framework of a good cheat meal.

When you associate a chocolate cake with celebrating, this brings you more successful weight loss achievements that if you feel guilty. Since strategies of cheat days/meals focus on a system based on rewards, it might not be for folks that have a hard time keeping their emotions about eating under control.

Think of eating a cheat meal as a good thing. Instead of a cheat, use the word “treat.” It sends a more positive message and can help to support healthy eating behavior and self-regulation much more effectively.


How often you should have a cheat meal depends on your own eating habits and your individual psychology. Basically, you decide whether or not you ought to have a cheat meal, how often you should have one and what you should cheat with.

Seeing a cheat meal as a fun, happy occasion and treating it like a “treat meal,” will get you further than feeling guilty just with the word “cheat.”

Everyone wants to be successful in their diet plan and to stick with something that works. There are really no rules when it comes to cheat days or meals as you design your own lifestyle. Try it out for a couple of weeks and see if it knocks you off your entire diet.

On the other hand, if you are one of those people who feel extra motivated to keep going on a great diet plan when you have daily or weekly cheat meals, then, by all means, keep going on your path to extreme success.

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