If we told you that you could eat anything you want in the world for one meal (or even one day) every week and still lose weight, what would you say? You’d say we were crazy, right? Well, as it turns out, cheat meals are actually really good for your diet and might even be the key to faster weight loss for some people.
Give Yourself a Mental Break
First of all, cheat meals let you have a mental break from counting calories and macros. They let you indulge a little bit before you go back to your normal diet, and so they give you something to look forward to, which can make dieting more sustainable. If you know that you’re going to be allowed to have a burger, fries, and whatever dessert you want on Saturday, you’ll be less likely to cheat on your diet on Tuesday.
Balance Your Hormones
Research has shown that people who maintain a deficit diet for too long will actually slow their metabolisms because they mess up their hormone balances. Having an overfeed day or cheat meal can restore your body’s leptin levels (the hormone that lets you feel full), as well as your thyroid hormone levels (which govern your metabolism).
Let Yourself Enjoy Special Occasions
One of the reasons that people hate dieting is that they have to restrict themselves when everyone else is indulging. When you have cheat meals or cheat days in your diet and exercise program, you can plan for special occasions like weddings and birthday parties so that you can enjoy some of those delicious things that aren’t allowed during your normal diet.
Cheating Before a Big Workout Can Really Work for You
Finally, if you don’t go overboard with foods that will upset your stomach, your cheat day can be a big booster for your most intense workout of the week. Cheat the day of or the day before your big workout day, and you’ll feel more energized and ready to really perform.
Of course, you’ll need to control the amount and timing of your cheat meals, and you won’t want to use them as rewards for sticking to your workouts. Instead, reward yourself in a more healthy way, like buying yourself an athleisure outfit that you really love from 2ToneFit.
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