Why Cheat Meals are Ruining your Gains
We’ve all likely had cheat meals. The excitement leading up to one is undeniable, but once it’s done you probably feel bloated, anxious, and in regret.
I used to reward myself in a big way – amid weeks of torturous training sessions & a super ‘clean’ diet I would have my weekly cheat meal religiously. Sometimes, I’d even have a full cheat weekend. I would think that I deserved it after being so good during the week.
My ‘cheats’ were never just a meal.
There were few times it wasn’t a total all-out binge.
But here’s the thing –
Every time you have a cheat meal, or refuse to actually account for what you eat, you’re leaving yourself open to the opportunity for over-consumption.
Maybe you aren’t after pin-point accuracy in terms of progress, but how can you be sure you aren’t eating WAY too many calories if you aren’t taking any notice of what you’re eating?
Weight loss is dictated by burning more calories than you consume – which is why you need to be eating consistently at a calorie deficit each day to ensure your body is actually tapping into your fat stores for energy & hence allowing you to actually drop weight.
Let’s say, for arguments sake, you’re eating at a deficit of 500 calories per day.
That’s a 3500 calorie deficit per week, which should be enough to lose around half a pound of fat.
Throw in a cheat meal, or a cheat day to the equation.
Ever eaten a whole takeaway pizza?
Likely, close to 2500 calories.
Had a brownie and ice-cream for dessert?
Easily, another 1000.
Boom. You’ve just eaten your WEEKLY deficit back in one meal (assuming this cheat meal is on top of your day’s worth of food) & eaten at MAINTENANCE for the week.
One meal, and a weeks’ worth of hard work down the drain.
That sucks right?
If your weight stagnates during your fat loss yet you refuse to rid your routine of your cheat meals, you have no way of knowing whether you need to lower your calories further, or by how many you might need to do so by.
The better approach is to consistently meet your daily macronutrient requirements whilst cycling your carbohydrate intake should you so choose & fitting any ‘treats’ into your numbers so long as you’re simultaneously satisfying your nutritional guidelines.
If you’re looking for long term results whilst not completely giving up the foods you love, I would love to help. But, only if you’re serious about reaching your goals. Click the link below for more information on nutrition coaching services!
BACK TO BLOG