What Is A Cheat Meal? It’s When You Eat Like A Pig!
No matter how mentally strong you are, you will think about having a cheat day in you diet sooner or later.
- We are all human and we love food! There is no point in denying that we love food, so don’t try to fight it.
Having a cheat day or a cheat meal can actually benefit your physique, and in some sense, it’s also necessary!
So what is an actual cheat day? It’s when you detour from the diet you are currently trying to stick with.
For example, if you are on a ice cream only diet, eating a hamburger would be considered cheating!
- A cheat day does not only mean that you are eating junk. It can truly be anything, just depends on what you are doing with food at the moment.
That said, in almost all cases, a cheat day is referred to as eating junk food.
This is because in most cases, people are trying to lose weight and stay away from high calorie foods.
Basically foods that taste good! I will explain why cheat days do not make you fat in one day, and why they are actually good for you!
Are Cheat Meals And Days Good For You?
Cheat days are considered the biggest sin of all in the fitness industry! But are they really so bad?
- Cheat meals are good for you if you want to gain weight rapidly.
I know that most people are reading this article because they have already cheated on their diet.
Now you are here reading hoping to find something to make you feel better about being an uncontrollable eating pig, right?
So there is good news! Cheat days are not going to make you fat at all if done once every 5 days or so!
- They are actually necessary to shock your body, and enable it to continue with the fat loss process.
Your body gets used to anything, so once you go days on super low calories, your metabolism just slows down a lot!
This is because your body is trying to survive, and it feels that it needs to preserve energy. You after all, are not giving it any calories!
You can not keep losing weight consistently like you do in the first week of starving yourself and doing crazy cardio.
That just doesn’t last. Your body shuts down, and begs you to feed it with more food!
- Once you eat a lot of calories, your body is not in metabolism shut down mode anymore, and in return it turns your metabolism back on!
Cheat Meals In Order To Gain Weight
People that are struggling to put on weight should have a cheat day every single day of their life.
- In order to gain weight, you must eat a lot of calories which is basically impossible to accomplish by eating only healthy and clean food.
Anything is possible, but it’s pretty damn hard I will tell you that.
If you want to grow big, you must find the easiest way to put a lot of calories into your body.
By eating junk food, you will put a lot of additives, salt, and who knows what other kind of poisons into your body.
- This is definitely not healthy! But hey, from my experience, people that are trying to accomplish something like getting big, really don’t care about health.
You do your thinking and be sure what is more important for you, gains or health.
“You will have to decide on your own if it’s worth the risk to have a cheat day every day in order to get big.”
Just take a look at CT Fletcher who used to eat McDonalds to maintain his size 3 times a day!
I would strongly not recommend the route that he took, nor would CT recommend it for you as well.
When you are trying to pack on muscle, there is no such thing as a cheat day. You need to stuff yourself with calories on a daily basis.
- Definitely do yourself a favor and stay away from fast food. If you really need to get it massive amounts of calories, go with regular high carb meals.
This would include a lot of rice, pasta, bread, potatoes, and also high fat foods like steak etc.
How Many Times A Week Can I Have A Cheat Meal?
This may sound funny, but your body should tell you the answer to that.
When you feel fully depleted from your low calorie / low carb diet, and your body just hurts, that is when you should bump up the calories / carbs!
That is exactly when you should have your cheat meal, or even your cheat day!
- Like I mentioned above, you need this meal or day! Your body thinks it’s going to die. It’s in starvation mode!
The metabolism slows down so you don’t die! That is your body’s self preservation mode!
The only way it will start burning fat again, is if you give it some! It will then relax and think more food / calories will be coming in.
It’s a tricky thing, but it’s true. That’s why you have heard so much about carb cycling and all that other stuff.
- Keep in mind, that your body gets used to everything! The only thing that your body cares about is survival.
It does not care that you want abs, or big arms. It just wants to survive. Your entire battle in your fitness journey, is battling your own body!
Cheat Meals Will Help You Lose Weight!
If your goal is to lose weight and fat, having cheat meals in your diet is not necessary but strongly recommended.
When dieting, aside from eating clean food, you are also in a caloric deficit.
Meaning, you are eating fewer calories than your body requires for maintenance.
- Your body doesn’t know that your fridge is full of food and 10 feet from you. And also that there is a McDonald’s across the street.
It also doesn’t know that you are in a small caloric deficit. All it knows is that you are not getting enough energy and that you are starving!
Starving triggers the survival signal and your body thinks that you are dying, so what does it do?
Of course, it won’t start spending a ton of energy at once. It is going slow down your metabolism to conserve energy.
- When metabolism is slow, your body is not very efficient at burning calories.
By saying calories, I really mean fat.
Yes, belly fat is actually stored calories that your body uses when it is needed.
By eating small meals every 2 to 3 hours, and by training regularly, you are boosting your metabolism.
- This is where cheat meals come to the rescue and save the week!
By having an abundance of calories in one day, you are actually tricking your body.
Your body is very smart and it is not easy to fool it.
A few days after your cheat meal, your body will think that you have finally found food and you are not at risk of death or starvation anymore.
- If you eat too many calories, your body will probably store some of them as fat, just in case you get into starvation mode again.
Your body now thinks that there is an abundance of food, and your metabolism will get faster for the next couple of days!
Probably 3-4 days on average is how long it takes your body to realize what is going on.
Can One Cheat Day Make You Gain Weight?
One cheat meal a day can definitely make you gain weight but the question is what kind of weight?
If you have been dieting for a week, your metabolism has gotten slower.
Your body is trying to preserve any kind of energy that it has and it will not burn a lot of fuel during this time.
- Also, if you are on a diet, your carbohydrate and sodium intake are probably very low, which means your body is now very sensitive to them.
So two things can happen after cheat day…
You can eat a huge amount of food, at which point your body will probably store some as fat.
In most cases, any cheat days with cheat meals will just result in some water weight gain, and that should go away quickly if you go back to your diet.
- No matter what you eat during your cheat day, your body will have some sort of reaction.
“It might retain water, get dehydrated, store fat, or who really knows what. It all depends on what kind of food you ate and what your original diet has been.”
But if you cheat day was both, high in calories and in sodium, you probably will gain more weight than you would imagine.
Most of it will be water because your body is sensitive to sodium and carbohydrates, and both of those like to make you retain water.
- In the process of glycogenesis, carbohydrates bind with water in order to create glycogen.
They will fill up your muscles with it, making you bigger and also harder.
If the amount of carbs eaten is too big, the glycogen will spill over, making your muscles look fluffy and blurry, therefore smaller.
There is also another thing can happen after a cheat day, and that is actually losing weight!
- If your cheat meal is a piece of carrot cake, you will trick your metabolism into getting faster, and over night, you will lose some weight.
Why Do I Weight More At Night?
There is a couple of possible reason for this, and one of them simply because you ate food throughout the day.
- When you wake up in the morning, you have a time period behind you during which you haven’t eaten anything for as long as you were sleeping.
That is called a fasting period. That is why the word “Breakfast” actually means “Break – Fast.”
During sleep, you are also not consuming any liquids, which is dehydrating you as well and causing you to be lighter in the morning.
If you want to know your true weight, jump on that scale around 5 pm or so after you have had a couple of meals and drank some liquids.
- That is the best way to see where you are truly!
What Is The Healthiest Cheat Meal?
If a cheat meal is healthy is it really a cheat meal?
If the point of your diet is losing fat, any kind of caloric overload is certainly a cheat day.
On the other hand, if the point of your diet is just being healthy, then the only thing that will count as a cheat meal would be junk food.
- The healthiest cheat meal would be something with rice / potato, and basically anything with more carbs that usual, and also fat
Most bodybuilders and fitness pro’s have this thing called “refeed day,” which is not the same as a cheat day.
“Refeed day” is simply getting into the caloric surplus with the same foods that you are eating on a daily basis.
The food that your body is very efficient at digesting and utilizing.
- If you eat chicken, rice, and broccoli every day and suddenly eat a whole box of pizza, your body will in the state of shock and it will have trouble digesting that meal.
Cheat Meal Conclusion
Cheat meals do not make you fat. They are rare and not something that is the main factor in your physique.
You are not what you eat today, you are what you eat most of the time. You don’t get fat over night, you get fat by consistently eating more than you should.
- Eating a cheat meal is good for the body, and it’s also good for you mentally.
Eating a piece of cake can motivate you to work out for an entire week. Can a piece of fish do the same?
You need to feel good in order to make good decisions on your diet, and eating super low calories all the time makes that impossible.
Go make get that cheat meal right now!