Sports nutrition advice
The cheat meal is a meal during which you take a break from your diet. It’s a moment of relaxation where you rediscover the pleasure of foods that you forbid or limit yourself.
Studies and the experience of bodybuilders (accustomed to very restrictive diets) have proven that allowing themselves a “free meal” from time to time not only helps to stay on course, but also to boost metabolism and indoor performance. The cheat meal is particularly interesting for endurance sports practitioners, but also and especially to people who practice bodybuilding and follow a muscle definition diet.
- 1 What is a cheat meal?
- 2 A free meal in the week to progress
- 3 A “pleasure” meal to keep your spirits up
- 4 The 5 rules of a successful cheat meal
What is a cheat meal?
The cheat-meal is by definition a “free” meal where you allow yourself the right to eat foods prohibited in a muscle definition diet, to boost motivation and metabolism.
– Those who recommend a meal during which one eats without limitation
– Those who have a more moderate approach: simply increase the amount of carbohydrates over a day but from healthy sources such as oats, rice, whole grains, sweet potatoes, etc.).
The frequency of these cheat meals depends on the progress of the cut. The more the muscular definition is pushed, the closer the cheat meals can be brought together.
The right time to make a cheat meal
You have more and more catastrophic sessions
You no longer feel congestion and more strength in training
You are often cold
Demotivation sets in
Fatigue really gets to you very easily
Fat melting is really slowed down
At what time of the day ?
There are no predefined rules and your cheat meal can be scheduled for dinner or lunch.
It is not recommended to cheater more than once a week, otherwise you risk compromising your results. Don’t make the mistake of cheater too early or too regularly just because you feel like it. Don’t forget that this is a strategic meal!
A free meal in the week to progress
The cheat meal boosts your metabolism
Your body always gets used to low calorie diets, which causes the metabolism to slow down and stagnate : it becomes impossible to burn more fat. This is where the cheat meal comes in. The body interprets this caloric rebound as a return to normal: you are no longer in caloric restriction, metabolism kicks back in and fat burning can resume.
The cheat meal restores your glycogen stores
In a hypocaloric diet, muscle glycogen stores have little or no time to replenish themselves, especially if the training pace is intense. If glycogen stores are low, fatigue sets in more quickly and even morale ends up being low too. Hence the interest of the cheat meal for replenish glycogen storesfight against the decrease in performance and metabolism.
A “pleasure” meal to keep your spirits up
The cheat-meal boosts hormonal activity and keeps you smiling even during extreme muscle definition phases.
The cheat meal reduces stress
Lack of carbs can make you aggressive and raise cortisol levels (stress hormone, catabolic). This stress is counterproductive and it is essential to control it. A muscle definition program is a difficult period that requires great strength of mind. By having a bonus meal, you will relieve yourself of this stress. Indeed, the pleasure you will experience while eating will release anti-stress hormones and allow you to start off on the right foot.
The cheat meal reboosts you mentally
Morale is important for everything and especially when you are on a strict diet. Obviously, your morale will tend to drop during a period of dryness or muscle definition and it is often during low morale that some people abandon the diet. Hence the importance of granting yourself this famous day off which will be welcomed as a reward and a point of mental motivation.
It is indisputable: a low-calorie diet is incompatible with outings with friends or family. You must follow a strict diet built to the nearest gram in which restaurant or fast food meals are not integrated. The risk is to distance oneself from family and friends because of goals that require a lot of sacrifices. Fortunately, the cheat meal was born to repair this kind of injustice. Thanks to cheat meals, you can eat at the restaurant from time to time or have family meals. So you can stay connected with those you love.
The 5 rules of a successful cheat meal
A cheat-meal can easily go wrong…
Rule #1: Avoid making big cheat meals too frequently
Indeed, the more cheat meals you make, the more difficult it will be to lose weight or maintain weight. The ideal attitude would be to frequently make small cheat meals (2 meals per week). As a reminder, the interest of doing so is to stimulate the secretion of leptinthe satiety hormone that helps burn fat.
Rule #2: the cheat meal is not “gorging” without a little thought
The most interesting meal cheats are the ones you prepare at home and whose macronutrients you calculate, as well as calories. An interesting cheat meal should be between 2000 Kcal and 3000 Kcal on a meal. Beware of fast food restaurants or restaurants with all-you-can-eat buffets, as you can quickly reach the calorie limit with a low volume of food.
Rule #3: Don’t turn “cheat meal” into “cheat day”
A cheat meal is limited to one meal. If you decide to let go for an entire day, you could ruin all your efforts and, worse, stop burning fat.
Rule #4: Watch your lipids during cheat meals
It’s not the carbohydrates that will make you fat during a cheat meal. Rather, they cause a carbohydrate recharging effect. For this reason, favor cheat meals rich in carbohydrates but low in fat. Avoid fried foods, dishes in sauce and all fatty sauces such as mayonnaise.
Rule #5: No alcohol during a cheat meal
Alcohol tends to convert to fat quite quickly and that’s exactly what we try to avoid when making a cheat meal. What’s more, alcohol reduces the use of fat by the body, which reduces weight loss.