Cheat meal – what is it and how to do it right?

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Today, nutritionists and nutrition experts are of the opinion that small and short-term deviations from the diet plan are even useful and can serve as an excellent incentive for rapid weight loss and psychological stress.

Cheat meal – what is it?

The very concept of cheat meal means nothing more than a loading day at the very height of his diet or during the drying period. Literally, a cheat meal is translated as “fraud or cheating with food,” which it actually is.

The purpose of this action is to make your body think that there is no calorie deficit, and therefore there is no reason to worry and switch to an energy-saving mode, in which our body breaks up with excess fat very slowly and reluctantly.

A cheat meal is the planned addition of extra calories to your diet so that your body does not suffer from limitations.

On this day, you can safely dine with a tasty and juicy steak, and at the end of the dinner with a clear conscience, allow yourself to eat any dessert you wish. Such a short-term deviation from the chosen nutrition plan will not be considered a breakdown, and the next day you will return to the ranks of losing weight again while receiving a small respite that will allow you to continue the diet further.

This little trick is good in that it allows your body to relax and at the same time speeds up your metabolism by increasing the level of the hormone leptin, which is responsible for the feeling of hunger. After all, as soon as your body receives a signal about a decrease in leptin, it stops giving calories, but on the contrary, carefully accumulates them. It is especially good to carry out cheat meals during drying when the diet consists mainly of protein and low-carb dishes.

Guided by the same principle, it is good to arrange such fasting days during weight loss. Often one of the side effects of the diet is the plateau effect (unwillingness of the body to part with extra pounds, with strict adherence to the diet), which can last for weeks. Often, because of the plateau, the diet completely stops, and, disappointed in the diet, losing weight begins to eat everything in a row, knowing that all that had to be done was spend 1-2 days reading in order for the body to stop experiencing stress.

But, the acceleration of metabolism, is not one reason why it is worth spending such fasting days.

The main effect of cheat cheats is psychological unloading.

The moral aspect is one of the important aspects of any diet, and not everyone can do it. Even if your body is not stressed by diet restrictions, at a subconscious level, you may experience psychological resistance to the diet and a desire to get rid of the strict framework. With a cheat meal, you can be calm, because you will know for sure that you will not have any restrictions for long weeks and months, and at a specially scheduled time you can safely treat yourself to your favorite delicacies.

Another pleasant bonus after a cheat meal will be increased performance, and this is especially true if you are engaged in exhausting workouts in the gym and at the same time adhere to a diet that limits the intake of carbohydrates. You will get an additional charge of energy and you can easily continue your physical activities without reducing the intensity (relevant for cheat code in bodybuilding).

Very often people are interested in whether cheat meal on drying differs from cheat meals during a diet or proper nutrition. Since this process is always the addition of extra calories to the diet, there are no differences. The only thing that can be noted is that during proper nutrition cheat cheats are rare, since there are no strict restrictions and limits, and the diet is varied and balanced.

Is there any harm from cheating? There is harm only if the very concept of this process is misunderstood. A cheat meal can only be used if you really adhere to a certain framework and are limited in nutrition. If you eat according to the usual scheme, without counting calories and balance of fats, carbs, proteins, then any portion of additional calories will not lead to an acceleration of metabolism, but only to gain excess weight. For example, during the day you received the usual breakfast, lunch, and dinner, a couple of snacks, and at night you decided to eat a portion of the cake. In this case, there is no talk of any cheat code, and all this is called banal overeating. Of course, in this case, you will only gain extra pounds.

If you thought that the cheat meal has absolutely no limits and limitations, then you are mistaken. There are certain dietary limits that you must adhere to when practicing such “loading days”.

  • Meals The cheat-mile rules do not apply to all meals. This means that you can choose only one meal, on which there will be a planned violation of the diet. Often, many prefer dinner, in the region of 17.00 hours. It is not recommended to arrange cheat cheats for breakfast, since there is a chance of not stopping until the end of the day. This also applies to lunch, but the end of the day with a cheat is ideal.
  • Compliance with the usual diet. It is important to understand the main rule – you do not give up the usual meals, do not skip them, and do not cut back on your diet. This means that you cannot refuse breakfast and lunch in favor of dinner. You get the usual breakfast, lunch. You also have snacks, but for dinner, you indulge yourself in completely non-dietary foods. Such a scheme will allow you to avoid a brutal appetite at dinner and you will not overeat. The biggest mistake of losing weight is a complete rejection of food before the long-awaited cheat. As a result, digestive problems often occur due to excessive overeating.
  • Give preference to quality food. Although cheating means the day when you can afford to eat everything, you must do it wisely. For example, when choosing a menu at Mcdonald’s, give preference to the one that contains more proteins! Want a sweet tooth? Choose cottage cheese-based cakes or cheesecakes so that you get again not only the fast carbohydrates you’ve been dreaming about for so long but also healthy proteins. Even if the calorie content of the selected dishes will be greater, in this case, it is better to rely on the ratio of Proteins, Fats, Carbs.
  • Do not forget to drink water. On the day of the cheat, it is extremely important not to forget about the water balance. Firstly, drinking water suppresses the feeling of hunger, and as you know, a person very often confuses the feeling of thirst with the feeling of hunger. And secondly, water promotes the production of gastric juice, which will help digest food.
  • Have a cheat meal on your workout day. A good way to not only psychologically relax during a diet but also to get energy for exhausting cardio workouts is to arrange a cheat sheet on training days. Then you can not worry that a portion of spaghetti will be deposited on the hips. On such days, our body needs glycogen more than ever, which means you can afford extra carbohydrates.
  •  Make a plan. So that the cheat code does not grow into banal overeating and does not stretch for several days, it is best to prepare for this day in advance. Make a plan when and where you will have cheat meals. Write a list of foods and dishes you want to try. A good option is a trip to a restaurant, where the risk of overeating is well reduced.

Cheat meal – how often you can do?

One of the most frequently asked questions is how often you can carry out such a violation of the diet. Of course, many would like to allow themselves such a diet several times a week and at the same time lose weight. But alas, miracles do not happen. Let us consider in detail the different cases and situations.

  • Cheat Meal once a month can be practiced if you are in the drying stage. This applies to bodybuilders and those who are preparing for any serious competition. More often it is not recommended to do, otherwise, you may not get the desired physical form, and this is important in this case.
  • A cheat can be done once every two weeks if you follow a diet for weight loss and follow a certain diet. Such a respite will give you the opportunity to adhere to the intended nutrition plan and not break loose from the diet.
  • A cheat meal once a week can be carried out only if you do not adhere to any special nutrition plans, but are in the stage of maintaining your constant weight.
  • A cheat meal is not recommended for 2 consecutive days, otherwise, there is a chance to completely deviate from the nutrition plan. This is important and should always be remembered.

What is on the cheat?

So, we pass on the most interesting and main question. What is there on the cheat sheet to get the most out of it?

The main goal of our “overeating” is carbohydrates and proteins! Carbohydrates affect the level of leptin, on which the processes of burning fat in our body depend, and proteins will give a feeling of fullness and will keep our appetite under strict control! So, the best dish options on a cheat meal are as follows:

  • Sushi. The perfect combination of slow carbohydrates and proteins with minimal fat. The main thing is to avoid spicy sushi that provokes appetite, as well as tempura, which contains a lot of fat.
  • Steak with potatoes. You will receive both a portion of carbohydrates and a portion of healthy proteins. The steak roasting method also plays a big role. It is best to grill it, then you can avoid unnecessary fat! The same goes for potatoes, choose cooking methods that do not require frying.
  • Spaghetti with meatballs. Be sure to choose spaghetti from durum wheat. Do not pour fatty sauces on the dish; this will be superfluous.
  • Pizza with chicken and vegetables. An ideal “boot” dish with maximum benefits. In addition to carbohydrates, you get proteins from chicken, as well as a portion of fiber from vegetables.

These food options are ideal in that they can be prepared at home, as well as ordered in any restaurant.

How to get out of cheat meal and how to eat after a cheat meal

In order to correctly exit the cheat meal, remember the following:

  • After a cheat meal, you can’t categorically arrange a “hungry day” and refuse food or sharply limit your diet. This is one of the most common mistakes of all losing weight, who believe in this way to reduce damage. Often this desire is due to the fact that there is a slight gain after the cheat, which is quite logical and explainable. Excess fluid will go away within a few days, so there is no cause for concern.
  • Return to your usual diet and strictly follow all meals, as well as snacks.
  • If you didn’t have training on the cheat meal day, then it’s time to spend it!

Cheat meal and refeed

Along with the cheat code, today you can also hear about refeeding. Translated from English, “reefed” means to nourish or feed. Only in this case will it be exclusively about carbohydrate supplementation. Such days are especially relevant for those who are engaged in physical activity and spend a lot of time in gyms. When you actively burn calories, the glycogen reserves in your body are depleted and the time comes to conduct another “recharge” in order to increase your working capacity and give additional energy.

On such days, you can increase the intake of carbohydrates to 3-5 grams per kg of body weight. But at the same time, you do not increase the number of proteins, but leave them normal. This practice also includes not only one meal, but all three. You eat carbohydrates for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, distributing them evenly. As for the consumption of fats, it is better to reduce them on refeed days.

Well, the good news is that you can carry out a refeed for up to 3 days!

Depending on your physical activity, you can choose for yourself what is best for a planned violation of the food system – cheat meal or refeed.


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