If you have several low-calorie days followed by a day of total overload (social event), have you just undone all your hard work?

Great question, especially since we have been in the mix of a couple, very significant social like events. There are a few nutritional misses that can impede your hard work, and that would not be worth the effort would it? Let’s look at some of these in more detail.

5 cheat meal mistakes you can make, that will impede your hard work

  1. Opting for junk food, instead of nutritionally dense options.
    Even though it’s a celebration, or an event where you let loose, and have fun, it’s still essential to keep in mind the quality of the food you are eating. Maybe you are intolerant to some foods (Like gluten or dairy) this is certainly not a time to indulge in things that your body can’t handle. You want to make food choices that wont stuff up your metabolic hormones, or cause inflammation in the body. This means fluid retention, and weight gain (almost instantly). A good solution would be to pick the foods that are enjoyable, and can be tolerated by your body. It’s not worth the bloated, puffy or lethargy certain junk food will bring you, for just a small ounce of pleasure.
  2. A cheat meal isn’t a cheat day.
    Cheating cannot, and should not be done all day. The amount of calories you will consume can slowly quadruple if you are not careful. If you opt to eat unhealthy, and foods that do not agree with you, you’ll experience a cheat ‘hangover’ that can affect your energy levels as well as your training quality for days on end. This is not even mentioning the digestion inflammation that could linger. It is a better alternative to pick healthy options to eat during your meal time, and allow for a cheat dessert of some sort. Just one option though, not several. When you leave the table, the cheat meal is over and you move on.
  3. Too much alcohol.
    A few glasses of wine or perhaps a cocktail, may be a great way to unwind. Studies show that after a few drinks, people tend to eat unhealthy foods, indulging in off limit foods – which in fact have become tempting under the direct influence of alcohol. One approach to solving this is to pick either alcohol or food as your cheat meal option. Mixing the two together can be a recipe for caloric disaster! Once you get into the habit of self control, a couple of drinks with your cheat meal will be satisfying enough.
  4. Binging instead of just eating one cheat meal.
    Cheat meals seem to be referred to as a means of eating as much crap food as you possibly can. The actual origin of a cheat meal, is to provide mental and physical relief from the throws of low or restrictive caloric consumption (and dieting in general).
    For instance, when you are on a low carb diet, your body’s stores of glycogen are extremely depleted, making exercise really challenging, as your muscles don’t have that rapid, quick source of fuel. But as you know, the reason why we do this to our bodies is that they can burn stored body fat. When you eat a higher than normal carb meal (say, a healthy burger and sweet potato fries) you give your body a replenishment of glycogen, preventing metabolic slowdown that unfortunately goes hand in hand with dieting. It also improves the key fat burning hormones like thyroid, insulin and leptin – which are reduces when on a low carb diet.
    To stop the binge, opt for having healthier, higher carb alternatives as a cheat meal. Always eat your protein first, before you head to the dessert. When you fill up on protein, you will in fact, consume less of the cheat meal (I know it’s not what you want, but this is a very good strategy for stopping the over consumption of a cheat meal)
  5. Always remember – a cheat meal is one day, and another day will follow on in no time. Keep your eyes on the prize of attaining the physique and body composition you want – and opt for health above all else.

I hope these have helped you somewhat, and can help you choose the best cheat meals, despite the event and it’s temptations on offer. Please do contact me on these various platforms if you need further assistance. I have plenty of other material on my blog or join me on facebook and instagram account. Please feel free to upvote this answer.

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