Cheat Meals and Weight Loss

Have you ever considered the wisdom of having cheat meals or cheat days while on a diet? Are you currently on a diet that allows them?

If so, I want you to think about of a few things regarding them.

Weight loss is a tough endeavor for the vast majority of people. There is nothing easy about losing weight, especially for those of us who are genetically prone to being overweight. Choosing the right diet is a gamble at best when it comes to commercial programs, most people lose this gamble.

People have a difficult time sticking with a diet that limits what they can or should eat. They have difficulties with changing their lifestyles in order to be successful at weight loss. The incorporation of cheat meals or cheat days into a diet plan has been popular for some time, but it’s now making its way into mainstream diet culture by way of social media. You would think cheat meals would be a perfect component of a weight loss program.

But are they?

Do you see our population getting smaller and in better shape?

OR

Is our population getting larger and more out of shape?

Cheating within a diet plan involves giving yourself calculated, planned permission to temporarily break strict diet rules. This may work for a few exceptions, but when you consider the recidivism of weight gain, it doesn’t work for most. Cheat meals are a way of retaining a part of your former nutritional lifestyle. A lifestyle which got you overweight in the first place. Does that make sense to you? To be truly successful at losing and then maintaining your weight, you must create a new nutritional lifestyle for yourself. There are many weight loss businesses who will tell you otherwise as you hand over your cash. But I must point out the recidivism rate of people who regain weight is about ninety five percent.

Is there science to promote cheat meals or days?

It’s frequently claimed that using cheat meals will lead to measurable changes in body composition and improved metabolic function due to fluctuations in the hunger hormone leptin.

Leptin is a hormone responsible for suppressing feelings of hunger. Some research indicates that when someone experiences significant weight loss, leptin levels may decrease. However, this result is inconsistent with other studies (National Library of Medicine).

A common weight management theory is that with lower levels of circulating leptin, you’re more likely to overeat because you don’t have enough of the hormone sending you signals that you’re satisfied and full. This may lead to rebound weight gain.

Proponents of the cheat meal strategy for weight loss further theorize that intermittent periods of higher-calorie foods will trick your hormone cycle into producing more leptin temporarily and prevent the desire for rebound overeating.

Unfortunately, there is little rigorous scientific research to support this theory. (1)

Realities of weight loss.

Weight loss is simply a matter of consuming fewer calories than you burn in a day. It doesn’t matter what foods you consume. Calories in vs calories out is an undeniable fact for each and every one of us. You could argue the point, but you will lose. If you do not believe this, you can always track your calories and eat more than you need and you will gain weight. You will gain weight even if you are eating healthy foods. All who want to lose weight need to understand they have to consume fewer calories than they burn. If you do not believe this to be a fact, you will find yourself among the 95% who rebound and gain weight after losing. Cheaters never win!

What is the best diet?

Of course I am going to tell you to follow my free plan. I am going to tell you to stop eating foods with added sugars and to also quit eating processed foods as much as possible while keeping within your caloric needs. At David’s Way to Health and Fitness, we teach all to be accountable to themselves by tracking their caloric intake each day. I personally believe that if you are eating a variety of healthy foods that you enjoy, cheat meals and days are never necessary.

I do not believe in, nor do I advocate going on diets. What I advocate in order to lose weight permanently is to change your lifestyle. Your past lifestyle got you overweight and out of shape, only a permanent, new healthier lifestyle is going to change this for you. You cannot deny that when you have a cheat day, you are going to eat those highly palatable foods you know that you don’t need. Those foods are a part of your former lifestyle which you had little to no control over if you were overweight. If you could not control your appetite for them before, there is no reasonable chance you can control that now. There are certainly some people who can have a cheat meal on occasion, but odds are against you being one of them by about 95% if you are obese. I understand this is a bitter pill to swallow, but you need to hear this if you have a weight problem.

 There is a large problem with cheat meals after restricting yourself all week.  A cheat day often ends up as a binge on large amounts of processed foods high in sugar and fat. How many slices of pizza are you really going to eat with those hot wings and beer?

Can you control a binge on your cheat meal?

Sometimes, that binge can stretch into multiple days of uncontrolled eating, which isn’t good for your health or sanity. This is almost identical to an alcoholic thinking he can enjoy one drink on occasion. It does not end well most of the time for the alcoholic. If you are carb addicted, the same will be true for you. Overeating or bingeing on a cheat day or meal not only results in excess calorie intake, but is often followed by feelings of guilt and shame that typically lead to another period of rigid dietary restriction. Just don’t do this to yourself my friends, it isn’t worth it.

Common Sense Eating

Check out our plan here at David’s Way to Health and Fitness. It is not complicated at all and is really nothing more than a common sense approach to nutrition. I guarantee that anyone who tries our methodology will lose weight, and then keep it off. Best of all, we charge nothing to anyone to follow our methodology, we are entirely free to all.
We also have a page on Facebook where you can also follow along with David’s Way to Health and Fitness. Give us a like and a follow if you like what you see!

 

(1) https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/cheat-meals#effectiveness

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