I am just going to be blunt and say that if you are enjoying cheat meals while trying to lose weight, you are only cheating yourself. Sure, you may have success with weight loss for a little while, but sooner or later, you are going to put that lost weight right back on. Seriously, if anyone tells you that you should eat cheat meals at least once a week, they do not have your best interest at heart. Or, they simply do not have the knowledge, nor experience to be advising anyone about weight loss.
Successful Weight Loss Requires Lifestyle Change
I will never spare your feelings when it comes to weight loss by telling you what you want to hear. What I will tell you is the simple, hardcore truth that successful and permanent weight loss requires a lifestyle change. If you want to lose weight and keep it off, you cannot continue eating as you have while becoming overweight. When you eat cheat meals, what you are doing is an attempt at keeping a portion of your former life that you and I both know was not good for you in the first place.
Alcoholics can’t have occasional drinks. Ex-smokers can’t enjoy an occasional cigarette. Alcohol and tobacco are addicting, and so are a lot of the foods you have enjoyed over the years. Like an alcoholic, if you had no control over certain foods in the past, what makes you believe that you will have any control over those foods in the future?
You’re not, and you know it.
Alcoholics can’t have the cheat drink. Ex-smokers can’t enjoy the cheat cigarette. The obese can’t enjoy the cheat meal. You only cheat yourself when you do.
Doing the Caloric Math of Cheat Meals
No matter what you may think about weight loss, it all comes down to eating fewer calories than you burn.
You might feel otherwise, but facts don’t care about feelings.
You have to eat fewer calories. Weight loss does not work when you enjoy those cheat meals, or cheat days. Just because you ate at, or under maintenance all week, it does not mean that you can splurge for one or two days. The calories in a day are important, but what really counts is the average of how many you have consumed all week. That cheat meal, or cheat day can quite easily push you above the maximum calories you require to lose or maintain weight. None of us are special snowflakes that can change the laws of thermodynamics my friends.
Now for the simple math equation:
If you need to eat 1600 calories a day in order to lose one pound per week, your weekly sum is 11,200 calories. Anything more than this weekly sum will cause you to gain weight.
Now we will throw in a cheat meal and see where it takes us:
You eat 1600 calories per day for six days of the week, then on Saturday you have a cheat meal by going out with your friends for pizza. This should be no big deal since you have done so well all week long. However the math does not add up for successful weight loss.
1600 calories times 6 days equal 9600 calories.
If on Saturday you ate 1000 calories between breakfast and lunch and then consumed another 2500 to 3000 calories while out for dinner with your friends, you have consumed 3500 to 4000 calories that day. Or, for the week you have consumed 13,100 to 13,600 calories.
13,600 calories minus 11,200 calories equal a difference of 1900 calories over your maintenance needs. Or when we consider that it takes only 3500 calories over your needs to gain 1 pound of fat per week, that cheat meal means you will gain one half pound of fat. Do this cheat meal routine each week for a year, and you will gain 28 pounds in that year when you were trying to lose instead. Now, consider what you are doing to yourself if you have two cheat meals over the weekend.
Facts don’t care about feelings.
You have to do yourself right all the time, or you had better be good at planning in your cheat meals. Since cheat meals are the last vestige of your former obese lifestyle, you really need to quit cheating yourself out of good health altogether.