How to cheat in a right way?
I don’t follow any specific diet at the moment, but I like to eat fresh and healthy, and as little as possible processed foods, because they make me feel energetic and satisfied. But if you’re trying to lose weight or dieting for fat loss, your average intake of carbs and calories might be quite low. And when you keep them low for too long, your body will adapt to that mode, and it stops losing all that extra you in first place wanted to get rid of. Not an ideal situation, so therefore it’s good for you occasionally to indulge in a little bit!
If you follow me on Instagram (@lavidafrescaofficial), you already know that I prefer cheat meals instead of cheat days. Why? Short version of this story is, that if I go crazy for the whole day (means that I eat everything I have dreamed of during the past week or so), it takes about another 4-5 days for my body to get over the bloat and water retention. I hate that sluggish and bloated feeling, so I have come to the conclusion that the cheat days are not for me. They might work for some one, but not for me!
I don’t say that you should choose cheat meals or cheat days, because I believe that we all are individuals and our bodies and minds work in different ways. Maybe some tiny treat every day keeps you on the right path, and then you should follow that kind of diet plan. But whatever your choice is, these cheat tips will help you to make it in a right way if you also want to achieve results!
Plan ahead. Plan when and what you’re going to eat, and if needed you can cut a few extra calories earlier in the day. Maybe weekend or some social occasion is coming, and you might want enjoy them to the fullest. Planning ahead allows you to really pick your favorite things instead of wasting calories on something you didn’t even enjoy.
Be beast before feast. Hit the gym before your cheat to minimize fat gains. That way you’ll deplete your glycogen stores (the sugar in you that your body burns up for energy). Your body won’t store carbs as body fat until its glycogen reserves are full, so the emptier your stores are, the more room you have for those indulges.
HIIT style workouts are the best depletion workouts, and already 20 minutes can do the magic!
Drink water. Restaurant meals tend to be super salty, which throws off antidiuretic hormones (those control how much you urinate), and you’ll easily end up feeling dehydrated and bloated. Drink a lot of water during the day, and if possible add few slices of lemon or lime in your glass, because those will stimulate liver enzymes to help flush toxins from your body and help your bowel to work properly.
Don’t starve yourself. Even though I mentioned that you can save some calories to your cheat moment, don’t do it for days. If you’re famished when the time to cheat comes, you’re very likely not to be able to restrain yourself, and you’ll end up overeating.
Cheat your body. Eat high-protein meal before your cheat moment, that also includes high-fiber and low-starch veggies to slow down your digestion. For example, a big green salad with grilled chicken would work perfectly, because it will satiate you with the minimum of calories. You won’t be starving when it’s time to feast, and you probably make smarter choices.
Avoid processed foods. Maybe the hardest tip to fulfill. I’m not saying that you need to avoid hamburgers, doughnuts, and cookies, just don’t choose processed ones. Choose homemade, or buy them from bakeries, restaurants, and at Farmer’s Markets and forget McDonald’s and Dunkin’ Donuts. The less industrial ingredients your treats include, the better you’ll feel on next morning!
Pro tip. Eat raw sauerkraut before cheating. Yes, you read right! Sauerkraut will provide your body with probiotics that will aid in digestion of all the terrible things, sorry I mean delicious treats, that are about to hit your stomach, and you’ll avoid indigestion. Happy belly, happy mind!
Enjoy your cheating to the fullest, and after that, get back on track!