When it comes to obtaining your dream physique, whether that is skinny, toned or muscular, there’s more to it than simply hitting the gym hard. Don’t get me wrong, exercise and dedication plays a big part but if you really want to achieve your goal you have to give your diet real consideration too.
An individual’s diet can be considered just as, if not more, important than the training itself. Quite simply, if you train hard but don’t give your muscles the right fuel through nutrition; you will quickly taper off and reach a plateau.
The problem with leading a healthy lifestyle, both with regards to training and nutrition, is that it sometimes can become time consuming and limiting. Occasionally, you won’t want to prepare a salad for work in advance or you’ll fancy a takeaway with friends on a Friday night but how damaging is that to your end goal? This article considers cheat meals within a diet and looks at their overall effects.
A cheat meal as the name suggests is something out of the ordinary which you wouldn’t normally allow yourself to eat on a daily basis. It can also be considered a treat. Examples might include a restaurant meal, takeaway or fast food. Although from the outset these types of meals might appear bad for you, you’ll be glad to know that there is some evidence to the contrary. Before you reach for your Chinese takeaway meal, let us first consider some of these reported benefits:
If you’re following a strict eating plan for 6 out of 7 days per week then 1 cheat meal might just keep you from going crazy and losing the plot! The occasional indulgence will allow you to refocus your energy for the rest of the week and prevent you prematurely giving up completely any diet you had in place.
If you’re due to go out for a meal or are away travelling with work then a cheat meal can come in handy and allow you some breathing space when it comes to food preparation. If you know this day is occurring and you can maintain a healthy diet either side of this date, then psychologically you will also feel better and in control.
Besides motivation and convenience, there is a commonly shared hypothesis that the occasional cheat meal can actually positively shock your body and confuse your metabolism. Although this theory lacks scientific proof, they do say variety is the spice of life and change is good to shock the musculoskeletal system!
Convinced? Here at FitnessBeans we believe that the odd cheat meal here and there can have a positive effect on yourself and your training for the above reasons. If you’re training hard and eating consistently well then the odd cheat meal will just act as further motivation and will allow you to remain strict. That’s not to say that cheat meals should occur every other day. You know your body and you know your training goals. As long as you maintain a sensible approach to both your training and diet then you shouldn’t go too far wrong.