'Cheat Meals' - Are They Slowing You Down?
Strategic cheat meals/free meals/off-plan meals, whatever you want to call them, are actually a key component of any successful diet. They help you to maintain your sanity, stay adherent and allow you to continue to socialise and enjoy life while still (hopefully) making progress.
That is of course, providing that you don't eat like you're never going to be fed again. Remember that if your goal is fat loss, the aim is to be in a calorie deficit not just on a daily basis, but on average over the course of the whole week... even after that cheat meal.
So if you've been in a daily deficit of 200 calories from Monday-Saturday, your total deficit for the week will now be 1200 calories. While that may sound like a lot, it's equivalent to just over 4 slices of Domino's pizza. Eat a large pizza (2900 calories) to yourself and not only have you wiped out your entire deficit for the week, you're actually now in a surplus. From one meal.
Six days worth of dieting cancelled out in one, cheesy sitting. I'll let that sink in...
Now this isn't a guilt trip, far from it. It is however something that I know will resonate and sound very familiar to a lot of you reading this. The saying goes that 'one bad meal won't make you fat, just like one good meal won't make you fit' - however the reality is that if you take the piss with it, then that one 'bad' meal could well be stopping you from getting fit.