The Cheat Meal For Losing Weight

Waitress serving burger and fries as a suggestion for a cheat meal
Sometimes the best way to get ahead in life is by cheating. This seems to go against everything society teaches us about the wrongness of cheating, but it honestly can work. And science has proven it in a clinical trial on obese people. This strategy is simple: eat healthy and healing whole foods for most of the week (>90% of the time) and schedule one meal per week where you indulge in your favorite guilty pleasures. When done properly, a cheat meal can keep you from going mental over your new meal plan, reduce your chances of quitting this meal plan, and help you lose more weight. Sound too good to be true? It’s not, but it is one of our worst kept secrets for why there are so many success stories from clients of Five Hour Diabetic. You can reverse your Type 2 Diabetes or Prediabetes without completely giving up your favorite foods.

 

a Cheat Meal of Margherita Pizza

Decrease you hunger and increase your satisfaction with one cheat meal per week.

 

TRICKING YOUR BRAIN TO CARE FOR YOUR BODY

It is a well-known fact that to reduce your body weight you must decrease your caloric intake. As with nearly everything in life, the extremes of daily calorie intake tend toward failure at both ends of the spectrum – either too little or too much causes problems. Most Americans have had their servings sizes slowly increased over the decades, seemingly unnoticed and mostly driven by restaurants to increase the amount of food sold. The heaping servings of rich foods causes too many calories, from poor quality sources, to be eaten by us everyday. The only outcome from this scenario is obesity and weight gain.

Reducing calorie levels too much (think: 500-1000 calories/day) will cause significant weight loss but at the cost of your sanity. Our primal monkey brains get hyper focused on finding food to eat for keeping us alive at these levels. One rare starvation experiment was conducted back in the 1940’s at the University of Minnesota. It was a clinical study designed to study the effects of severe and prolonged dietary restriction. Their main conclusion was that this induced state of semi-starvation causes significant increases in depression and hysteria. The mainstream diet techniques that some people use which involve very low levels of calories are nearly impossible to keep up – you slowly start to go crazy! Then quit. Keeping your cheat meal to once per week in your meal plan will lessen your chances of quitting your new lifestyle changes.

 

Change is hard. The longer eating and exercise habits have been in place, the more difficult it can be to change them. When results are not quickly seen, it can be easy to bag it and just quit. But change takes times – up to 6 months to for a new habit to stick and become a common routine. Change is a process that slowly happens over time, it is not a single event. A cheat meal is designed to help make the process of change easier. It allows you to gradually build new habits while maintaining some of your old ways, just at a far fewer intervals.

There is an undeniable emotional connection between you and your food. This tie between your brain and food can be both good or bad. Over thousands of years of evolution it proved quite helpful. When a famine would occur, our brains would solely focus on getting our bellies fed. Without this mechanism our race could have starved itself to extinction. In the modern world, where the famine is unheard of, the emotions shown to food are of addiction, excess and withdrawal. Changing abruptly from a processed food diet to a healing meal plan can cause mental cravings. These emotions do change, in most people, after about a month of eating clean. The idea of cheat meals can appease these feelings if you mentally know that you are allowed one meal to indulge.

 

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Dessert Cake and Ice Cream make an ideal cheat meal

Don’t eat your cheat meal at home. Indulge at a restaurant and don’t take leftovers home.

 

WHAT’S THE SKINNY ON THE CHEAT MEAL?

The cheat meal is open to your discretion, but does have some conditions. Your cheat meal is not listed on the meal plan, but you can add one if needed. It should only occur once per week. And it is one cheat meal, not one cheat day. Quite often, the first month of eating on this meal plan, people can increase their chances of success with the addition of one cheat meal.
Doughnuts are a normal part of a healthy, balanced diet. —Brooke Smith, Krispy Kreme spokeswoman
Throughout your week keep a list, whether on paper, your smart phone or computer. Every time you experience a craving, write it down. The act of writing it down can indirectly be a good record of your progress. During week five or six, you should find your list of cravings to be diminishing. Whenever you do have a craving for something of poor quality, try doing any number of these tips:
  • Suppress your hunger by inhaling mint.  Research has found that inhaling the scent of mint can naturally, and safely, curb your appetite for the near future. The simplest way is to put a few drops of essential oil in your hand to smell. Or use the essential oil with a diffuser.
  • Drink an entire glass of water.  Filling the stomach can trigger leptin, the hormone that your body produces when it is full of food and done eating.
  • Set a timer for 15 minutes.  If you do feel like you must have a cookie or slice of cake, just wait. Give it 15 minutes and if you have not fully distracted yourself when the timer rings, eat the cake. Hopefully you will not and the craving will have passed.
  • Weight yourself on a scale.  If you are trying to reach a target weight, seeing that high number on the scale can be the negative reinforcement that your brain needs.
  • Meditate for 5 minutes.  The power of meditation is beyond amazing. It can be used to increase your will power and decrease your impulse behavior. Check out calm.com.
  • Take a 15 minute walk.  Getting active will offer a distraction and give you distance from the box of donuts in the break room or whatever the craving might be.

 

Mint Oil Inhale Action Scene when you cannot have a cheat meal

Suppress your hunger by inhaling the scent of mint essential oil.

 

THE SPECIFICS OF A PROPER CHEAT MEAL

Yes, the nature of a cheat meal is to let loose. Eat what you want to revisit old foods to keep your sanity while embarking on the healthy road to change. But there are ways to use the cheat meal to satisfy indulgence while minimizing the damage it does to your body and waistline. Keep these guidelines handy to optimize your meal:

  • Avoid all HFCS and trans fats.  There is a direct link between high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) and obesity and diabetes. Read all labels closely and chose items without these toxic ingredients. For example, Ritter Sport chocolate uses sugar instead of HFCS and milk, whey instead of trans fat. It is a less worse indulgence.
  • Mind the portion size.  Restaurants serve cartoon-sized portions these days. Ordering from the kids’ menu, if allowed, will get you the correct amount of fast food. Ask if it is possible to get a half-order of something or split an entrée with someone at your table. Wait at least 20 minutes before taking second servings. There is an approximate delay between you eating and when your body produces leptin, the “I am full hormone” to send to your brain.
  • Eat your cheat meals out of the house.  It is a bad idea to buy all the ingredients for cooking a cheat meal at home. You are then left with, and tempted, to eat all of it. This effectively turns your cheat meal into a cheat day. Eat out at a restaurant or a friend’s place and do not bring leftovers home!
  • Walk for 15 minutes.  Eating a cheat meal will most likely result in your highest blood sugar numbers for the week. The best thing to do in this case is some light exercise. Walking around the neighborhood or around the street with the restaurant before driving home can lessen the burden on your body.
  • Do not fall immediately asleep.  The worst thing to do after a big meal of poor quality ingredients is to fall asleep. This is a guaranteed way to gain weight. Keep active for at least an hour before dozing off. This technique of eating big then sleeping has been dubbed as the Sumo Diet, since this is one of the ways these famous wrestlers increase their size.

 

Counting Hands for time to cook when not having a meal that is a cheat

Less Than Five Hours Of Cooking Per Week. Start your trial today!

 

SHARING IS CARING

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Has this article helped you learn more about the benefits of a cheat meal? If you enjoyed this article, others may also find it useful. If we’ve earned it, can we kindly ask that you share this article online or through email? A referral is the greatest compliment a customer can give a business and we thank you for helping us spread the good word to the millions who suffer from this troubling disease.

 

Diabetic Lifestyle Advocate

FRANK FALAT

I am the resident Diabetic Lifestyle Advocate at Five Hour Diabetic. Here I debunk conventional thinking about nutrition and exercise. My purpose is to enable diabetics to take back control of their health. And make simple recipes that honestly don’t suck.

Photo by Fotolia.