Cheater cheater ice cream eater
I have discovered a little trick that seems to be serving me well.
I cheat. Just a little.
Once a week (on Saturday night), I allow myself to eat anything I want. I do this for two reasons. First, because I love food, especially sweets (who doesn’t?), and second, because it helps to speed my weight loss. I’m telling you guys, it sounds crazy but it really works.
Operating in a caloric deficit can be difficult and knowing that I can relax and let loose - even for just one meal a week - is hugely beneficial to the psyche. It can be hard work sticking to a diet or eating plan. Everyone deserves a little break from time to time. But the benefits of a cheat meal (or even a cheat day) aren’t just psychological.
You can read all about why a cheat meal/day speeds up weight loss and helps to overcome dieting plateaus here and here. But because I’m such a nice blogger, I’ll break it down for you in a quick Cliffs Notes-esqe summary:
- Leptin is a hormone that is responsible for, among other things, regulating the rate of your metabolism. Higher leptin levels = faster metabolism / lower leptin levels = slower metabolism.
- Fat loss and a lower calorie intake will cause leptin levels to plummet.
- After as quickly as one week of dieting and operating in a caloric deficit, leptin levels will drop, metabolism slows and weight loss can become more difficult.
- Strategically “overfeeding” with high calorie, especially high carbohydrate foods cause leptin levels to rise, thus speeding up metabolism.
- Have one cheat meal/day per week if you have less than 15 pounds to lose; have one cheat meal/day every two weeks if you have more than 15 pounds to lose.
- By strategically cheating in this manner, your body will be primed for faster, easier and more sustainable fat loss!
I kinda stumbled upon this technique and I truly believe it works. I’ve dropped 2 dress sizes in less than a month and I’ve been diligently enjoying whatever I fancy every Saturday night. Notably, after a Saturday night cheat meal, I try to eat extremely lightly on Sunday, clocking under 1000 calories within the entire day if possible, and I give myself a rest day from the gym on Sunday as well. Also, it’s not unusual to gain back as much as a pound after a cheat day. But rest assured, this weight gain is quite temporary and not authentic.
As I type this now, I’m enjoying a chocolate mint ice cream sandwich. Viva la cheat meal!