A single, well-planned cheat meal can actually support your efforts in maintaining a healthy diet for weight loss or better health. The key is making sure the cheat meal does not extend into a day or longer of eating off plan. When you consume a single meal higher in calories or carbohydrates than you’ve been maintaining, it can jumpstart your metabolism and give you a brief reprieve to restore motivation.
Consumption of maintenance calories or a higher amount of carbohydrates can increase production of lactic acid in your body. Lactic acid, which is also produced while working out, assists your body in rapidly burning fat.
Constant dietary restrictions can start to feel incredibly limiting to the point of feeling like punishment. Feelings of resentment for the diet will only serve to derail you over time. By planning out cheat meals once a month or less, you can have that event to look toward to stay on track.
The effectiveness of both of these elements will taper off with the number of cheat meals you enjoy throughout your diet. Spacing out the cheat meals as far as possible will help you make the most of the temporary break. For many people, that means only planning cheat meals four times a year.