If you’re like me and love the thought of a weekly meal where you can indulge on your favourite treats and not feel guilty at all, then you will love today's post!
Studies are proving that a weekly treat (or cheat) meal has more benefits than just giving you a break and a reward for eating great all week.
So here’s the deal, the idea of most weight loss diet plans is that you would be on some kind of calorie restriction to cause a deficit (calories in vs calories out).
Your diet should consist of clean foods such as fresh veggies, fruits and lean meat, so the idea is if you consume less calories than you’re burning then you will create a deficit and burn fat (or lose weight).
However, as I’m sure you’ve found, it’s not always that simple! Remember everyone is different, and to get an exact diet plan for you with the exact amount of calories etc. you need, we would need to know exactly how your cells function, how efficiently your body digests food, and how it uses nutrients and burns calories, which requires a lot of scientific research!
So there are some guidelines you can follow or ‘diet tips’, but there’s not always a clear cut plan.
Here’s some science:
If you were to restrict your calories through the whole week, then at some point you will go into ‘Homeostasis’, which is a survival mechanism of the human body, it means that you will use less energy and store more fat for use later on. Which if you’re trying to lose weight is not a good thing at all. Constant calorie restriction causes some hormone levels to drop particularly leptin, and your thyroid hormones T3, and T4.
So the idea of a treat, re-feed or strategic overfeed meal (call it whatever you like) is to boost your calories on one day, particularly your carbs if you have been restricting these throughout the week. This will then spike those hormone levels and avoid homeostasis or fat storage.
Now it’s not all about stuffing your face for a whole day with doughnuts, pies, pizza, beer and lollies and expecting to burn fat, you do need to be smart with this. There are some guidelines to the perfect cheat meal, which I will share in next weeks article.