It would be a good idea to read the article below (2 below) on Metabolic Consistency as this post develops on it.
A cheat meal is a way for you to reward yourself at the end of a hard week eating well. We all like our food, and to deny ourselves of the foods we enjoy completely could lead to burning out or simply dropping your healthy meal plan. Complete restriction is not for most.
If you are on an eating plan where you to take certain days or meals off, there are a few things you must consider to lessen their negative effects.
Many people will set a day when they will indulge, usually over the weekend. But is setting a day in advance for your cheat a good idea? Okay, if you feel that you enjoy your Sundays off and have a habit of strolling down to The People’s park in Dun Laoghaire for some feasting, maybe picking that day works well. It’s the most rewarding for you.
What happens though if your birthday falls on a Tuesday, or you’re out for a business dinner and want a few drinks on a Thursday? I believe cheat meals are better stored for when you need them most, like a get out of jail free card. There is another reason why holding off is a good idea.
The answer is hormones. Hormones regulate your body’s ability to burn or store fat. Of course hormones are massively controlled by the food you eat, but hormones are also affected by your emotions. Eating when stressed will lead to a higher level of fat storage (see Cortisol – http://yourfitness.ie/blog/?p=229). This is why you should never eat when depressed or upset about something. There is the typical scenario of a woman going for chocolate ice cream after some man trouble (they’re not worth it girls), but this will result in fat storage and perpetuate a negative cycle.
I explained hormones because if you set your meal to a Sunday for example, you cannot be sure if you’ll be in a good place, or if you’ll even be in the mood for good food. I believe your cheats are best held onto for enjoyable times when you are relaxed and just want to enjoy yourself. This is the best way to integrate a healthy eating plan into your life while still having fun. Enjoy your food when you’re having fun and you’re less likely to store, as well as more likely to enjoy your time.