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‘Cheat Meals’ and how they can help fat loss

Posted by: Patrick Catanzariti on February 3, 2016

cheat meals

– Article by MISS K

Cheat meals – Do I eat them? I get asked this question quite often.

And this simple answer is yes!

Cheat meals, free meals, off track meals… I love food and I don’t think completely restricting your diet from your favourite foods allows for a healthy relationship with food. As well as incorporating cheat meals, this is one of the reasons I started baking and making healthier desserts!

Over the years I have learnt that cheat meals can be beneficial:

– They give you something to look forward to when you are on a diet

– Let you not have to worry about tracking

– Can prevent catabolism/ provide a temporary boost in metabolism,

– They can refill glycogen in the muscles/ boost energy

A cheat meal is usually a meal that is higher in calories, likely coming from fats and carbs, which put your calorie intake for the day over what you are normally having. I think, however, that many people use them at the wrong time and this ends up stalling them from progressing with their fat loss.


– If you have been losing weight at a fast rate due to low calorie intake then a regular cheat meal may be of benefit to prevent your metabolic rate from slowing as quickly.

– If your workouts are constantly low in energy, this could be a sign that a cheat meal could be of temporary boost.

– If you are at the point where lowering calories further has not resulted in any progress then having a cheat meal or two may help “jumpstart” your metabolism.

– If you are ahead of schedule as far as your rate of fat loss is concerned then if you would like to reward yourself, go ahead!


– You just started a diet and have not made fat loss progress yet.

– If you’re not progressing at your desired rate then a cheat meal may likely stall your progress even more.

– If your not sticking to your plan and are going over your calorie levels you have set on a regular basis, then a cheat meal will not help.


If I know fall into the category of ‘when not to have a cheat meal’ but really want one anyway then this is what I do: I basically factor a cheat meal into that day while still having my normal dieting calories. This is done by sacrificing the rest of your day around your cheat meal.


Hooters (I don’t go often… But I do like their buffalo wings!)

– ½ serve fries

– ½ plate fried pickles

– 5 Buffalo wings

– 3/4 of a Buffalo chicken burger

– 2L of water (drinking a lot of water helps a lot with digestion)

=1300 calories (using nutritional information available).

I knew I was planning on having this for dinner so with a total daily intake of 1600-1800 calories when I am trying to slowly lose fat, I knew I only had 300-500 calories to eat earlier in the day so I filled this with a couple meals of a protein source and veggies so I still hit my protein requirements for the day. At the end of the day I had the cheat meal I wanted, and still remained on track with my fat loss plan by balancing out my intake for the day.

Now is this the best and healthiest day of eating? No it isn’t. But it is a way to on occasion have a cheat meal while still sticking to your daily calories goals. All it took was a little planning ahead. If where I am eating doesn’t have the calorie information then I will estimate it the best I can.

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