Ask anyone who is dieting and they will tell you that a cheat meal every now and then is necessary to satisfy certain food cravings. It not only brings about a sense of happiness but also helps as a motivating factor to continue eating healthy.
Some experts believe a cheat meal of your favourite foods can also provide the right kind of solace for those looking for some refuge from the daily stresses of life.
However, while cheat meals occasionally are not harmful, taking into consideration the time you have it, is important. Certified Mumbai-based nutritionist, Pooja Makhija, recently spoke about the best time to cheat on your diet on her Instagram page.
Posting a reel with the answer she wrote, the best time to cheat on your diet is the first half of the day.
“This is known as the power of chronobiology. Your body burns twice as much more at 8 AM versus 8 PM. So, this is what brings the breakfast debate to a full circle. It is always better to eat your breakfast than skip it especially if you are on time-restricted eating. So, while what you eat matters, when you eat also matters more,” she said in her post.
The expert advises to consume heavier calorie meals in the first half of the day instead of during dinner time as eating heavy calorie laden foods in the night can lead to weight gain and digestive issues.
So, the best time to indulge in your cheat meals or have high calorie foods you may be craving is during breakfast or brunch.
Integrative nutritionist and health coach Karishma Shah, also shed light on how to indulge in an occasional treat or cheat meal while maintaining your health and weight, The Indian Express reports.
She reportedly said, “When someone doesn’t work out and has a pancake for breakfast — one of the ways to convert that cheat feeling into a treat feeling would be to go on a quick walk after consuming the food.”
Cleveland Health Clinic informs, “To maintain health, eat healthy food 80 per cent of the time, and allow yourself 20 per cent wiggle room (by practicing portion control.)”
Additionally, speaking about the best time of the day to cheat on your diet, dietician Garima Goyal explains, “Research has shown that having a heavy breakfast and a light dinner aid in weight loss.”
She also informs that the body’s metabolism is significantly faster during the day than during the night. Therefore, heavy meals can completely upset the digestive system, as it’s difficult to digest the food at night and this leads to acidity.
For this reason, it’s important to have sugar, fat and calorie-dense meals during the daytime rather than at night.
Experts advise that it’s imperative to maintain a balance and eat in moderation. Apparently, the key to good health lies in giving into your cravings sometimes, but also keeping your health in check.
However, not everyone should indulge in cheat meals, said personal trainer Scott Laidler in an earlier report that featured in the BBC.
He reportedly said, “From a physiological perspective, the argument one needs a cheat day is faulty. “Someone who is following a meal plan or getting in shape for the first time shouldn’t be scheduling in huge meals.”
He believes, “There are two types of people when it comes to dieting. Those who need to let off steam in exchange for the discipline, and those who feel a sense of achievement from adhering to a plan.”
And according to the expert, giving into the cravings of a cheat meal can work, if the cheat diet is sensible and doesn’t include loads of high-calorie or unhealthy foods, such as those high in salt, sugar and saturated fat.