My Take on "Cheating"
Well….I disagree. Not only because I love my cheat meals, but because I think they have their advantages. I have been having a planned cheat meal for years with no negative effects. It hasn’t affected my physique, and I’m always ready to get back on track with my healthy eating the next day. I never feel guilty afterwards because it was planned, and I don’t really even consider it a “cheat”, but a treat that is part of my weekly diet plan. *It works for me.*
However, I am NOT a big fan of having a whole cheat day, especially if you are overweight or have excess fat to lose, or if you are not consistently eating a healthy diet 90% of the time. My goal is NOT losing fat, but rather gaining muscle. I rarely have a whole cheat day, but sometimes they do happen (holidays, family functions,etc). What I’ll do after a cheat day is just cut back on carbs the next day, or even a few days afterwards.
What it really comes down to is that you have to find what works best for you. If having a cheat meal causes you to crave bad food even more, or if you have a hard time getting back on track with your healthy eating plan, then don’t have one! If you are not seeing the results you want or if you have hit a fat loss plateau, that is another reason to consider taking out your cheat meal and seeing if that has been what is stalling your progress.
There's no reason that you HAVE to have a cheat meal. It all comes down to your goals and where you are in your fitness journey. You can actually have more "cheats" the leaner you are and the more muscle you have. ;)
For me, having a cheat meal is largely psychological, so that I don’t feel like I’m depriving myself from all the foods I love. Even though I enjoy eating healthy and wouldn’t have it any other way, I still love my junk food, fried food and sweets! I don’t feel the need to ever give those things up completely. :)