Cheat meal or 'cheat meal': What is it and does it really help you lose weight?
Some influencers advise eating an exceptional meal during which you eat whatever you want, so as not to get discouraged and even promote weight loss. Does this technique have to be taken literally? Answer with Dr. Nina Cohen Kobe, Dietitian.
What is a cheat meal?
When you want to lose weight, you have to readjust your diet, in particular by limiting fats and sugars. It can be hard to follow these new habits, some advise eating a "cheat" meal. Also called a "cheat meal," it consists of allowing yourself a lunch or even dinner during which you eat whatever you want: from burgers to creamy pasta and even rich desserts, such as cake or pastries.
Target? Leave it during the meal, then eat again in a balanced manner from the following to resume good habits. As part of the nutritional rebalancing, this will make it possible to lose weight. But is the cheat meal really effective and should there be limits to it?
How it works ?
Dietitian Dr. Nina Cohen-Kobe says that if a weight-loss diet is "too restrictive and not varied enough, it can cause a crash in energy expenditure". In fact, the metabolism slows down and it becomes difficult to burn fat. When we eat foods rich in fat, the body expends more energy: thus a cheat meal helps to revive the metabolism.
Another advantage of the cheat meal: it is good for morale, because it provides fun! "This gap is more pleasurable because it's exceptional, so we taste more, and without worry or guilt, because we're eating healthily on the side," adds Dr. Nina Cohen-Coppie.
Yes a cheat meal, but not just for anyone
"What do you want to eat?" . This is the question that Dr. Nina Cohen-Kobe loves to ask her patients. You might ask them to pick their favorite dish to make a difference from time to time, but only in certain cases.
"It's a case on a case-by-case basis. Most of the time in the first two or three weeks, we try to stimulate the release of leptin, the satiety hormone, and make room for the feeling of fullness, the expert knows, to recognize the hunger for bingeing. When the machine is working and the patient begins to lose weight, we can We give him treatment from time to time.” Conversely, a person who is not yet accustomed to nutritional rebalancing risks being tempted and abused by a cheat meal.
Can we afford to eat it all?
The specialist advises giving yourself a moment of pleasure once or even twice a week. These two "krakens" would have no consequences if the side meals were healthy: The dietitian cites the Mediterranean diet, which relies on good fats, fiber, and little meat and a variety of foods.
However, a cheat meal does not mean that you can eat in any way, warns the specialist. "A gap can be whatever you want, as long as you don't take it in large amounts," she says. Chocolate mousse, macaroni with cheese, french fries ... Any food that makes us happy is possible, subject to certain conditions, the specialist advises against junk food and other "fast food".
"When you begin the process of losing weight, you need to look at it as a diet that is beneficial for mental and physical health. If it is from the perspective of well-being and dispensing, rebalancing allows you to rediscover eating and restore pleasure," concludes the specialist.