1. Good company
Never cheat with high levels of stress, hence the tip of cheating in good company. A nice meal between friends is way better digested than a meal with a few people who you can’t stand. No need to explain the logic between that right? High levels of stress mess up the rest and digest process, a.k.a. the Hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis. It regulates many body processes, including digestion, the immune system, mood and emotions, sexuality, and energy management. Choose your friends and environment wisely if you want all the benefits of cheat meals.
2. Never go full out
The all you can eat mindset has a negative impact on digestion. Yes, you have a free pass, but you don’t have to die while doing it. My tip for a well-deserved cheat is to eat your regular meal and then, complete it with something you really desire. A piece of your favorite cake or just a small piece of chocolate, or maybe even onion rings if you want! Gluten, dairy, fried stuff, unless you really have bad symptoms, a little bit of it when you stayed away for a while can only do two things: be easier to digest or confirm that it really messes you up. If it does, don’t do it again and cheat wisely.
3. On training days
You want to maximize those gains or fat loss results? Cheat right after a good intense workout. During the effort, your body burns glycogen, which is stored in the muscles. The more you burn while training, the longer the body’s insulin sensitivity is improved and the more opportunities you get to replenish those glycogen stores. That’s how you earn a good cheat meal.
4. Cheat at night
Cheating first thing in the morning is probably the worst way to do it. It messes up your insulin and digestion for the whole day and it will make it harder for you to stay on track. There is another regular practice I see too often, which skips meals during the day, thinking that the higher calories at night will make up for it. It simply doesn’t work that way and you’ll probably overeat and mess everything up, from your digestion to your quality sleep. Eat on a regular schedule and stick with the previous tips, especially at night when your body is more insulin sensitive.
5. Take enzymes
I come across a lot of people with digestion issues. My go-to help in this case is our Enzymatic Control, a specially designed blend of enzymes that helps with many digestion issues such as bloating, gas, heartburn, gastric reflux, or constipation. Those higher calories and nutrients dense meals may be more than people can chew (pun intended!) so adding those enzymes after a cheat meal may improve digestion and results.