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Best time to eat a cheat meal?

+2 votes
Whenever I follow a diet to lose some weight, I usually have a cheat meal once per week. I know many recommend this and I also find it helps me cope with the boredom of a diet and helps boost my metabolism.

Is there an optimum time to eat this meal, i.e., breakfast, lunch or tea or will it make no difference at all?
asked Dec 4, 2012 in Diet & Nutrition by Ivan Rookie (130 points)  
50% Accept Rate

edited Dec 4, 2012 by RobConnor

3 Answers

+1 vote
I really don't think there's any optimal time, your cheat meal is gonna enter your system no matter when you eat it. I know many will tell you that you should never eat heavy at night but that's never been applicable to me. I noticed many years ago that a big meal at night doesn't result in any 'next day weight gain' or even a stalling in weight loss if I happen to be dieting.

Eat your cheat meal when you most feel like it and enjoy!!!
answered Dec 4, 2012 by RobConnor Iron Lifting God (4,930 points)  
edited Dec 4, 2012 by RobConnor
0 votes
If you really must have a cheat meal (I hope it's not very large in portion), the ideal time would be around 2 - 3 hours before a Cardio workout. I have used the word 'Cardio' specifically because things get a little more complicated in weight training because you need a blend of complex carbs and protein prior to workout in order to maximise muscle hypertrophy.

Cheat meal before a cardio workout? Well, personally I follow this rule when my training day involves running or cycling where I'm expected to lose anywhere around 500 - 600 calories (or more) an hour and the workout lasts 50 minutes - 70 minutes. In such circumstances the cheat meal gets torched by the workout effectively, and it creates a lesser impact compared to eating a cheat meal prior to bed, where you're pretty much sedentary for the next 6 to 8 hours.
answered Dec 4, 2012 by gohrkhan Gym Regular (710 points)  
0 votes
Meal time for a cheat meal once a week will be irrelevant. My advice would be keep this cheat meal to a social occasion where you don't have to be the one restricting yourself from indulging in certain foods while everybody else is.

Now if you want to be really strict about it, during your post-workout meal could be a good time to have your cheat meal, specially if loaded with sugar, since that's about the only time where simple sugars are "okay"
answered Dec 8, 2012 by georgef Iron Addict (1,395 points)  
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