One of the greatest things about being on a restricted diet is having a cheat meal. There is nothing better than leaving the stress of counting calories and carbs behind while you just eat for pleasure at one meal.
Cheat meals are as much about the mental benefits as they are about the physical. So your choice of cheat meals should mostly be determined by what it is that you have been wanting. This will allow you to make it another week or more on a strict diet without losing your sanity.
With that said, I find that some cheat meals are better than others for improving fat loss and muscle gain. These meals are high in calories, as all cheat meals should be, but they are also high in sodium and protein, which helps to benefit your physique in the long run. They also are deficient in trans fats, which should never be consumed in large quantities, even at a cheat meal.
Pizza is a great choice because it is a high in fat, high in protein, and high in sodium. These 3 factors make it very anabolic, which means it will help you to gain muscle mass. The large caloric load will also up-regulate your metabolism, leading to more fat loss when you resume your diet.
Just as with pizza the high fat, protein, and sodium content of most Mexican food makes it very anabolic. Couple this with the high cholesterol content, which is great for anabolic hormone levels, and you have a cheat meal that will jump start your muscle growth. You also have a great opportunity to get some fiber in as well, in the form of refried or black beans.
Complex carbs in the form of white rice along with a quality protein source from fresh fish make sushi an ideal cheat meal. Couple this with the healthy fats found in fish like salmon and the high iodine levels in the seaweed and you have a great meal for promoting health and fat loss.
These are just some examples of good cheat meal choices. Remember that first and foremost you want to use cheat meals as a psychological break from strict dieting. With that said, I typically recommend you choose something relatively high in protein. You want to stay away from things like ice cream and other sweets, unless they are combined with a quality source of protein.
Keep in mind that we are just talking about cheat meals here. Just because pizza and Mexican food have some useful nutrients does not mean they have a place in your everyday muscle growth meal plan.
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