Should I Incorporate Cheat Day Meals Into My Fitness Plan?

By Team Cellucor

Updated: 2-13-18

Showing a leniency after your efforts have been regimented can have a positive role in your ability to, not only stay sane but, to burn additional calories. Here’s how to do it the right way.

Relentless meal prepping can chip away at the very fibers of your soul, making you want to throw in the towel and attack the nearest fast food outlet with vigor. This doesn’t mean your improvements need to take a back seat, in fact, a little cleverly designed indulgence with your favorite foods can yield very positive improvements, and a paper in the International Journal of Obesity seconds this notion. The researchers found that those who dieted consistently without breaks lost less weight than those guys who alternated between dieting for two weeks and eating whatever they wanted for two weeks. It wasn't a flash in the pan duration either, both groups went hard at it for a full four months. That’s enough time for anyone to make serious improvements. So if you want to have your cake and eat it (well, why would you want it any other way), these are some of the recipes that’ll help you enjoy all the flavor without completely blowing out your macro intake for the day.

Creamy pasta

You’ll need:

  • One bag of pasta
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 ripe avocados, crushed
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 cup basil leaves, fresh
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tbsp pesto
  • 4 tbsp almond meal

What to do:

STEP 1: Cook the pasta according to the instructions on the box.

STEP 2: Combine all the ingredients for the sauce in a blender and let it whirr around for 1-2 minutes.

STEP 3: You can combine it with either fish, turkey or chicken strips that have been pre-cooked in a pan for 5 minutes.

Why it’s good: The avocado is rich in healthy fats and is nature’s equivalent of a multi-vitamin. It negates the need for excessively calorific creams that can blow out your macro needs for the day with just a few bites, yet still offers that fatty goodness you’d come to expect from your cheat meals.

Shrimp Risotto

You’ll need:

  • 300g shrimp, peeled, cooked
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 400g brown rice, cooked
  • 2-cups low salt chicken stock
  • 1 lemon, take off the rind and juice it
  • 40g Parmesan cheese, grated
  • ½ cup basil leaves, chopped

What to do:

STEP 1: Precook the rice according to the brand’s specifications.

STEP 2: Fry the onion in the oil then add stock, lemon rind and juice. Bring to the boil and add the rice.

STEP 3: Reduce the heat then add cheese, basil and prawns. Serve with half a bag of fresh baby spinach leaves.

Why it’s good: If you’re limiting your carbs you’ll crave a stodgy, satisfying meal that leaves you lusting after the couch. While this will have a similar effect on your lethargy levels, you’ll also get a very hefty dose of protein that’ll help your muscles build and recover after a brutal training session.

Protein cupcakes

You’ll need:

  • 50g almond meal
  • 50g coconut flour
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp Greek yogurt
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 50g whey protein (plain flavor)

What to do:

STEP 1: Combine all ingredients into a bowl and set the oven to 300 degrees.

STEP 2: Spoon the mixture into the individual slots of muffin cake tins.

STEP 3: Place in the oven for 15-20 minutes until they rise.

STEP 4: Allow them to sit outside the oven for 5 minutes before you tuck in as they’ll continue to cook.

Why it’s good: Almonds are one of the most potent protein sources you can eat. While they may not be fast digesting, like whey, they will drip feed your muscles with the building blocks they need to keep recovering. The addition of the extra whey protein will also improve your ability to build brawn and enjoy every bite of your cheat meal.

What are Team Cellucor's favorite Cheat Meals?

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