That’s right, you read correctly!
It’s time to start taking a more sensible (and sane) approach to weight loss. Gone are the days of never-ending restrictive dieting with no breaks or treats on the horizon.
In this article we’re going to outline how you can enhance your weight loss success by eating all of the foods you want to eat, including everything from pretzels to pizza to pastries!
A Little About Leptin
If you are serious about embarking upon a quest for long-term weight loss then you’re almost definitely going to have to endure many weeks or even months of dieting.
This can be a seriously daunting prospect for most people, but it can also begin to take its toll physiologically.
The fat cells in your body produce a hormone called leptin which is well known for its regulatory properties on appetite and body fat levels, acting as a kind of thermostat in response to the food you eat.
High levels of leptin essentially signal to your brain that you are full, which is why you feel satisfied after a large meal, but as you progressively dig deeper into a long-term diet plan your body begins to down-regulate its leptin production.
Not only does this leave you feeling less and less satiated but it can also affect your body’s ability or ‘willingness’ to give up whatever body fat it has left.
Terms such as ‘starvation mode’ are somewhat of an exaggeration but this can definitely result in an overall reduction in your metabolic rate.
This is why it’s a very good idea to stoke your metabolic fires with some tasty treats every so often.
Cheat Meals: The Holy Grail of Weight Loss
Usually starting with once every 7 – 10 days, assign yourself a window of two or three hours (enough for a solid meal plus dessert) where you allow yourself to eat anything you want.
Think of your favorite foods – donuts, danishes, deep dish pizza – and go hog wild until you feel full. This means eating until you are full, not until you are uncomfortable from overeating.
This will be like pouring gasoline on your metabolic fire, increasing your metabolic rate and giving you a much-needed psychological break. Eating a cheat meal like this can also stimulate leptin production to help you feel fuller for the coming days while actually increasing your chances of losing fat further down the line.
Be sure to keep an eye on your bodyweight because you will likely gain a couple of pounds due to fluid retention. This extra water weight should, however, come off within a day or two, and you will want to aim for a total net weight loss of around 2 – 3lbs per week on average.
The frequency with which you indulge in a cheat meal will depend on your current body fat levels, with dieters typically benefiting from more frequent cheat meals the leaner they become.