Cheat Meals | Enjoy These Once-A-Week Treats Without Ruining Your Diet


david_lyszczek Myprotein Writer

Cheat meals area a traditional part of a fitness lifestyle since some time now. There is plenty of rationale behind them; specifically glycogen replenishment and even mental sanity. Whatever the reason might be, most amateurs and professionals alike cheat on their diets…it is not a shameful secret!

On the contrary, photos of cheat meals flood the social media – tokens of stomach bursting pride. As much as reasonable cheat meals are unlikely to harm your physique, they might have some negative health effects. Read on to find out what to look out for when indulging in a cheat meal…

Why Cheat Healthily?

Good health is what gives you resilience to endure the demands of training in order to build your perfect physique. Therefore, before you inhale a thick crust and a tub of ice-cream and you may want to think of health and longevity as tools in your muscle building repertoire.

Sure, your diet might be well balanced most days of the week and cheat meal may not seem like a biggy. However, you may run into problems if every week you go on a four or five digit calorie binge. In these amounts certain nutrients and preservatives will be eaten in quantities which are beyond safe and may counteract your hard earned fitness level!

If your health is poor, your body is likely to direct all the effort to deal with that, rather than cooperate with your fitness regime!

Simple and Healthy
4-course Cheat Meal

Avocado, Tomato and Mango Salsa with Rice Cakes

healthy salsa

For starters antioxidants, vitamins and minerals-rich salsa, which can be served with rice cakes for extra carbohydrates.

– 1 Mango
– 1 Avocado
– 4 Medium-sized Tomatoes
– 1 Green Chilli
– Fresh Coriander
– 3 Garlic Cloves
– 1 Teaspoon Sea Salt
– 2 Tablespoon Lime Juice
– 1/2 Small Red Onion
– 3 Tablespoon Virgin Olive Oil

1) Peel the mango and avocado, remove the stones. Dice them along with tomatoes. Chop the onion and corianders. Seed green chilli and mine it with garlic cloves.
2) Mix avocado, chilli, coriander, garlic, mango and tomatoes in a bowl. Stir in sea salt, lime juice, red onion and olive oil.
3) Refrigerate for 30 minutes to meld the flavours. Serve with low-salt rice cakes.

Nutritional Information – (1/4 of a bowl, no rice cakes)
  Per Serving 
Energy 210kcal
Protein 3.2g
Carbohydrates 31.9g
Fat 7.8g

Main Meal:
Steak, Chips, Salad

steak healthy cheat meal

Nothing inventive here, just a good old steak and chips… Instead of fetching that dish in a local pub, treat yourself to a grass fed premium cut, which tastes amazing and is packed with omega-3s as well as regular iron, vitamin b12 and creatine! 

As for the chips, go for the low-fat oven baked version saving the drudge of soggy wedges fried in a vegetable oil, which remembers last summer. I trust that ingredients and instructions are not necessary. The nutritional information below shows the average calorie and macronutrient values for a decent-sized portion.

Nutritional Information – (8oz sirloin steak with 300g chips)
  Per Serving 
Energy 756.5kcal
Protein 53.7g
Carbohydrates 81.2g
Fat 22g

High Protein Choc-Banana Cake

protein cheesecake

For those with a sweet tooth a high protein, low fat and no added sugar cheesecake recipe. The cake is based on a protein packed, pressed cottage cheese.  It comes in “blocks” and can be found in most big supermarkets in “world foods” section.

Cottage cheese contains large quantities of slow-digesting protein casein, calcium and CLA. The cake itself uses ripe bananas as natural source of sugars and some MCT-rich coconut oil to grease the baking tin. The protein to carb ratio 60:40 per portion is more than enough to justify the baking effort.

– 6 Eggs
– 1 Sugar-Free Vanilla Pudding Mix
– 3 Blocks of Pressed Low-Fat Cottage Cheese (250g each)
– 3 Large Ripe Bananas
– 1 Tablespoon of Coco Powder

1) Use blender to mix eggs together. Add the pudding mix, followed by bananas and mix until a smooth consistency is achieved.
2) Prepare a 9 inch cake tin and grease it with some coconut oil. Dust the bottom of the tin with some flour.
3) Pour in 2/3 of the mixture into the baking tin. To the remaining 1/3 add the coco powder and mix thoroughly until it has a uniform colour. Pour the dark mixture over the light one in the baking tin. Use a kitchen knife to give your cake some stylish, decorative doodles.
4) Put the baking tin in the oven for 60 minutes at 160°C. Once finished, open the oven doors slightly and let the cheesecake cool. Once cooled, refrigerate overnight.

Nutritional Information – (1/8 of the baking tin)
  Per Serving
Energy 233kcal
Protein 28.2g
Carbohydrates 20.3g
Fat 4.5g

 After-Dinner Drink?
(Virgin!) Protein Irish Coffee

virgin protein irish coffee

…and to finish off an Irish coffee taste-a-like without the hooch. You may want to consider a drip-filtered coffee, as studies shown that filter traps cholesterol-raising ditripenes!

– 1 Scoop (25g) Impact Whey – Irish Cream Flavour
– Black Coffee
– Stevia (optional)

Mix a scoop of protein powder with half a glass of water. Use a blender to get rid of any lumps.
2) Prepare a small cup of drip-filtered coffee.
3) Pour the protein shake into the coffee while stirring. Add stevia to taste.

Nutritional Information
  Per Serving (one coffee)
Energy 104kcal
Protein 21g
Carbohydrates 1.3g
Fat 1.9g

Take Home Message

Over a long period of time, irresponsible cheat meals have a potential to negatively impact your health.  Even if health is not yhealthy eatingour top priority, remember that poor health can lead to poor gains – your body will always give priority to the former rather than the latter!

Of course, eating “junk food” in moderation is not a big issue. However, cheat meals and moderation usually do not go together. Binging on family packs of processed foods is simply asking for trouble. Why not take on a more weight-out approach; planning and preparing your cheat meals at home. Doing so will give your body superb quality nutrients, much needed for a superb quality physique!



Our articles should be used for informational and educational purposes only and are not intended to be taken as medical advice. If you’re concerned, consult a health professional before taking dietary supplements or introducing any major changes to your diet.



Writer and expert

Up to 45% off - Use code: MORE Be quick, shop now!