Cheat Meals: Are Burgers a Good Option When You’re Bulking?
Who doesn’t enjoy eating a nice and juicy burger once in a while? Being on a tough dietary restriction and eliminating unwanted fat from your meals means you can’t relish a quick snack on a weekend with your friends. Wrong!
There’s a common myth in the bodybuilding community that eating burgers can hamper your fitness goals and prevent you from getting the kind of ripped body you want. Read on to see how you can include cheat meals like burgers into your diet and still get to benefit from it in the long run.
Breaking The “Cheating” Myth
Most reputed nutrition experts, like John Berardi and Alan Aragon, suggest bodybuilders stick to the 90/10 rule in their diet. The 90/10 rule means you should eat as per your strict nutrition-based diet plan 90% of the time, whereas you can indulge in your favorite cheat meals 10% of the time. These meals should be high in both carbs and protein, and also something that you enjoy eating.
Aren’t Burger High In Calories?
Well, if you were choosing between a Slurpee with a bowl of Mac-and-Cheese for your cheat meal on one hand and a loaded cheeseburger with fries and a pint of beer, on the other hand, you should definitely go for the latter option. It will give you a dose of protein, carbs, and fat, even if that’s more calories as compared to processed or artificially flavored foods that are very low in nutritional value.
It’s common for people to continue to snack long after they bring their favorite cheat meal home. This is why it becomes important to limit the natural temptation by simply keeping your meal to a predetermined quantity. Every bodybuilder is entitled to indulging in a nice cheat meal on a regular basis. Having said this, you shouldn’t have a long cheat week, even if it’s your birthday!
So, avoid thinking along the lines of, ‘I’ve just ruined my diet already, so it doesn’t matter anymore’.
Choose the right kind of burger at your favorite eating joint. If you eat at a restaurant or eating joint once in a while, choose the healthier options when it comes to the burger ingredients – a burger that’s well-balanced with a decent amount of fiber and protein. Avoid anything covered in cream sauce, sautéed in butter, or loaded with sugar – these can waste your week’s (or even month’s) worth of progress really quick. Browsing through the nutrition guide at the restaurant or using nutrition apps can be helpful in finding the healthier options.
Examples Of Other Good Cheat Meals?
Other than having a cheeseburger with the bun on your cheat day, you can also have things like –
- Two slices of pizza
- A filet mignon served with baked potato and veggies
- A pasta dish with a protein-rich ingredient
- Fajitas and a couple of tortillas
- Stir fry vegetables with rice or noodles
Can Cheat Meals Actually Be Good For You?
Knowing which foods you’re cheating with or craving can sometimes signal towards possible deficiencies in your diet. This is the body’s natural attempt to correct your diet and maintain a balance. Cravings for particular foods can often manifest when your body is really low on specific macronutrients. So, indulging in your cravings isn’t always as bad as you think!
Crazy Gains Final Thought
Eating your cheat meals in a conscious way won’t derail you from your bodybuilding or fitness goals. Enjoy your burger just like any of your other favorite meals once in a while as a cheat meal. Avoid overindulging and quickly resume your healthy plan to stay on track.