4 Reasons Not To Have Cheat Meals Or Cheat Days

by Yuen Yi Ying
WEIGHT LOSS  |  November 23, 2017
  • One high-fat meal can throw off your metabolism
    1 / 4 One high-fat meal can throw off your metabolism

    Thanks to regular high-intensity workouts, you may be a fat-burning machine, but one junk food meal could cool your furnaces and cause further damage than you can imagine. In a joint study by German and Portuguese scientists, healthy men were randomly given either a glass of plain water, or a flavoured drink containing palm oil, which had the same saturated fat content as two cheeseburgers with bacon and large fries, or two salami pizzas. What shocked the scientists was that a single dose of the palm oil drink was enough to induce symptoms seen in those with type 2 diabetes and obesity. There was insulin resistance which causes a rise in glucose levels, and more fats were released into the bloodstream, a precursor to liver disease. Although the experts believe healthy folks are able to handle the effects of these occasional doses of high-fat foods, it might become a problem if these meals become a more regular habit.

    (Also Read: 9 Salty Hawker Dishes That Are Shockingly High in Sugar)

    All photos: Pixabay

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  • Junk food wrecks your arteries
    2 / 4 Junk food wrecks your arteries

    In another study in Montreal, Canada, participants fed a meal high in saturated fat — a sandwich stuffed with a sausage, egg, cheese, and three hash browns — were found to have arteries that narrowed by 24 per cent after feasting. By contrast, when the subjects had a Mediterranean-style meal with omega-3 and healthy fats from salmon, almonds and vegetables sauteed in olive oil, their arteries dilated normally and were able to promote healthy blood flow.

    (Also Read: Stop Food Cravings)

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  • Cheat meals may lead to weight gain
    3 / 4 Cheat meals may lead to weight gain

    According to a New South Wales study, rats put on a yo-yo diet where they ate healthily four days a week and binged on the other three days ended up putting on 18 per cent more weight after 16 weeks than rats who had a healthy diet the whole time. “While these findings are yet to be replicated in humans, those who are strict with their diet during the week may be undoing all their good work by hitting the junk food over the weekend,” warns lead researcher Professor Margaret Morris, Head of Pharmacology at the University of New South Wales.

    (Also Read: “Healthier Choice” Products in Supermarkets Are Not Necessarily Healthy)

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  • Bad foods crowd out healthy choices
    4 / 4 Bad foods crowd out healthy choices

    Do you exercise to eat your favourite junk foods? Beware if unhealthy meals make up most of your diet. One American study found that having more fast food meals resulted in less intake of fruits and vegetables. Worse still, those who also ate it at home tended to also stock their kitchen with salty snacks and sodas, limiting access to better food choices. Additionally, a separate study on rats published in Frontiers in Psychology revealed that those placed on a high-calorie diet became less motivated to seek out different foods, a crucial factor for having a healthy and balanced diet.

    (Also Read: 8 Healthy Foods That Should Always Be On Your Grocery List)

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