Caving in to Cravings - SunStar

Caving in to Cravings

Weekend readers reveal their favorite cheat meals

By Cassandra C. Poculan
Photo: Associated Press


EVEN those following an extremely strict diet need to let loose every now and then. In fact, experts agree that weekly cheat meals can actually be good for you. The increased calories in these meals help ward off feelings of deprivation, and elevate leptin (the hormone responsible for regulating hunger and energy expenditure), which in turn helps reduce body fat more efficiently. So long as your cheat meal doesn’t turn into a cheat day, you can still stay on track, with an improved ability to stick to your regimen. These readers let us in on the occasional treats they like to indulge in.

Hayde Quiñanola, 31
Corporate Communications Specialist
House of I.T.

“My father used to bring home his favorite balbacua or pochero, and I kind of take after him. He knew a few hole-in-the-wall places around the city — which I now occasionally go to — that serve this really good high-fat, cholesterol-rich food. I savor it or suck the marrow quickly while served hot. Cool, hardened fat and grease just adds up to the guilt!”

Jo Anne Rivera, 36
Dr. Jo Ann Rivera Dental Clinic

“My favorite cheat meal, I would have to say, is pizza. Any pizza would do, actually. I mean, who doesn’t love pizza? The smell of it is so enticing that even if I’m on a diet, I can’t help myself but have a slice.”

Cheche Lara, 22
Head of Marketing
Conclave Ventures Inc.

“My favorite cheat meal to grab is unlimited Korean samgyeopsal (grilled pork belly) paired with several side dishes and a good bowl of kimchi soup. Since I just recently became strict with my health and diet, this cheat meal is a guilty pleasure of mine that makes me forget all the boring food I’ve eaten the entire week. It also serves as my self-reward for the efforts of working hard in the gym.”

Neil Savellon, 33
Events Host and Blogger

“Oh my! I love eating healthy food most of the time but when I want to indulge in a cheat meal I make sure that pochero is on top of my list paired with lechon kawali and a platter of rice! This cheat meal combo makes me relax and happy all the time.”

Tristan Licayan, 26
Charge Nurse
West Hills Health and Rehab

“It would have to be Korean barbecue. I love how you’re able to eat a lot and not feel a disgusting kind of full. I just have to make sure that I go to a good KBBQ place that has good meat.”

Trisha Guzman, 21
Accounts Executive
Bigseed PR and Events

“My go-to cheat meal would always involve tons of sinful carbs – tartufo pasta, prosciutto pizza, beef burger, and some fast food French fries. Keeping a healthy lifestyle is a work in progress, but I like messing it up once in a while just to satisfy my cravings. On the bright side, cheat days motivate me to work out somehow.”

Rafael Torres, 29
Eataliano’s Restaurant

“My favorite cheat meal is Eataliano’s pizza, loaded with mozzarella cheese, bacon, egg, ham, and arugula. Why? Because the taste is really good, and I can’t help myself from eating it after my heavy exercise. The combination and the tenderness of the bacon and ham with the mozzarella is perfect. Plus the egg and arugula on top give it a tantalizing crunch.”

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