Everything You Need to Know About Cheat Days
Where to start!
You’re strictly following your diet plan and workout routine the whole week, but now you’re craving for some donuts. Bending the rules for one day will not hurt. After all, you have been “good” all
week. So, should you skip or not?
What Is a Cheat Day?
Simply put, you stick to your diet for six days and indulge a little on the seventh day-your cheat day. Three beliefs as to what makes up “cheating” in this sense are:
- Eating anything you want on a particular day;
- Indulging on things you ordinarily avoid; and
- Having a cheat day is a part of dieting.
Benefits of Incorporating a Cheat Day into Your Diet
Many fitness enthusiasts, like The Rock, have found that having a cheat day helps you achieve your fitness goals. How?
- It serves as a form of reward/motivation system: Strictly following a diet plan can become tiring and monotonous. A cheat day breaks that monotony and serves as a reward or incentive for keeping up to the diet.
- To boost metabolism: As you diet, your metabolism rate may decrease caused by leptin. When you reduce your calorie intake, your leptin level decreases that make it difficult for you to lose weight. However, a cheat day increases your calorie intake, in turn, boosts your leptin levels.
- It makes your goals easier to achieve: When you know that you have set aside a day of indulgence, it makes it easier for you to resist temptation and stick to your diet.
Dangers of Incorporating a Cheat Day into Your Diet
- Over-indulgence: Cheat day makes you more resistant to temptation and sticks to your diet. However, some people use this as an excuse to feast on everything in sight.
- Failing to achieve your purpose for dieting: If you do not have a strict diet or vigorous workout routine, observing a cheat day may impede your fitness journey.
- An unhealthy lifestyle: On cheat days, many people end up eating lots of processed and unhealthy food. Eating unhealthy food could undo all the progress they have already made.
How to Observe a Cheat Day Correctly
- Treat Day, not Cheat Day: If you see cheat day as a day to reward yourself for progress achieved, you can keep guilt at bay.
- Adopt the right mindset: The idea behind a cheat day is to break the monotony of following a diet while serving as a form of reward for progress achieved.
- Eat good food: Try making your meals yourself using high-quality, natural ingredients. Adopt the 90/10 rule: 90% of your weekly calories should come from healthy food; while 10% from junk food.
- Drink water regularly: Cheat day or not, ensure that you take water daily. It aids digestion, helps in weight loss, and boosts your energy levels.
- Strive for balance: On a cheat day, ensure that whatever meal you choose to indulge in is balanced. It must contain adequate amounts of protein, healthy fats, minerals, and antioxidants.
- Do not lie on the couch all day – Cheat day is not a day to be a couch potato. Try to engage in mild exercises like walking a short distance, biking, or other less strenuous activities.
- Do not cheat when you are ravenous: You could overeat on cheat day if you are very hungry.
Overindulging in your cravings is not a license to give up being fit completely. Do not let feelings of guilt or shame hold you back. Learn from your mistake and try to find ways to ensure that you do not slip up again. You may need to take stringent measures to pinpoint the cause of your slip-up to ensure that it does not happen again.
Should I Incorporate a Cheat Day into My Diet?
Carefully consider the benefits and dangers associated with cheat day before making a choice. Be sure to follow the tips we have listed above if you choose to incorporate a cheat day into your diet for maximum results.
If you have difficulties in making up your mind, you could speak to our experienced personal trainers and fitness coaches. We would be more than willing to help you select the best option.