Having A Cheat Day On A Diet.
Having a cheat day on a diet is, in my opinion, an excellent idea and my reason for saying this is MOTIVATION.
Let’s face it, dieting for most of us is boring. So by rewarding yourself on any day in the week for sticking to your chosen diet for six days can only motivate to then continue on with the diet for another six days and again and again.
Even better is to have a cheat meal. This is much better and usually enough to give you the motivation to carry on and you won’t feel as guilty.
Be Aware. This is NOT a binge eating day!
Binge eating all the wrong foods even for one day will cause all the hard work that you have done in your diet to be pretty much null and void and you probably will regret it emotionally.
Remember the fact that you are dieting for a reason whether for health issues or simply to lose some weight.
As strange as it may seem having a cheat day can be beneficial to helping you lose weight. It’s probably one of the few times you can eat non healthy food and still see some fat loss as a result. The key is to pre- plan the meals or meal and you will have the potential to accelerate your weight loss.
Cheat Day Diet Benefits.
The main benefit from cheat days is they actually boost your metabolism which as we all know burns calories. One of the ways it boosts your metabolism is by increasing the leptin levels. Leptin is the hormone that influences hunger and the body’s fat levels. When you are dieting you are cutting down your calorie intake which in turn causes your leptin levels to drop.
Here’s a great article on leptin levels and dieting.
So by having a cheat day, you are giving your body a chance to “reset” its hormone levels and that includes leptin.
The long and short of it is cheat meals keep your body guessing. You don’t want your body to think that it’s going to be only getting low calories forever. Throwing a high calorie day into the mix tells your body that food is plentiful, and that it’s OK to get rid of some of those fat reserves because there’s not a famine looming.
How Often Should I Have a Cheat Day?
This is my view. If you have just started dieting then only have a cheat meal every two weeks. Remember starting a diet means you will be having withdrawal symptoms from all the bad foods and cheating on the diet may cause you to fall back into the old ways.
If you have only been dieting for a short time then you need only a cheat meal once a week.
As you start getting thinner and leaner, your cheat days may actually increase. The lower your body fat levels are, the more your body tries to hang on to your energy reserves (fat) . You will have to implement a few tricks to get rid of that last bit of fat.
So increasing your cheat days to twice a week is not unheard of, although, depending on the reason you are on a diet, you may need to keep the processed food down to a minimum, and instead use calorie cycling.
Cheat day rules you might want to consider:
Limit fat intake. Carbohydrates will have the greatest influence on your leptin levels. By eating a large amount of carbohydrates, your insulin levels will go up.
Eat more calories on this day. Try eating 500-1000 more calories than what you need to maintain your current weight.
Hopefully you now understand a little bit more about having a cheat day on a diet. Just remember, use your initiative.