Watching what you eat or being on a strict diet may seem like an impossible feat, especially when you’re trying to do it for long periods of time. I am all for one cheat day a week, which is a day you can eat whatever you want to…you may reap some benefits when choosing this weight-loss strategy.
It is always best to skip the junk food, while dieting or not, allowing yourself one cheat day can help you feel satisfied. A cheat day or meal isn’t mandatory when dieting but it often helps curb week-long cravings, allowing you to refocus in the week to come.
I have trained for competitions and let me tell you eating the same thing all the time can be boring and drag you down, both mentally and physically. I remember at one time close to the big day, I was binge watching Diners Drive Inns and Dives! Severely restricting certain foods makes it difficult to stick with a diet long term. A cheat day often helps change up routines and eating patterns. I think, I found some good cheat meals watching Guy 🙂
Allowing yourself an incentive for meeting diet or weight loss goals appears to be an effective strategy for changing dietary behaviour, at least short term! Your reward doesn’t have to be junk food or a cheat day. Try a financial incentive. Or if that isn’t your style, try rewarding yourself with a new outfit or movie night instead.
Fuel Your Body
While I was training I was following a very restrictive diet, to the point I eating the same diet foods daily. It was part of my program to reward myself one cheat day, which as I got closer to stage was one cheat meal a week and then down to a 75 minute window. It was a good way to get nutrients into my body needed more of. I was eating grilled chicken breast or baked fish every day, so I choose a great big ribeye on my cheat day. If you’ve been following a low-fat or low-carb weight loss diet, eat more fats or carbs on your cheat day to ensure your body doesn’t become deficient in nutrients like fiber or omega-3 fatty acids.
Think Twice about Sugar
While you may think of cheat days as being filled with ice cream, chocolate bars, doughnuts, cheese and pizza, a cheat day loaded with sugar and simple carbs may prove to be detrimental when you’re trying to shed pounds. Sugary/simple carbohydrate foods can be addictive just like drugs, which is why some people can’t control their sugar intakes!
There you have it…a cheat meal or cheat day can be a good thing. Think them through first, reward yourself for hard work and stay the course!