Have you ever had a Cheat day?

cheat day

Lubna Khan Faraz |

A cheat day is when you allow yourself to eat whatever you want, whenever you want – no counting calories or sticking to your “diet plan”. This day can occur on any one day of the week and most people tend to have theirs on a weekend day for obvious reasons.

The “justifying theory” behind the concept of cheat day is that you will stick to your meal plan throughout the week and hold your temptations until your cheat day comes up. Cheat days (or cheat meals) are actually something bodybuilders or professional athletes engage in their training programs.

It’s important to understand your body and comprehend its’ reactions to certain additions and changes – you know how well you can control yourself. Make choices wisely and spice up your healthy meals so you don’t crave much anyway!

This is because when you are on a strict diet and workout plan, you’re likely to have reduced the number of calories you intake – which might result in weight loss. However, our bodies are intelligent – with time, you body realizes that you are consuming fewer calories and adjusts your metabolism by slowing it down (this is when weight loss is on a stand-still). In order to shock the body, the concept of “cheat day/cheat meal” is introduced to ensure the body’s metabolism does not slow down.

Read more: The logic behind overeating – Causes and remedies

What is it and does it Really Work?

Benefits of a cheat day include a boost in your metabolism, motivation to help you stick to your long-term goal and help you make the right choices – for now. In some studies, it has been reported that having a cheat day helps people feel more determined and stay on their diets for the rest of the time.

The idea of a cheat day makes sense if you are an athlete or a bodybuilder who is constantly training hardcore. But most of us, who are on a casual diet – aren’t really eating as healthy or working out as hard.

Knowing that some relief is coming in the form of a cheat meal – it can become easier to say no to that cheese pizza slice. As I explained earlier, when you have been dieting for some time, you might experience a metabolism slow down. This happens because lepton (your starvation hormone which tells your brain when you are full so you stop eating) reduces, which can make it difficult to keep losing weight even if you are eating less.

Now, the topic of “cheat day” is highly debated in the health and fitness world. Therefore, it’s important to understand the issues that come along with it.

This is the day you end up eating that tempting pizza slice you wanted to through out the week. But for some people, this can become an excuse to binge on everything that comes their way. If you end up eating the entire pizza and burgers and fries on this day, this could be a sign of a deeper problem and the cheat meal/day will not work for you.

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The question you must ask yourself is – did you even eat perfectly 100% through out your week? And would you rather spend the entire week thinking about those cookies and end up eating the whole box on your cheat day or would you able to eat sit down and eat 2 cookies on the day you want and move past them?

A cheat day is when you allow yourself to eat whatever you want, whenever you want – no counting calories or sticking to your “diet plan”. This day can occur on any one day of the week and most people tend to have theirs on a weekend day for obvious reasons

It really depends on how well you control yourself. Lastly – its essential to understand that you’re not as healthy as you think you are. The idea of a cheat day makes sense if you are an athlete or a bodybuilder who is constantly training hardcore. But most of us, who are on a casual diet – aren’t really eating as healthy or working out as hard.

So how do you make this concept work for you? Well, call this a “treat day” instead, where you don’t allow yourself to binge on all the processed and junk food but have a one tasty treat or meal instead. Also just because it’s treat day, it doesn’t mean its rest day from your gym or workout routine – incorporate that long walk or hike in your treat day so it helps you feel better and burn of those extra calories. Planning is also key, if you know you have a wedding or birthday dinner coming up – plan your treat day accordingly.

Read more: Consumption of more Vitamin C can keep you healthy in Monsoon

It’s important to understand your body and comprehend its’ reactions to certain additions and changes – you know how well you can control yourself. Make choices wisely and spice up your healthy meals so you don’t crave much anyway!

Do you believe in cheat days? Have they worked for you? Tell me in your comments and share your experience!

Lubna is a certified fitness leadership trainer from Canada and is looking to become a motivational speaker. She advises people on how to eat healthy by making substitutions in their diets, offer meal plans and add small habits in their routine. She also offers to consult on beauty and skincare routines, workouts and training as well as fashion styling.

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