I used to love cheat days.
Time for me to be vulnerable…
I used to just focus on my job, business, and wasn’t always in great shape.
This was to a point where it was hard for me to maintain my health and weight.
Long story short, I looked down at my belly and was just like “Oh no!.”
For the first time in a long time, I could literally grab my belly and shake it with two hands!
I had been eating healthy but started to let “cheat days” slip into my healthy diet. First there was one cheat day, then two, and eventually it became the new norm.
That was long time ago, now I walk my talk.
What are Cheat Days?
Most of us, when we start with a diet, the first week somehow we manage and then from the second week, we start thinking of having at least one cheat meal.⠀
What is the Idea Behind a Cheat Day?
The idea behind a “cheat day” is: when you follow a diet, your metabolism starts to slow down.
As a result, it disrupts the body’s fat-burning process so by eating high-calorie foods for a day, your metabolism suddenly boosts. This will consequently increase the body’s fat-burning process.
Yes, there is definitely some slowing down of the body’s metabolic rate as you follow a healthy diet (no, it won’t damage your metabolism – this process is called a metabolic adaptation).
In addition to that, eating more foods does increase the body’s metabolic rate.
4 True Effects Of Cheat Days
The reason many of us follow cheat days and eventually quit on diets and our fitness goals is, because we don’t DECLARE it and PLAN for it.
When it’s not planned and you “kind of … sort of …. want it” you will go all in for a few days and then quit for what?
Now before you happily make a list of your fav foods planned for a cheat meal, let’s me reveal the 4 true effects of cheat days:
1. Leptin Levels Increase
Cheat days (overfeeding, binging unhealthy food) push up the metabolic rate in the range of 3-10%, which lasts only for the next 24 hrs and how it affects the calorie burning.
A large portion of the increase is due to the thermic effect of food, your body burns more calories digesting the food and the increased activity levels, people tend to train better with increased energy levels.
However, the response to more calories differ from person to person.
2. CHEAT. The Word Itself Has A Negative Vibe
Always remember, anything associated with healthy habits or a lifestyle change should not be a negative thing.
3. It Gives A Good and Bad Tag To Food Items
Invariably, we tend to demonize food and create a wrong relationship with it, which hampers long term adherence. It also puts the focus on the wrong thing- cheat days or meals on the weekend will make you feel like a prisoner for the rest of the week.
4. A Cheat Day Will Eventually Make You Fall You Off The Wagon
Your diet has to suck if you look forward to cheat days. Always remember, living a healthy lifestyle should not be difficult.
If you are low on consistency with the regime, chances are that a cheat day will result in your downfall off the wagon.
This does not mean that you cannot eat more than deficit calories, have to give up on social bonding, and be a hermit while you are dieting. The correct term for a “cheat day” should be – “refeeding”.
If you want to stop being a slave to unhealthy food and your uncontrollable cheat days. If you want to finally find a weight loss strategy that doesn’t leave you deprived and wanting more. To build a body you are happy to live in, and the freedom you know you deserve. Then you need to know more about my ‘Effortless weight loss membership.
That is where I provide healthy pleasurable eating habits, meal plans, online Q&A sessions and simple lifestyle changes that you can keep. Check it out to see if this fits your ideas of a healthy lifestyle that you can sustain without cheating.