The Cheat Day Cheat Sheet!
A cheat day is a wonderful way to end a week spent on a serious diet. However, did you know there's actually a correct way to do your cheat day so that you end up losing more weight? Let's find out how this becomes possible.
A cheat day may be the best day in a dieter's life. For one glorious day, you get to eat according to your heart's content — enjoying all the food that you had to avoid for days on end.
However, a cheat day isn't just as simple as giving in to your food cravings. With the right mindset and food choices, you can make your cheat day a beneficial part of your fitness lifestyle. Let's take a look at some of the reasons how and why a cheat day can work to your benefit!
What's a Cheat Day?
When they first embark on their fitness journey, it's common for most people to enter a low-calorie lifestyle. During your diet regime (wherein you typically consume less food), your body will likely enter a low-energy state. The lack of calories essentially means your body runs on "maintenance mode", but this also means you consume fewer calories than needed to lose weight.
What Does a Cheat Day Do for Your Diet?
To get your body out of this low energy mode, you need to have a cheat day. Essentially, you trick your body into thinking that it has a surplus of calories. This way, upon resuming your diet routine, your body still believes there is a surplus of calories that needs to be disposed of. You, therefore, end up losing more calories than if you hadn't had a cheat day!
That said, a cheat day allows you to eat all the food you've refrained from eating for the week. That's right, a cheat day is great, but remember:
Don't Overdo It
A common mistake that people do on their cheat days is eating too much. "But isn't that the point though?", you may ask.
Well, think of it this way. If you eat too much the moment your cheat day starts, you run into the risk of getting too full too soon. This could make you feel unsatisfied later and eating more again. Therefore, pace yourself!
Yes, even on cheat days, working out should still be part of your day — specifically the end of the day. The purpose of your workout is to get all that extra glucose burned off. Not to mention, it makes you lose a bit of the extra weight you gained that day.
Avoid Processed Food
You can eat anything you want provided that you prepared it yourself. Processed oil and saturated fats are dangerous to your fat and insulin levels. As such, homemade food has the advantage of giving you control over how much nutrients (or lack thereof) you have in the food you're about to eat.
Take Your Probiotics and Protein
Probiotics aid in digestion, so in other words, eating probiotics lets you eat more!
There are plenty of probiotic food items you can eat such as yogurt, sauerkraut, kimchi, and miso are great sources of probiotics. Aside from helping in the digestion process, probiotics will also remove that awful feeling of fullness you get from stuffing yourself.
Meanwhile, protein contains growth hormones that promote muscle growth. Eating lots of protein will then help greatly in building muscle later for your post-cheat feast workout. Chicken, beef, and beans are great sources of protein.
Make Sure Cheat Day is Appropriate for Your Diet Type
Keep in mind that the concept of a cheat day is not appropriate for all diet styles. Before you plan your next indulgent meal, make sure that your diet allows for some flexibility because some of these (like the ketogenic diet) require strict adherence to a diet plan.