The Pros And Cons Of The Diet Cheat Day
Everybody who has ever been on a diet knows about “cheat day.” It is the one day a week that you are allowed to indulge in anything you want. The idea behind it is that our mindset begins to change, so that we still choose healthy foods on our cheat days, rather than eating five slices of chocolate cake to wash down the 10 McDonald’s burgers. Some experts have said, however, that cheat days are not a good idea at all, whereas others claim that they can help with your overall dieting efforts. So just what are the pros and cons of having such a day in your diet?
Pros of Diet Cheat Days
One of the main benefits is that cheat days give you an incentive to continue.
“Cheat days on a diet can be a welcome break that, despite what it might sound like at first, provides you with added incentive to stay on your diet plan.” – Live Strong
It means that you no longer have to longingly look at an item of food and think you can never have it again. Additionally, the prospect of being able to eat something “forbidden” tends to increase our energy levels as well. The fact that it is a psychological break from the grueling process of dieting is also highly beneficial. It is like taking a little vacation to recharge your batteries, in other words.
Cons of Diet Cheat Days
The biggest disadvantage, however, is that some people eat so much on their cheat day that they undo all the previous hard work.
“A cheat day only works with dieting when it’s enough to feel indulgent, but not so much that you set yourself back or end up wanting to eating more.” – Self
Eating healthy, good and wholesome foods should not be a chore, it should be a natural lifestyle choice. Hence, if you feel like eating nothing but processed foods, carbohydrates and sugars on your cheat day, then your mindset isn’t quite there yet. That doesn’t mean it can’t get there and even if you find you truly binge on one of your cheat days, all is not lost, but the temptation is often hard to resist.
Is It a Cheat Day?
Some experts feel that people need to move away from the idea that it is a cheat “day.” For some people, it works to have one day out of seven where they can simply eat without counting calories. Other people prefer to have one out of every five daily meals to be one that they can simple enjoy. Others still span their cheats over even greater periods of time and make it one in every five meals out. In order to make cheat days work for you, you have to figure out what is most beneficial to your own needs. Hence, if you don’t feel like having a cheat day, you also shouldn’t feel pressured into having one anyway, as this is likely to only backfire on you, meaning you might end up falling victim to the yoyo effect.