What You Need to Know About Taking Cheat Days
There’s nothing quite like the first bite of your favorite food after sticking to your healthy routine for so long, and when you do it right, you can use this to keep your workout or dieting goals in mind.
Having a day or two like this is known as a “cheat day”, and this dieting practice of occasionally breaking your dieting practice has earned both positive and negative opinions.
Some would think it’s necessary to stay sane during any serious dieting or workout regimen, while others would think that it only makes it easier to break the routine and go completely off-track.
But just how bad is a cheat day, really? And what even is a cheat day?
What is a “Cheat Day”?
“Cheat days” are simply days when you don’t plan your nutritional intake and you’re free to splurge on your favorite foods. This has become popular for many professional bodybuilders and athletes who need to stick to a strict workout and dieting.
As you work out and diet to burn fat, you decrease your carbohydrate and overall calorie intake. However, your body eventually catches up and adjusts your metabolism to be more efficient at storing fat.
By introducing a cheat day, you make sure your body’s metabolism stays high in order for you not just to keep burning fat at a fast rate, but also to introduce certain foods when you can’t afford to interrupt your diet
How Cheat Days Affect You
You’ll be surprised to learn that taking cheat days off your diet or workout regimen actually does nothing for your metabolism immediately. While your body does eventually catch up to you as you eat, it doesn’t exactly do so overnight or in the span of a few hours.
The danger of cheat days is when you give in to your cravings and decide to binge. You make food your enemy, and you end up not seeing results.
However, when done right, you can use your cheat days to motivate yourself to stay in shape – as long as you don’t stray away from your weekly calorie goals, you can still indulge yourself in a delicious meal, guilt-free.
Different solutions work for different people, and it all depends on how intensely you train or what kind of diet you’re sticking to. However, there are a few guidelines you can follow when considering a cheat day:
- Think of it as a “treat” day. A little bit of positive motivation goes a long way!
- Don’t think of it as a bad habit. Giving yourself a treat after hard work isn’t the same as a bad habit. Be honest with yourself if you see that you keep giving yourself “treats” and take a close look at how it affects your long-term goals.
- Keep an exercise routine. If you’re planning on taking a whole cheat day, don’t sit around – get moving and keep burning that stored fat!