Do Cheat Days Work?
What constitutes as a cheat day?
Depending on who you ask, you may get different answers.
Version #1 Cheat Day
A cheat day is where you are eating until you feel like you’re going to vomit or like you’re eating on Thanksgiving Day. Stuffing yourself so much that you physically cannot move. Another way of saying it is a cheat day is to see how much food you can ingest in 24 hours.
Version #2 Cheat Day
A cheat day where you are indulging in foods that you are not “allowed” to eat. It doesn’t mean that you’re overeating you are just indulging in foods that you normally don’t eat throughout the week. You may or may not be stuffing yourself .
What Do I Think About Cheat Days?
I really don’t think they’re a good idea and here’s why…
When you decide to do a cheat day, all of a sudden you are in restriction mode which means you cannot eat certain foods throughout the week. Then on this magical one day, you get to eat whatever you want.
It may work for a little bit, but long term, it is not going to work for you because you’re going to find that…say your cheat day is on Friday but you have a wedding to go to on Saturday. What do you do? Do you switch the day or do you extend it from Friday to Saturday? Or if your cheat day is on Friday and all the sudden your cheat day now goes from Friday into all day Saturday…..and well, it’s Sunday now…you might as well just “enjoy” the rest of the weekend and “start on Monday”.
Now, your cheat day has turned into a cheat weekend!
If you just would allow yourself to eat smaller portion sizes of the foods that you want throughout the week, I think you’re better off and mentally prepared for a lifetime of keeping the weight off or keeping your physique the way you want it to look.
I also think having cheat days, especially if you’re doing the cheat day version number one (where you’re eating a ton of food and seeing how much food you can ingest in one day) is going to lead to binging and very disorganized eating patterns. It’s not a good path to go down and there’s a lot of guilt afterwards.
The Aftermath of a Cheat Day
After you’ve done your cheat day or during your cheat day, you might be on Cloud 9 because you’re eating all these foods that you’re “not allowed” to eat and then when the day is over you realize how much damage you’ve done. The guilt kicks in and now you are berated and beating yourself up. Not good.
If you are in this for the long haul and you want to have lasting permanent weight loss, you have to ditch the mentality of all-or-nothing or starvation mode and restriction. You really need everything in moderation and watch your portion sizes.
You CAN have your cake and eat it too (just make it a smaller version 😉
Click to read more about fad diets and why they don’t work!
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