Do cheat days really work?
Cheat days do work if they are planned correctly. If for instance Monday to Saturday you consume fewer calories than you burn (which you should do if you want to lose weight), splurging on Sunday can revive your metabolism as well as prepare your body for the next week’s intense workout sessions. Cheat days also remind your system that it is not in starvation mode and it doesn’t have to stock up on calories as it usually happens when you go for fad or extreme diets. Not only that, but indulging on your favorite foods can satisfy all those cravings you’ve been having with your daily diets and release some frustration.
Can I have a cheat day?
It’s entirely up to you weather you choose to include a cheat day into your diet. Factors you need to consider when making this decision are your weight loss goals (both how much you want to lose and how quickly), your day-to-day eating habits, your previous diet experiences. However, you have to keep in mind that moderation is the key and just because you have a cheat day it doesn’t mean you have a “license to binge”. Also, after the cheat day is over you need to go back to your regular restrictive diet if you want to see any progress on your weight loss. Keep in mind that as you get closer to reaching your weight loss goal, shedding those pounds gets harder and harder. You might want to hold back on cheat days and just maintain your regular diet all the time because otherwise you could hit a plateau.
Cheat days vs cheat meals
The concept behind cheat days and cheat meals is very similar, however, if cheat days usually stay constant (best choice would be Sunday), cheat meals are less predictable. Having a cheat meal once in a while means your body can’t accurately predict when the extra calories will be consumed again and so you trick your metabolism into burning a bit more. Choosing the right strategy is up to you. If you decide to go for a cheat day, it is recommended that you eat few carbs the days before and after cheating, just to make sure you don’t overstock.