Cheat days and cheat meals are very powerful weapons for losing weight. When used properly, they can help you stay focused, ease your mental stress, and boost your metabolic rate to blast away your fat. If used incorrectly, they can sabotage your efforts, slow your progress, and destroy your weight loss goals.
What exactly are cheat days or cheat meals?
When attempting to lose weight, it is critical for you to take on a caloric deficit of around 500 calories per day. It will also be important for you to avoid consuming unhealthy foods like junk food, processed foods, etc.
It can be quite stressful to give your favorite foods up since you will be used to eating those foods. You will have a tendency to get cravings which can result in a lot of pressure and stress.
With a cheat meal, you get to eat whatever you want. For instance, if you really love pizza and have avoided eating it for 5 days, then you are allowed to eat 3 slices for one meal. After this meal, the rest of your meals need to be clean. It is only that one meal where you cheat on your diet.
A cheat day is when you eat whatever you want to for the whole day. Basically, all of the meals you eat on the day are considered to be cheat meals. When it comes to your weight loss goals, cheat days are more dangerous than cheat meals.
Cheat Meal Planning
In order to get the most from your weight loss plan, you need to know when a cheat day should be incorporated. One good rule of thumb to follow is to have one cheat meal every three days and then one cheat day every six days. That will be manageable and bearable. It has been shown numerous times that restrictive diets have lower compliance rates.
The first rule that needs to be kept in mind is that a caloric deficit is required for fat loss. So if you have a caloric deficit, it is okay to have a cheat meal. It is ideal if you are able to reach your caloric deficit number following your cheat meal. Your calories might be at maintenance level in some cases. That is also okay.
When it comes to your cheat meal, it’s very important not to get overly relaxed and end up in a caloric surplus. If your cheat meal consists of eating 3 slices of pizza and drinking 2 glasses of beer, and your daily caloric consumption has gone into a surplus, then your previous day’s efforts will have been offset.
Excess calories get stored in the form of fat, and you will have wasted a lot of effort and time. You’ll be back to square one, not making any progress, and might regress actually. So when cheating, paying very close attention to what your calorie count is.
Whenever you go on a calorie-restricted diet, the metabolic rate of your body will start to slow down after a certain time period. When it comes to fat loss, that isn’t good.
These are times when you are going to want a cheat day. Having a cheat day every 6 days is a good idea. It will provide you with mental relief in addition to giving a boost to your metabolic rate that will last an additional 6 days. Then you will be in fat-burning mode once more.
You want to aim for a 500 to 700 caloric surplus on your cheat days. That is manageable and won’t negate the efforts you have made on previous days.
Following a cheat day, it’s very common seeing your weight increase a bit the next day.
You don’t need to panic. Your weight will be brought down by a quick workout, and you can continue to lose weight. At times, in order to lose more weight, you have to gain a bit first.
Before a tiger leaps, he crouches. A couple of hundred grams might be added to your weight on cheat day. However, during the coming week, a couple of pounds will end up melting off.
Several different factors will determine how frequently you cheat, including your lifestyle, diet choices, and genes. If you are obese or overweight and have the predisposition to gain weight, you might want to have just one cheat day per week without any cheat meals between them.
If you happen to be slim and would just like to burn the final layer of fat off, you might want to forget about using cheat meals and instead make use of a carb cycling plan that has one cheat meal each 3 to 4 days for your metabolic rate to stay accelerated. All of it depends on the person and her or his goals.
You need to plan your cheat days and cheat meals in advance. Don’t decide haphazardly at the last minute that you’re going to have a cheat day or cheat meal.
Your decisions need to base on planning instead of emotions. It is also very important to know that when you are going to have a cheat day or cheat meal, you might go overboard and end up consuming more calories than you had planned.
That is quite common. Don’t beat yourself up and take it all in stride. Just be sure to perform a vigorous workout both on your cheat days as well as the days following them to eliminate excess calories.
If you aim for perfection, it will just leave you feeling depressed whenever you mess up, and you’ll end up quitting. Don’t let small setbacks ever distract you from your main goal. Just keep going.
Cheat days and cheat meals are powerful weight loss tools. They are not an option. They are a necessity in order to successfully lose weight. So make sure they are incorporated into your diet plan and get your cheat days factored in when making your training regimen plans.
On cheat days as well as the following day, make sure you perform harder workouts to receive a metabolic boost as well as to prevent weight gain that is unwanted. Always keep in mind that having these indulgences occasionally aren’t a license for binging.