A large number of people, who follow a strict nutrition program, think that having a cheat day or even a cheat meal will send all their endless efforts down the drain, leading to the fact, that dieters end up either struggling to avoid the temptation altogether or they feel incredibly guilty after they cheat on their diet and engage in some behaviors that are more damaging and destructive to their diet on the long run. While it is scientifically proven, that taking time off from a nutrition program can cause some problems, there are some very important reasons to approach “cheating” which can definitely help both physical and mental health.
Understanding the free dieting day
It is important that people understand that despite the name of the term free dieting day, they should not under any circumstances spend an entire day once a week eating whatever their body is longing for. Instead of this, one should designate one day (usually the weekend, when people will most likely to be out and socializing) during which they will cheat on the diet regimen one single time. This cheating or free meal can include the main course of a meal or the addition of a dessert. It should however never include both items, unless the dessert is a healthy one. This simply means that if pizza, hamburgers, bread, cake, cookies, ice cream or anything else has been banned from a person’s diet, one can have one of them at one meal or snack time on the same day each week.
When people plan a cheat day on their diet once a week, they can look forward to reward themselves for their hard work. This has a very important advantage. Every time the dieters feel the temptation throughout the week to stray off of their healthy diet regimen, the persons in question will be able to remind themselves, that they will have a treat on the free dieting day. Consequently, they will find the temptation less strong than if they told themselves that they can never touch these unhealthy, tempting and so-called rewarding food items again.
The drawbacks of not having any cheat meal to look forward to, can lead to fall in danger of binge eating. People not having a cheat meal at all, can simply find themselves reaching for “just one” unhealthy nutritional side leap and may therefore end up spending days overeating and indulging unhealthy food that are out of place in any nutrition program. Once a person strives off the designated nutrition program and is done with binging, the person starts to feel guilty and may attempt- in order to compensate for the sinful deed -to engage in unhealthy behaviors, such as starving or crash dieting, both of which can be harmful to any serious health and fitness plan.
Increasing Your Motivation to Stick to a Healthy Lifestyle:
The fact that a person knows, that one can still enjoy an unhealthy food item loved, at some point each week, will make the diet will be less of a punishment or a chore and more about living a new, healthy lifestyle which can still be enjoyable and rewarding on all levels. Getting depressed or lacking motivation to stick to a healthy diet and exercise plan can ultimately force a person to stray off of the meticulously designed healthy lifestyle regimen. Even just taking one week off a tailored nutrition regimen and personalized exercise routine can undo a month’s worth of work to lose weight and build endurance in the human body. Rewarding one self and not being too hard and harsh on the consciousness can help people keep the focus and determination needed to succeed during the rest of the week.
The cheat meal has also another vital advantage. It is helpful, as it boosts the metabolism. The human body will continually adjust to the amount of calories consumed. So if one cuts back 250 calories per day, one will lose weight at first, but then as the body adjusts to the new caloric intake, it takes more and more effort to keep the metabolism on high revs. Continuing to cut calories can only work so long till the fat furnace reaches the lowest amount of calories one should consume for the calculated daily activity level before the weight loss hits a devastating plateau. A diet cheat meal will therefore also work on boosting the human metabolism and keep the body guessing. Just raising the calorie consumption one day per week can kick the metabolism up and prevent a plateau.
After all the above-mentioned physiological and physical advantages of incorporating a cheat meal into the nutrition regimen, there is no reason to stay starving for an extended period of time.