You’ve heard your friends talking about cheat days where your craving levels can cross over the earth and land into space. Actually, basic concept of a cheat day is to eat neat for the whole week, exercise and stay active and then reward yourself with the drop down list of your favorite foods. But, majority people fail to understand the real meaning of a cheat day. Here’s how:
It’s not Cheat Day, Its Cheat Meal
Jus like everyone, if you think that you can spend an entire day eating french fries and burgers then you are wrong. You are only allowed to cheat with a single meal. To make things simple, start with a single meal and eat it until you’re satisfied and not until you’re stuffed. It’s important that you maintain a balance between it.
Cheat meals work when they are planned accordingly. When you consume a fewer number of calories than you burn, your body automatically drops the metabolism rate and conserve energy. A cheat meal can help you to stock glycogen for your next workout. Also your cravings are satisfied and kept at bay. So you can consume some of your favorite foods like cookies, pizza or beer and still not regret about it.
The 90/10 Rule
This means you have to eat clean 90% of the time and 10% of your meal can be a cheat meal. For e.g if you eat 5 meals a day i.e. 35 meals a week, only 3-4 meals per week can be cheat meal. You need to take care that every cheat day shall have only one cheat meal so that your progress is not compromised. However, This is suited for a desk stuck person at work who burns a steady and small amount of calories throughout the week.
The 80/20 Rule
Now this is more flexible as it lets you cheat 20% of the meals and eat clean 80% of the time. So, as per above example around 6-7 meals per week are allowed to be cheat meals. Now this diet works for active people who don’t live a sedentary lifestyle.
Listen To Your Body’s Wishes
You must take care of your body’s wishes. There is a psychological factor associated with the cheat meals. Imagine, how monotonous would it get if you have to eat same thing again and again. Instead of eating strict, plan a healthy diet where you can add some slices of your favorite foods also.