Cheat days and cheat meals are what many dieters look forward to the most in their diet plan. With the growing popularity of the concept of cheat days in the dieting world, many people wonder how many they should take and what the guidelines are on this practice. So, see below to find out how you can incorporate cheat days into your diet and whether this is right for you.
What is a Cheat Day?
Cheat days or cheat meals are those guilty pleasure foods that you know don't fit into your desired diet, but that gives you that warm fuzzy feeling inside. A cheat meal is a single meal that doesn't match your nutritional plan, whereas a cheat day is when you give yourself freedom in food choices for an entire day.
Every person has their own definition of a cheat day or cheat meal because generally, those foods are the ones that fit our individual tastes and preferences. Cheat days or cheat meals are a common component of many diets because they give you a temporary break from the restriction to fulfill the food desires you may have been dreaming about.
How Many Cheat Days Should You Take?
In many diet plans, cheat days, or cheat meals can be an effective way to keep you motivated on your diet, give you something to look forward to, and reward your hard work. These cheat days can fulfill the indulgence you have been holding back on and can keep your self-control high when you are struggling.
But many nutritionists argue that cheat days and cheat meals can contribute to weight cycling and disordered eating, making this method possibly an ineffective way to encourage long-term weight loss. Some dietitians argue that rather than focusing on restrictive dieting and cheat days, a better approach is to make a more holistic change to the diet to promote long-term health and stable weight loss.
If you decide to take a cheat day or a cheat meal, make sure not to beat yourself up about it. Feeling guilty and shaming yourself on a cheat day or cheat meal will only make you feel worse and can lead to quitting your diet and harming your mental and physical health.
Having a more sensitive and compassionate approach to dieting can help you to maintain your nutrition plan in the long run. Ultimately, there is no set amount of cheat days or cheat meals you should or should not take. At the end of the day, you should listen to your body and mind and do what feels best for you.
Always remember that everything should be done in moderation, even moderation! Too much restriction can lead to bingeing and can significantly hinder your health goals.
So, try to take a more balanced approach to your health and nutrition and give yourself a little bit of leeway when it comes to your cheat days. Having a more sensitive and compassionate approach to your health will help you to stick with your diet goals in the long run rather than being too strict and regimented with your diet.