Cheat days or cheat meals?
Cheat days or cheat meals basically means taking time off your diet. Back then people used to take cheat days but recently fitness influencers and experts have introduced cheat meals. Let’s figure out which option is more practical for your fitness journey.
Why do we need cheat days or cheat meals?
The answer is very simple tbh. We need cheat days/meals so we can stay sane throughout our fitness journey. Imagine this;
All your life you’ve been feasting on every known carb to human beings but one day you wake up and realize that you need to take care of your health and get rid of all those excess fat so you decide to go on diet. So you cut out all your favourite foods and your body will be in shock. So, to ease the process, you need to have cheat days/meals where you can still enjoy your favourite foods occasionally.
Let’s discuss this scientifically; If you’ve been on diet for a long time, the glycogen stored in your muscles are limited. This can lead you to feel fatigued more quickly. Cheat meals or a cheat day will help to replenish your glycogen which later can provide you with the energy you need.
However, if you overdo your cheat day/meal, it will give a negative impact on your body. According to a study in the journal Molecular Nutrition and Food Research, three cheat days a week is enough to affect your gut health as badly as a consistent diet of junk food.
Which is better?
It all depends on your goals. However, if we really need to choose one, it will be cheat meals because it’s more manageable. Having just two or even three cheat meals per week is more ideal and practical compared to indulging for an entire day. Follow these simple rules when you’re on your cheat days/meals;
Know why you’re doing cheat day or cheat meal, know why you’re on diet and before you put anything in your mouth, think of the consequences. This way, soon you probably won’t need to have a cheat day or cheat meal any more.
Eat within your calorie range
If say you are only allowed to have 1200 calories per day to lose weight. Stick with that calorie range even on your cheat day.
Plan your cheat treat
Planning what to have for your cheat meal or on your cheat day will help you to stay focused. Also, make sure to find out the calories of the food you’re planning to indulge.
One of the best ways to not feel ‘guilty’ about your cheat meal/day is to make sure you work out or do any physical activities.