Nutrition

Are Cheat Days Okay ? – The Honest Truth

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You may have heard that cheat days reignite your fat burning metabolism when your on a fat/weight loss diet. Well that is actually true, but most importantly cheat days help reinforce your mental fortitude because eating grilled chicken breast and salads for weeks knowing you have nothing to look forward to will probably make you lose a lot of motivation and wear down even the most determined individuals. Furthermore, even if you are able to fit in replacements for the foods you love they will just never taste as mouth-watering and delicious as the original.

cheat days dwayne

So the short answer to Are Cheat Days Ok ? Would be yes, but if you would like to know the benefits of cheating and how to prepare for your cheat day so that you won’t feel guilty or destroy your progress then read on…


Benefits Of Cheat Days

Apart from cheat days helping you reinforce your mental fortitude there are also physiological advantages aswell. The first is that prolonged periods of caloric restriction causes your leptin levels to drop. Leptin is a hormone that maintains your energy and when it reaches a certain threshold it sends signals to your brain that you have a sufficient amount stored, but when leptin levels drop the signals that are sent to your brain to say you have enough energy will stop and your hunger levels will start to increase rapidly which results in you mindlessly binging on all foods.

Secondly, not only will your leptin levels drop, but your thyroid hormones will also start to decrease which results in a decrease in your metabolic rate. Which means your metabolism will become much slower and so will your fat burning hormones.

How To Prepare For Your Cheat Day

  1. Do It On Leg Day/Your Biggest Workout Day: The reason for this is damage control, so hopefully after your cheat day you won’t have gained much weight or fat. It is much better to cheat on a big training day than say a rest day because you will burn much more calories on that particular day, so that means you are allowed to consume more calories without seeing the effects of it the next day. If you have a cheat day on your rest day you can be assured that the scale will sky rocket the next day, if you don’t want that then follow this tip and do it on your hardest training day.
  2. Stop Calling It Cheating: Of course if you call this your cheat day you are way more likely to feel guilty after it. Remember you earned it and it doesn’t mean you have failed on your diet, so enjoy it while it lasts and get back to your normal routine the day after. Look at it like this; you are simply rewarding yourself for hitting your diet goals and for the progress you have been making.
  3. Do It Only Once Every 2 Weeks: Cheat days can only be used if your making good progress on your weight loss. Which is why you can only do it every 2 weeks because you should have lost a significant amount of weight by then. Measure it like this – for every 3 lbs you lose you can have one cheat day. If your dieting correctly/safely 3lbs is a good and safe amount of weight to lose every 2 weeks.

This supplement may help reduce the amount of fat and weight gained on your cheat day: For More On This Supplement Click Here

Cheat Days May Not Be For You

binging

 

Unfortunately, for some of you having a cheat day might not be a good idea because once you get the taste of all the junk and processed foods/sugars you’ve so badly missed you start binging way more than you should have. Or even worse end up cheating for days or even weeks. If you know that you lack the self control for a cheat day then this may be a much better solution for you: Refeed Days While Cutting – Learn How To Overeat And Still Lose Weight

If you have anymore questions about cheat days or if you have your own experience about cheating on your diet then leave a comment below.

14 thoughts on “Are Cheat Days Okay ? – The Honest Truth

  1. Great advice Andrew.

    I like to have a day every few weeks where I let myself have some extra calories.

    I usually stick to 1800-1900 calories, but on a “cheat day” I’ll have about 400 extra calories.

    Do you have any thoughts on whether those calories should be protein or carbs or low fat/high fat ?

    Also, what about alcohol on a cheat day ? How to minimize the damage and also in general if I want to go out for a few drinks what are my best options ?

    Thanks in advance,

    Alison

    1. Hey Alison,

      For a cheat day it doesn’t matter where those extra calories come from as it is different from a refeed day. When it comes to alcohol just remember that each gram of alcohol is equal to 7 calories, but really if you need a few drinks just go out and enjoy yourself, just don’t get aboslutelyt hammered lol.

  2. This is something I’ve always felt guilty about because you hear some of the trainers on the bodybuilding websites talk about “all in or nothing”…

    So I can understand what they’re saying, but I totally agree with you that having a reward system in place can really help you stick to the training and diet during the 2 weeks.

    Really like what you’ve said, there’s pros and cons and I guess it’s just about finding out what way helps you the most.

    For me, 1 cheat day a week keeps me going in the long-term. A great site !

  3. Hi Andrew ! I’m wondering how soon can someone start having a cheat day ? Like, if I’ve been on my diet for 2 weeks and I’ve lost 3 pounds, can I go ahead and have a cheat meal right away or do I need to wait for a longer period to be on my diet before I do that. Thanks !

  4. Hey Andrew,

    Thanks for sharing this info man. I was wondering when I continue with my workouts how could I manage to stay away from all my favorite foods, so I’m allowed to have cheat days ? Nice !, but with me self control is the issue. I’d probably end up like the guy in the photo :(.

  5. I have always utilized a cheat day once a week. It has never interrupted my weight loss or work out pattern. For me it’s a way to keep myself happy and not go “off the wagon” and completely just stop with my work out/diet plan all together. I am glad to find out that cheat days are okay, although I have never had a problem with them 😀

  6. Hi Andrew,

    Very informative article explaining that when on some type of weight/fat loss diet program that often indulging ones self by having a cheat day could be very beneficial if done the right way.

    I did not realize watching my weight myself through bicycling workouts several times per week that by constantly being on a caloric restrictive plan that certain chemicals within your body, (you mentioned leptins) are effected and could lower your energy level and after that almost out of control you start binge eating.

    Your advice on how to prepare a head of time for a cheat day were very useful and practical. It also makes a lot of sense, knowing people throughout my life that while on some type of diet nevertheless struggle to lose weight. I feel that they work so hard in depleting the amount of calories being taken into their body 4/5 days per week that out of starvation, (those leptins at an extremely low level) that they ended up cheating on the other 2-3 days. Eating in moderation has always been my answer !

    Jeff

  7. Cheat meals are bound to feel like real cheating – it just isn’t right.

    Still, when it comes to foods and certain diets this is a great tool to boost your mental state. Your advice about only utilizing them if you work out hard enough is spot on, otherwise it might ruin your progress.

    Also what do you think about apetite suppressing supplements ?

    1. Appetite supressing supplements do work well, but only if your doing all the right stuff first like eating in a caloric deficit, getting enough rest and training hard at the gym.

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