Eating healthy can be restrictive at times. That is why cheat days were invented. To be honest, cheat days provide your body with a metabolic boost. Therefore, having one day to enjoy all your favorite food will have you burning more calories than you would if you stayed on your restrictive diet.
If you are new to healthy eating, it would be best to avoid cheat days altogether. However, once you have learned self-restraint, you may start indulging once a week. Here are some ways that you can enjoy your cheat day without the guilt.
Indulge In Your Cravings
The purpose of your cheat day is to enjoy the food you trained yourself to avoid but still daydream about sometimes. Therefore, this one day a week allows you to give in. As mentioned previously, by this time, you should know how to turn the temptation switch off after this weekly concession is over.
If you were craving for a delicious platter of Loaded Skillet Chip Nachos from TGI Friday’s, then do so, by all means. However, make certain that you eat more protein during your binge day, as it will help increase your metabolic output. Therefore, it may help cancel out any extra calories that you consumed.
Count Your Calories
Since it is cheat day, you might think that you have an excuse to put your calorie counter away. You need to know how much calories you ingested, even if it hurts you. By knowing how much of the unhealthy food you have had, you will learn that not all things that taste good are actually beneficial to your health.
Portions, Portions, Portions
Just because it’s a cheat day does not mean that you should finish a whole bucket of delicious chicken wings. This type of reasoning will have you back to square one if you do not learn to curb your cravings. Therefore, before you devour your list of must-haves, please understand the importance of sticking to smaller portions.
Relish Each Bite
Most people eat fast, perhaps because they are used to constantly rushing off to places. The sad thing is that this practice is a contributing factor towards obesity. This means that by eating at the speed of light, you are unable to enjoy the flavor of your food, and this makes you want to order a second helping. Learn to chew slowly for a change.
Learn how to stop and chew slowly instead of inhaling all your food in one minute. We understand that you miss eating the “good stuff” but that does not mean that you have to gulp it all down like there is no tomorrow. Relish each bite. Let the flavor tickle each taste bud as you slowly chew on your prized treat. Once you finish your allotted portion, resist the urge to order more.
Binge With A Friend
If this is your first cheat day, binge with another health-conscious friend. He or she will help you control your need to indulge in larger portions, and you can do the same for him or her. Make it a fun day by creating a food itinerary. If the cheat day is successful, you both might decide to do the same thing during your next allotted day to splurge.
Drink A Lot of Water
Water helps, as it makes you feel full. Before each meal, have at least two glasses of water to mimic the feeling of a sated stomach. This will make you take smaller servings, without compromising the taste of your food. This technique also works during regular days.
More Protein, Fewer Carbohydrates and Sugars
If you feel tempted to take down two pints of your favorite ice cream, substitute the second pint with a protein fix instead. Too many sweets and carbohydrates will make you feel sluggish. It will elevate your blood sugar levels significantly. This is not a good thing, especially if you are a diabetic. That piece of protein, on the other hand, will be useful, and tasty as well, so it is a win-win situation.
Cheat days are enjoyable, especially if you have been on a strict diet of a long time. However, some people think that it would be wise to extend that day to two, as they reason that it will help them get their cravings out of their system. Please note that as enjoyable as it is, cheat days can become daily indulgences, which may lead to you relapsing back towards your old eating habits.
As a rule of thumb, you can eat anything you want during your cheat day, as long as you learn to do so in moderation. However, if you find it hard to practice self-control, you can start small by allowing yourself little concessions once a week, instead of letting yourself enjoy a full day with access to fattening food.