So, what’s the deal with ‘cheat days’? Are they harmless or do they completely undo all your hard work…
For some people, having a cheat day is necessary to maintain sanity whilst on a diet, but what does that mentality really do to your weight-loss success?
What’s a Cheat Day?
Imagine this – you stick to the Total plan for six days. You’re in ketosis and your calories are in check. Your complete nutritional needs are fulfilled from your four Foodpacks each day and you’re feeling amazing as the weight has starting to fall off.
You then decide to let loose for the seventh day. Surely one day off can’t do any harm, you’ve even heard somewhere that it might even help boost your metabolism…
The truth hurts!
As your body has become used to consuming smaller portions, food will take longer to digest when consuming larger portions. This means that your cheat meal will sit in your stomach for a longer period of time and you may even generate excess gas and bloating.
Your mind matters
A cheat day can not only affect the weight you lose each week (it takes 3-5 days to get back into ketosis, remember) but it can affect your mindset as well. The vital tools you have gained through focusing on mindful eating and changing those unhelpful habits can be discarded, leading to those unhealthy eating behaviours resurfacing. The feeling of guilt and shame after a cheat meal can also affect your focus during your weight-loss journey.
The healthy choice gone wrong!
You might have good intentions when picking what to eat on a cheat day. Damage limitations by eating a healthy low carb meal – chicken salad or fish and veg. The next thing you know you’ve eaten a huge meal followed by a calorific dessert! Oops! And then the struggle continues as you try to find the motivation to get back on plan. Fail, repeat several times and before you know it, it ends up being a cheat week rather than just a cheat day.
Overcome the temptation
We all have cravings from time to time – the main focus should be on your end goal. If you are longing for a cheat day, you need to look at the bigger picture. If indulging in a cheat day will set you back a whole week – or even months – on your weight-loss journey, would you still want to overindulge? Surely not.