Eating healthy is a challenge for most people, which is no secret. To be able to stick to a strict plan for a long time, it’s sometimes a good idea to allow yourself to have a small break from healthy eating every now and again – otherwise known as a cheat day or meal. However, while many people swear by cheat days, there are plenty of others who don’t like the idea and claim it does nothing but sabotage their progress. It’s a topic that’s been spoken about a lot over the years, but we have yet to have a conclusive answer. Are cheat days or meals good for you? Or will they only make you want to eat more junk food?
It’s a known fact that in order to lose weight, you need to consume fewer calories than you’re burning in a day. This, of course, doesn’t mean you need to eat less, it simply means you need to eat better and exercise more. So, how would cheat days or meals play into this? There are a lot of different opinions about this, so let’s just talk about the pros and cons.
Cheat days can be good for some people. These are the people who are less prone to obesity and don’t have any food-related addictions. What makes a person obesity-prone is based on their family and personal history. For these kinds of people, a cheat day can be great to allow themselves to indulge a little and treat themselves. However, those who are more prone to weight gain should steer clear and stick to either cheat meals or no cheating at all.
While eating healthy is, of course, super important, after following a strict diet for a long time, you might have a limited amount of glycogen stores in your muscles. This can lead to fatigue more quickly and hurt your workout performance. In this case, a cheat day or a cheat meal can help replenish your glycogen stores by increasing the number of calories and carbs you’re consuming. Just be careful, because going overboard on a cheat day can set you back slightly with weight loss goals.
Cheat days can be looked at in both a positive and negative way. As a result, they can have either a good or bad effect on the human mind. Depending on the kind of person, regular cheat days can help them stick to a strict diet. It can make it easier to stop cravings. However, for others, overeating can do more harm than good. By eating so much on cheat days, they feel guilty afterward. Or, all they can think about is their next cheat day instead of focusing on eating healthy. This is an unhealthy behavior that can ultimately lead to an eating disorder.
So, after all that, we still don’t have a definite answer. It all comes down to what kind of person you are. What makes you feel good? What helps you reach your goals? It’s something that differs from person to person. Overall, the occasional indulgence should be fine. Just those with conditions such as diabetes, high cholesterol, and blood pressure will need to be extra careful with what they eat since even the smallest treat can have a serious negative effect on their health.