The Importance of Having a Cheat Day, By The 4 D Trainer in Barnes

Most nutrition conscious people consider having a day of eating their favourite foods a failure, so they either struggle to avoid the temptation altogether or they feel incredibly guilty after they cheat on their diet and immerse themselves in dietary behaviour that is more damaging to them in the long run. While it’s true that taking a break from your diet can cause some problems, there are some very important reasons to approach “cheating” that can aid in your physical and mental health.

What Is a Cheat Day?

It’s important that you understand that despite the name, you shouldn’t spend an entire day once a week eating whatever you want. Instead, you should designate one day (usually the weekend, when you’re more likely to be out and about) during which you will cheat on your diet ONCE. This can include the main course of a meal or the addition of a dessert–but ideally shouldn’t include both, unless the dessert is a healthy one (read label carefully or pop your head through the restaurant kitchen door.) That means if pizza, hamburgers, bread, cake, cookies, ice cream or anything else has been banned from your diet, you can have ONE of them at ONE MEAL or snack time on the same day each week.

When you plan a cheat day on your diet once a week, you can look forward to rewarding yourself for your hard work. Every time you feel the temptation throughout the week to stray off of your diet and dial a Dominoes or whatever your favorite naughty food pastime is, you’ll be able to remind yourself that you will have that treat on your cheat day and you’ll find the temptation less intense than if you’d told yourself you can never touch that unhealthy food EVER again!

If you don’t have any cheat day to look forward to, you can be in danger of binge eating. This is extremely common! You could find yourself reaching for “just one” unhealthy snack and wind up spending days overeating and eating unhealthy food that’s not on your diet. After you’re done binging, you’ll feel guilty and you may attempt unhealthy behaviors, such as starving yourself or crash dieting, both of which can be harmful and set you back considerably.

Increase Your Motivation to Stick to a Healthy Lifestyle

Knowing that you can still enjoy one of the unhealthy foods you miss – and love – at some point each week will make the fact that you’re on a diet less of a punishment and more about living a new, healthy lifestyle that can still be fun. Getting down in the dumps or lacking motivation to stick to a healthy diet can cause you to stray off of your healthy lifestyle routine. Even just taking one week off of your diet and exercise routine can undo a month’s worth of work to lose weight and build endurance in your body. Rewarding yourself and not being so hard on yourself can help give you the focus and determination you need to succeed during the rest of the week.

The Importance of Having a Cheat Day, By The 4 D Trainer in Barnes

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