Cheesy pizza, loaded scoops of ice-cream, a big box of doughnuts, some pretzels, few sodas - oh! Are you already dreaming about these delicacies?
Well, to be honest, everyone who has been on a diet has their bucket-list of cheat meals. In fact, most people wait for their cheat days so that they can hog on the food they've been fantasizing about. But, are cheat days okay once a while? Let's find out!
What Happens When You Eat on Cheat Days?
Everything in excess is bad. But, when it comes to cheat meals, the damage is usually hard to cope up with. Don't believe us? Here's a run-down of points that prove cheated days sabotage your diet and training.
Cobweb of overeating
Usually, on cheat meal days, people eat like there will be no tomorrow. The excitement of actually eating the forbidden food is so high that you may over-eat without even realizing.
For instance, imagine restricting yourself from having a big slice of cake or pizza for days. What will happen when your trainer gives you a green light to devour on your favorites? You might just go with the flow and eat more than you should. The gist? You will be back to square one. Those days and weeks of painstaking workout will all be lost only because of your greediness.
Catastrophe to Calorie Calculations
After weeks of strict diet and counting every calorie intake, you lose yourself to cheat days? Well, no matter how strictly you keep a track of the calories, when there's a variety of junk food on the table, it is easy to forget.
Besides, even if you eat food in moderation, the copious amounts of butter, oil and sugar involved in preparing the food could mess-up your calorie count. So, instead of going binge on junk food, try something that does not add more pounds to your weight.
A Blow to your Consistency
Imagine your body being used to a sleeping pattern. What happens when you visit a new place? Most likely, you will not be able to sleep. Why? Because your body takes time to adjust to a change.
Similarly, when you drastically switch to a cheat day, your body might not adapt to the real and healthy foods. For a simple reason, the pattern was broken. And, to get back to the pattern, you will have to start from the beginning. Therefore, your body will never be able to adapt to a healthy diet or real food 'completely'.
Trigger to More Cravings (or Addiction)
Have your cheat meals turned into cheat days? If yes, then, there's no going back because it is a vicious loop. You end up eating one hell of a satisfying cheat meal. Now, your mind is stuck on its delicious taste and how happy it made you.
But, despite knowing what these cheat meals do to your diet, you may still repeatedly eat large amounts of it. So, the best way to avoid it - is abstinence. Or, if you feel you have control over your cravings, then, try eating junk food in moderation.
Brainchild of Guilt
Another way cheat days sabotage your diet is by making you feel guilty about consuming the forbidden food. While eating a cheat meal may bring pleasure, but it definitely makes you feel worse when you weigh yourself the next day.
To that, you may starve yourself, exercise beyond your strength or give-up altogether. So, is it still wise to have cheat meals or cheat days? Maybe, but only if you find a balance.
So..Find the Balance!
Cheat days or even cheat meals are a slippery slope. They can ruin your weeks and months of hard work. Therefore, it's solely on you how to make the most of your cheat days. Only choose the path that will help you carry on with the diet in the long-run.
The article contributed by Sharda Hospital. Sharda Hospital is one of the largest super speciality hospitals in Delhi National Capital Region (NCR).