Being on a diet is probably one of the most challenging experiences every one of us must go through at one point in our lives. Losing weight is simply not easy unless you cut down on calories and exercise on a regular basis. The good news is you don’t have to be on a diet for an entire year or even a month. There is a belief that if you want to lose weight quickly you should practice feasting during certain cheat days. What this basically means is that you can eat whatever you want on a particular day of the week.
Now you may be thinking that this doesn’t seem to make sense. Wouldn’t you lose weight faster if you just keep on dieting and restricting your calories? Below you will find some benefits of practicing cheat days and why you should add it to your routine.
The physical effects to your body
When you have been on a diet for a long period of time your brain triggers starvation mode. At this point, you will always feel hungry, tired, and even a bit depressed. Your metabolism also begins to lower as your brain thinks that you need to reserve energy so that you can survive.
When you incorporate a cheat day, however, the hormone leptin increases in your body and this tells your brain that you have a lot of resources for energy. Even just an additional 800 calories will up your leptin levels by 30%. This will immediately reverse the effects of starvation thereby increasing your metabolism and allowing you to do more physical activities. You will also feel more motivated and ready for the gym again.
To be able to take full advantage of your cheat day though, you should still consider what you will be eating. Researchers have found out that in order to increase your resting metabolism you have to consume low-fat, alcohol-free, high carb, and high protein meals.
Naturally, if you have a medical condition like high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or diabetes, you should take all of these into consideration before you do a cheat day.
How cheating affects you psychologically
The proponents of cheat days also agree that there’s a big psychological effect that can benefit people who practice a weekly binge.
Many trainers and diet experts have observed that people are more likely to stick to their diet plans if they are given some form of allowance even just on a weekly basis.
This way instead of thinking that you have backslid and just totally give up on your diet, you simply accept that you have taken in a lot of calories for a day and move on and restart your diet on the next day. After all, one cheat day of the week will not make you gain back all the weight that you have lost.
A cheat day a week can certainly make a lot of difference. You can be motivated for the following day to exercise again and push harder; you will also feel more satisfied when it comes to your diet plan as you will not be completely restricted from the foods that you want.