Keeping Fit – Pros and Cons of Cheat Days
Fitness is not just a word or term, but it is a lifestyle that people choose to keep fit and healthy. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle calls for healthy eating. It may sound easy to eat healthy, but it can be difficult at times. These days, food consumed by people is high in carbs, cholesterol and fat, like junk food. Therefore, it can be quite challenging to adopt healthy eating habits and stick to them to lose consistent weight and maintain it.
Keeping fit and healthy can sometimes become monotonous as it may require you to stick to vegetables, proteins, lean meat and fresh juices. Therefore, once a while you may want to go back to normal eating, also called cheat meals. However, these cheat meals have certain effect on your body. It can be both good and bad. The basic idea behind having a cheat meal or cheat day is to deviate from your clean eating for a day and enjoy junk with high carbs and sugar.
You should always try to find a balance between cheat meals and healthy eating. A cheat meal is all about managing one’s temptation. It is to be noted that people who are involved in a healthy diet regime for a certain period should allow themselves a cheat meal. Cheats meals might lead to a certain mindset to have more of the junk food since cheat meal should be limited to a certain portion.
There are certain pros of having cheat days, such as:
- Some theories suggest that having a cheat meal increases the metabolism of the dieter, which means that the body should be able to burn more calories than usual.
- It is also believed that cheat meal increases energy and overall performance of the human body. People who diet for a long time have limited glycogen stores in their muscles. After consuming carbs and sugary products, the glycogen stores increase. Therefore, overall energy and performance improvements.
- Having a cheat day or meal can also have a positive effect on a person’s mind, as following a diet plan becomes easier if you can cheat once or twice a week. A study published in the Journal of Consumer Psychology says that some participants were happy to continue with their diet plan if they got cheat meals once a while.
Some studies show that cheat meals have more cons than pros, like:
- A cheat meal can cause temporary stomach ache, bloating and gas problem as your body is not used of digesting fatty food.
- Hours of working out and hard work put in maintaining clean eating habits can go in vain if dieter starts having too many cheat days. If people who are prone to obesity get into the habit of having cheat days, it can make things worse for them.
- Some dieticians suggest that cheat meals can trigger a person to go back unhealthy eating, therefore, one should always avoid such kind of food that can lead to unhealthy eating and binge eating. Especially, people prone to obesity should refrain from cheating on their diet as it can ruin their journey to keeping fit and healthy.
- A cheat meal can have a negative impact on the people who have tendencies for developing or quitting any addiction.
- Cheat meals can have psychological effects as it reduces your will power and confidence to achieve a healthy diet routine.
- Another negative psychological effect of a cheat meal is that it can make you feel guilty and reduces your confidence to get back on routine. You may start to feel remorse for having the cheat meal since the entire purpose of a cheat meal is change from the routine.
- Sometimes cheat meals can deviate from keeping a healthy routine and make it hard to get back on track and it may prolong a binge cycle.
Fitness and losing weight both require a healthy and positive approach. It is to be reiterated that having a healthy eating routine needs control of temptation, one should stick to a plan which has a positive impact. It is about having a right and positive attitude to eating healthy and keeping fit. You should have a firm goal to eat healthy and participate in healthy activities. A cheat meal is all about breaking the monotonous cycle which can also just be done by introducing another healthy snack in daily routine.
The success factor of a Cheat Meal
You should have a long-term goal of eating healthy and understanding that healthy eating will lead towards a positive and successful lifestyle. Not only eating healthy has a positive impact on our health but it also boosts our confidence. Cheat meals should be taken as a reward meal for maintaining a healthy routine and should be associated with positive feelings.
It is very important to plan cheat meals; it can be done if there is a social gathering or event coming up. Also, it is wise to plan a portion size of a cheat meal so that you don’t fall in the trap of overeating or cramping and feeling guilty. Keeping a food log and calorie intake tracking is also important to manage the balance between cheat meals and healthy meals (fitness and diet apps help with this).
Ensure that a healthy eating plan is spread over months with different types of meals, healthy snacks with a combination of fresh juices combined with physical exercise so that you can enjoy the little joys of cheat meals occasionally. You may also consult a dietician about the sort of cheat meals you can have while on your healthy eating regime; it also helps to build an effective and enjoyable diet plan.
Practicing self-control exercises such as yoga and meditation as can have a positive impact on fitness and will reduce the temptation towards having a cheat meal.