To Cheat or not to Cheat?
Cheat days? Cheats meals ? What's the verdict? First ,what's the difference? A cheat day would mean you eat anything and everything that you want for the entire day. Some people use this as a day to devour everything they can get their hands on. It's possible that you might consume twice as many calories as on a normal day. Another option is to use cheat meals . The idea here is that you eat healthy the whole day except for one meal when you eat things that are not usually part of your diet. The theory is that cheat days help you to lose weight by boosting your metabolism after a stretch of limited caloric intake. However the verdict is still out on how much it actually boosts your metabolism.
Cheat days can have both positive and negative effects on your your mind...depending on the type of person you are. Some people feel that a regular cheat day helps them stick to a strict diet while others cause themselves excessive guilt and then they obsess about their next cheat day. This unhealthy behavior can eventually lead to an eating disorder.
Why not use a food diary instead? Record what you eat and drink faithfully and you will know if you have enough available calories to justify whatever it is you are craving. If nothing is forbidden, it is no longer a craving. I prefer to treat my caloric allowance as a credit card. When I use up my daily allowance of 'calories' , then I have to stop eating. Choices become very easy then...if I'm 'craving' a treat at that afternoon slump...I log it into my calorie allowance...if I still have enough calories leftover to get me through supper...great..I can have it....if I don't then I have to decide....which do I want more...the treat or supper. I can't have both. That way, if I choose not to have the treat..it's exactly that...a choice. I could have it, but I chose supper instead. That way it becomes less of a psychological desire....it's not forbidden..it's a choice.Try it the next time you think you can't live without that donut or cookie...take the time to log it and think it through...I'm pretty sure I know what you'll do.