When you’re trying to be healthy, it can be so tempting to order three pizzas, a hot fudge sundae and a cheesecake. No? Just me? Well, we all have those moments where we’d like to ditch the spinach for a day and just enjoy an unhealthy meal. Would it be so bad if we did this every so often? How bad are cheat days, and can they actually benefit you and your healthy lifestyle?
How Often Should You Have Cheat Days?
Andres Stamile from Padel Sydney offers his advice. “Cheat days will trick your body into thinking it is getting a good amount of calories. The body will then turn up its fat burning process. Cheat day is good mentally as it keeps you sane and allows you to have snacks and meals you wouldn't normally have. Nothing is off limits.. as long as you are keeping a tight weekly diet plan, you should be fine.” Find out more about Padel Sydney by following them on Facebook and Instagram. Cheat days should be done once a week. There’s a very thin line between a cheat meal and a binge session, so make sure you don’t overdo it.
What’s The Line Between Cheat Days and Binge Sessions?
There’s often a grey area between the idea of a cheat meal and a binge session. Subjective in matter, what some may consider a cheat meal, others may consider a total binge session. If you consider a cheat meal to be a solitary hamburger, another may consider a slice of pizza, a slice of cheesecake and a can of Coca-Cola a cheat meal too. A good way to decipher between a cheat meal and a binge session is by considering your calorie intake. Try not being too hungry before you begin a cheat meal, as you’ll end up binging on food that you may regret later. When it comes to calories, it’s best to eat 500-1000 more calories than you normally would. It seems like a lot, but if you were to have a slice of pizza, a slice of cheesecake and a can of Coke, you can easily make up those calories. A single slice of margherita pizza has 350 calories (on average), a slice of cheesecake has approximately 323 calories; combine that with a can of Coca Cola, which has 140 calories and you’re already at 813 calories. Plus, you’re not going to only have one slice of pizza, are you? Didn’t think so.
When Should You Start Incorporating Cheat Meals Into Your Diet?
So, when should you start incorporating cheat meals into your diet? Not one day into your health kick, that’s for sure. It’s recommended that once you start clean eating, or reducing your calorie intake, give it two weeks before you have your first cheat day. This way, your body can really feel the benefit of the calorie intake from the cheat day. So, wait two weeks, sit on your modern bed frame and enjoy those fries!
Can Cheat Days Boost Your Metabolism?
Rudi Sagan, a performer with Thunder Down Under, offers his advice. “For fat loss, cheat meals are useful and good for your metabolism as opposed to having an entire cheat day. A nice meal with a dessert is recommended, not only for a metabolism reset but it may also prevent more frequent binges. It may also increase your natural willpower, having you hold out for a couple more days until you are able to enjoy a guilt free cheat meal. Overall a 'diet' isn't sustainable in the long term, as obviously, no one really wants to eat chicken breast and broccoli for the rest of their lives. It's more about finding a balance and having a sustainable, healthy lifestyle where you can enjoy a cheat meal once or twice a week.”. Find out more about Rudi by following him on Instagram. You shouldn’t just rely on cheat days to increase your metabolism, though. Other ways to increase it is by drinking green tea, eat spicy foods, lift weights and do more high intensity workouts. You can even increase your metabolism by just doing some more exercise daily. Get your furry pal out of their dog kennel and take them for a walk, it’s not much, but it will keep your metabolism up!
What Can You Do In Between Cheat Days?
Lola Berry, the brand ambassador for Grill’d Healthy Burgers offers her advice. “Attend a yoga class – yin is a great low intensity option that calms and soothes the muscles and the mind. Get out into nature by walking to and from your destination of indulgence – just 30 mins of walking per day can boost muscle power and improves circulation Have a cup of green tea with a friend, post-cheat meal – catechins or antioxidants in green tea can increase the body's ability to burn fat as fuel, and can reduce the risk of heart attack. Have a social media detox – taking a few hours off Instagram after your cheat meal will lessen the likelihood of comparative regret.” Find out more about Grill’d by following them on Facebook and Instagram.
Cheat days are a great way to boost your metabolism, keep your body in check and enjoy yourself at the same time. There are, of course, limitations, but it’s fun and safe to enjoy a cheat meal once a week!