For those of us on a diet, cheat meal days are pretty much all we look forward to the entire week. We spend 6 days out of 7 watching what we eat, training Muay Thai or BJJ till we’re exhausted, and nothing seems like a better reward than a cheat meal. A glorious, calorie-filled, sugar-laden cheat meal. After all, everyone deserves an entire pizza to themselves at least once a week — right? Wrong!
Although some studies say that cheat meals have their benefits such as speeding up your metabolism, helping you maintain your diet and boosting your morale, others claim the opposite — especially if you plan on sticking with your diet long-term.
Curious? Today, Evolve Daily shares 4 Reasons Why You Should Skip Cheat Meal Day:
1) You should be eating in moderation all the time
The best way to stick to a diet is not to have one at all. When you constantly restrict yourself and only allow yourself one day of “fun”, it’s just not that sustainable long-term. Why not try the 90/10 route? The 90/10 rule means that you should eat healthy, balanced meals 90% of the time, and the other 10% can be left for indulgence. Doing so makes it easier to adapt a healthier diet into your lifestyle, making it easier for you to follow even when you’re not on diet mode.
2) You’ll end up giving in to your cravings
There’s no doubt that the refined sugar and white carbs from junk food could get addictive. This means that pigging out on junk food during your cheat meals could actually worsen your addiction to sugar. Or even worse, create one! By removing junk food completely from your diet, you’re less likely to crave for it.
3) You might overeat
It’s human nature to want to binge, especially when we’re faced with our favorite foods. Trust us, a week’s worth of clean eating could easily be ruined by just a single day of indulgence! The more you put sweets and junk food on a pedestal, the more you’ll want and crave them. There’s just no telling what might happen come cheat day!
4) The abstinence-violation effect
A cheat meal day could do more damage than you could ever imagine. The abstinence-violation effect proves that some individuals can feel an overall loss of control after going off the deep end. So, having a cheat meal day could turn into a cheat meal week, month, and so on. The chances of your diet spiralling out of control is high, especially if you’ve been very strict with yourself.
However, if you feel like you have enough self-control to keep your cheat meal days under control, here are some tips on how to do cheat meals the right way:
- Keep cheat day to only once a week and try not to overly exceed your regular calorie intake
- Keep the rest of your meals light and healthy on cheat day to atone for your cheat meal
- Have a cheat meal instead of a cheat meal day
- Try to have your cheat meal at home — there aren’t as many temptations and you’re more likely to eat healthier!
If you do intend on keeping a cheat meal as part of your diet process, you should always remember that your main goal is still to lose weight! Just because you’ve worked hard all week doesn’t mean that you deserve a cheat meal. The only time you truly deserve a cheat meal is when you’ve accomplished your weight loss goals. Don’t lose sight of what you really want just for some cheeseburgers — it’s simply not worth it.
So go on, and get healthy! And remember, everything in moderation!