Do you find yourself setting off full steam on a diet plan, only to fall off the wagon within weeks? Or perhaps you feel so overwhelmed by the idea of giving up your favorite foods that you’ve never even tried dieting? The answer lies in giving yourself a weekly treat for your week-long abstinence AKA the cheat day!
It’s Day 1. You’re fully charged to begin your new diet plan. As the day goes on, you feel pleased with yourself because you’ve been able to follow your diet to the T.
Day 2. You’re riding high on motivation from Day 1, and you’re ready to slay the day.
Days 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 go by. On Day 10 you see your co-worker digging into a tempting chocolate cake. You tell yourself that one bite won’t harm you, but then go on to indulge in a few more.
A couple of days later, you see your family enjoying your favorite biryani and you decide to help yourself to a serving or two. By this time, the cracks in your constraining diet plan are beginning to show. You’ve started missing your old eating habits. And then, before you know it, your diet has completely gone for a toss!
How Cheat Days Can Help You
Now, instead of falling into this cycle of deprivation and guilty eating, what if you gave yourself a ‘cheat day’ once a week? The cheat day will keep you motivated to fight the cravings on your ‘diet days’ – Days 1 to 6 – because at the back of your mind, you’ll know that come Day 7, you’ll be able to indulge yourself and eat that pizza or brownie you’ve been hankering after!
Cheat days also help to keep your digestive system in check. So in the off-chance that you have to eat outside your diet plan (think weddings, parties, holidays), your system will still be capable of digesting unhealthy, greasy, or high-calorie food.
What to Eat on Your Cheat Day
Generally, there are no restrictions in terms of what you can eat on your cheat day, except you should still keep a watch on the quantities you’re consuming. After all, you don’t want to undo the progress you’ve made during the rest of the week.
How to Schedule a Cheat Day
There are no rules! You can take a cheat day any day of the week. Say there’s a mid-week office get-together or a birthday celebration. You can go ahead and time your cheat day accordingly. Just remember to plan ahead, and make sure you are eating clean on the days leading up to and after your cheat day.
So go ahead and give yourself a break every now and then! If you’ve been disciplined, dedicated and consistent throughout the week, you most definitely deserve a treat by the end of it. Think of it as a reward you’ve earned for having stuck to your plan all week.