Saturday, September 7, 2019

The Pro's And Con's Of Cheat Days (How You Can Make Your Diet Enjoyable).

In today's blog I want to share with you the good and bad of taking cheat days.  This is all from what I have experienced over the past couple of years and what might influence you to either start taking cheat days or stop taking cheat days depending on your current circumstances.

I have been taking cheat days every week or so since I have read Tim Ferriss's book the "4 Hour Body".   This book is pretty much what got me into taking cheat days in the first place.  Although there is controversy whether cheat days are good or bad for you, I wanted to write to share with you a pretty neutral position so you can decide what is best for you in the long run.

Basically the determining factor is going to be your willpower.  However even if you have strong willpower you may still crave junk food every once and a while (just less often than others might crave junk food)

The Good.

1) Cheat days keep you sane throughout your journey.

This is probably the biggest reason I would recommend starting to take cheat days.  If you don't already know, most people that start a diet eventually end up right where they started.  Being right back at square one can be discouraging, and often cause you to give up.

You can have all the knowledge in the world, but with no plan or applied knowledge, it is useless.

If you start a diet and it says you can NEVER eat a certain food ever again, how likely are you going to be to stick to that diet?

Even if you can stick to it for a month, you will most likely jump back to eating the "bad food" again or even more.

In other words you are going insane without that food.

Now if I tell you, "stick to your diet for 7 days and after that 7 days you can eat whatever you want on the eighth day" how much more likely are you going to be sticking to your diet?

Chances are high you will follow through.  Not only will it keep you sane, but it will keep you accountable and you will actually get a reward for your effort of eating healthy for those 7 days!

2) Makes the journey more enjoyable.

No diet or healthy journey is fun when you are never able to eat certain foods.  Just imagine you go to an ice cream shop with your family or freinds and everyone else is eating creamy, smooth ice cream in a waffle cone.

Most likely you are going to be hating every second of it if you don't allow yourself to ever eat ice cream.

Now I'm not saying to just eat ice cream everyday, but what if you had one day a week where you could.  You are in the same scenario except now you can have the ice cream.  

How much more enjoyable will this scenario be now that you are able to enjoy the ice cream and spend some memorable time with your family or friends?

3) Doesn't really effect fat gain.

This is kind of a touchy subject here.  At first when I tried cheat days this sounded counter intuitive.  

I though to myself "how could eating an enormous surplus of calories not effect fat gain"  I though it would all be BS.

But I tried it anyway and tested it out.  Sure enough my waist didn't ever get any bigger from taking cheat days.

The best way I can describe this is to think of it this way.  If all you eat is junk 6 out of 7 days and eat a salad on the seventh day how much of a difference will this make on you losing fat?

Not much right becuase its one salad or one day of salads when 90% of the time you were eating junk.

Basically the same principle is applied but in reverse for cheat days.  (You aren't going to gain fat for eating 10% junk food and 90% health food).

The Bad.

1) Overeating / going overboard.

This is a problem I find myself falling into too often on cheat days.  Most cheat days I end up eating more than I should and just eating to eat as much junk food as I can in one day. 

Although it is fun for me to do, there have been times where I would eat so much where I would be throwing up all night because of how much I ate.

This doesn't happen as much anymore, but I still do usually over eat past being full.

2) The way you feel the next morning.

I would almost describe this bad side effect to feel how I expect a hangover would feel.

Usually after I take a cheat day the next morning feels harder than it should.  

I often wake up feeling substantially less energy than I usually do as well as having a TON of mucuss in my throat and a bad taste in my mouth for the first few hours of my day.

It's not a pleasant feeling but it goes away pretty fast.

Closing thoughts.

After reading this I hope you gained some clarity on whether or not you want to start implementing cheat days into your life.

Just like anything in life there is a good and a bad side to cheat days, but its about what works or doesn't work for you. 

For some people (including myself) cheat days can work really well becuase they give more than they take.  For others it may take more than it gives.

I would love to hear what you are going to do moving ahead in your journey, as well as what your thoughts are on this subject / what you have experienced with taking cheat days.

Make the best of today,


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