Cheat Days Are They Worth it?
I hear a lot of people talk about “Cheat Days” when they are dieting and I wonder to myself, who are they cheating? The picture above is from a visit to the famed Beth’s Cafe featured on Man vs. Food. I went there on what some would call a “cheat day” and wanted to experience this venue.
When we have these cheat days, we are only cheating ourselves. Don’t get me wrong, you have to reward yourself for doing well at times, but would you call eating until you are sick a reward? I wouldn’t! If I would have eaten this whole omelette I would have been sick! I opted instead for a 1/4 of it and still was very full. In a previous post I talked about the book Eat This, Not That. There are very good alternatives that you can replace bad “cheats” for better rewards.
If you have a “cheat day” and eat an enchilada dinner that is normally 1500-2000 calories per meal, how much of a reward is the exercise to work that off going to be? We all have walked an hour on a treadmill and it is very eye opening when the calorie counter shows 250 afterwards. You would have to walk 8 hours to walk that plate off. Not much of a reward!
After three years on my lifestyle change I offer this advice about “cheat days”. If you feel the need, see if there are better alternatives that will still make you feel like you are rewarding yourself. Still count the calories – They are important for my last bit of advice. Get in the Gym the next day and work those calories off. If you can’t get them all worked off the next day, add extra time on during the week.
There is nothing rewarding about getting on the scales the week after a cheat to see that there is not much movement. It can deflate any momentum you have! Tell us about your cheat day experience in the comments below!