Will “Cheat Day” Ruin My Progress?

At Iron Fit, we provide a nutritional program that will help you eat healthier and change your eating habits. We believe that’s the healthiest and best way to help you lose weight. However, some people still diet and to avoid several downfalls, schedule a cheat day. What is a cheat day? It’s a day that restrictions are dropped or partially removed. The dieter can eat their favorite junk food or overindulge. It’s not done frequently, but the belief is that it can actually help you lose weight.

The theory is that the cheat day boosts the metabolism.

Based on the theory of boosting metabolism, the idea that your body has more calories to burn, so the metabolism increases to do that, eating more occasionally should either rev up your metabolism or keep it running higher. According to the theory behind cheat days, the body also increases the amount of leptin—the satiety hormone, so you’ll feel full faster. Whether that is true is still up for debate. Cheat days have been found to boost metabolism, but only from 3 to 10% during a 24 hour period.

Replace the glycogen stores in the muscles with cheat days.

One thing that is also addressed with cheat days, is the diminishing glycogen stores caused by a super low calorie diet. Your workout won’t be as good when that happens. You’ll get tired quicker and that can increase the potential for injury. When you have a cheat day, the glycogen reserves are replenished. Much like carb loading before a marathon, it can improve your performance.

A less aggressive approach is a cheat meal, rather than a cheat day.

There are two ways to approach this method. One is a cheat day when everything from sunrise to sunset are no longer off limits. In fact, some people actually eat as much as three times their daily calorie allotment. The other type is the less aggressive cheat meal. It’s a more compact version of the cheat day, where one meal is the “anything goes” style and the rest are within calorie restrictions. No matter what method you use, if you stick with a program of healthy lower calorie eating the rest of the days, you’ll still lose weight, but perhaps at a slower rate.

  • If you have a serious condition, such as blood pressure irregularities, high cholesterol or diabetes, cheat days and even strict dieting that goes with it, may not be right for you. Always check with your doctor first.
  • People with eating disorders should also avoid strict dieting with the occasional cheat day. It can create a cycle of extremely strict dieting, then binging on other days.
  • For some people, cheat days and cheat meals are perfect. It gives them a psychological edge that tells them they aren’t giving up their favorite foods forever and get to indulge in them on cheat days.
  • We provide a healthy menu that’s personalized for your needs. You won’t have to have a cheat day, since the menu isn’t restrictive. If you slip and eat a dessert or candy bar, you simply continue on with healthy eating without feeling guilty.

For more information, contact us today at Iron Fit San Antonio

Leave a Reply