Science has become more a part of our lives more than ever today and in the world of weight loss, it forms a big chunk of how we design our eating and exercise schedules. One innovation that has helped many people maintain their dieting focus is the Cheat Day.
Whenever we decide to enter any kind of dieting program that reduces or changes the intake of food into the body, we used to believe that our metabolism maintained the balance to our bodily functions to allow us to live our lives without feeling the hurt too much. The fact is that our metabolism is not this huge battleship ploughing through the waters of your daily health without regard for what we choose to tax it with, but more of a daily operating machine that changes radically to any kind of small variation to, in particular, food intake.
Typically, diets in the past have focused on reducing calorie intake and increasing exercise to burn fat and sugars which in turn reduces weight. When that happens, the body adjusts how it performs those functions based on those changes in food intake in order to conserve the body’s energy. It reduces production of the hormone leptin which we call the “Hunger Hormone”, which tells the body to hold onto fat. The Cheat Day is a way to “fool” the body into thinking that it was wrong to determine that we are starving it of food and that it should continue to burn calories and fat at the usual rate. It is a neat trick and an important addition to your dieting schedule.
Practically, the Cheat Day means that you sprinkle in a day, about one in seven, where you throw out all of the dieting restrictions you’ve imposed on yourself and eat normally. Now I know what everyone is thinking. We’re rubbing our hands in glee at the thought of stampeding to the ice cream, beer and Burger King Whoppers in the attempt to gorge for the 24 hour parole period. That is not what I’m saying. The key here is to just return to how you ate before you took on the weight loss program. If that involved a burger for lunch, fine. If you choose to use the Cheat Day as an opportunity to go out for dinner with the family, that is OK too. The point is that we want the body to have to process normal food intake to ensure that it does not make the change to your metabolism that reduces calorie and fat burn.
What is interesting about the Cheat Day concept, and was certainly the case when I first used the idea, is that your desire to eat large amounts, will have for the most part disappeared, hopefully. Importantly however, is what the Cheat Day provides to the struggling dieter. We all have those dark days when we want to toss in the towel and give up the weight loss plan when the food cravings begin to overwhelm you. This principle is a way to motivate yourself so that you have a “special” day to look forward to where those inner demons can be quelled and sedated until the next crisis.
Trust me and implement the Cheat Day into your weight loss program. It does work.