After a couple of weeks into the new year, our New Year’s diets may be getting old already. Most people give up within the first three weeks of a diet or lifestyle change. But this doesn’t mean that you have to when you can have a cheat day.
A cheat day when dieting is a day where you allow yourself to have between one and three meals that wouldn’t usually fit in with your diet plan.
Here are some of the reasons why cheat days may actually be very good for you.
They help you to stay motivated
The first few weeks of eating healthier can be extremely challenging. Not only are you potentially eating a lot less than you were before, your head is also filled with the thought of various cravings that you can’t get rid off. Having regular cheat days can help you to stay motivated. For example if on Wednesday you find yourself Craving a slice of cheesecake, and your scheduled cheat day is on Saturday, then you can tell yourself that if you still want the slice of cheesecake then, you can have it on Saturday. Chances are, that since most cravings are in our heads you may not even want the cheesecake by the time Saturday arrives!
You don’t lose out on socialising
One of the worst things that dieters report about being on a diet, is the fear of missing out on being sociable with friends. As we get older, more and more socialising is surrounded by food and drink. If the restaurant or bar you are going to does not have foods that fit within your diet, without a cheat day you will either go hungry, or feel miserable the whole time you are with your friends, punishing yourself for going ‘off plan’. Being sociable with your friends and family is good for you. For your emotional and mental health, which will help you stay motivated during your lifestyle change.
You can still experiment in the kitchen
If you’re following a particularly strict eating plan, then you may find yourself eating the same meals over and over again. For keen home chefs this may get repetitive and extremely boring over time.
Cheat days mean that you can still take the time to learn more recipes that are less constricted by a certain calorie or macro count.
So that means you can still try out recipes that would usually be a no-go, like this poppy seed chicken. You never know this experimentation may help you find lighter alternatives that do fit within your plan so that you’re not always eating the same thing all the time.
You are less likely to become obsessive
Changing your diet to a healthy one is supposed to be healthy. However, the most important aspect to change is your mindset. Food and diet is not something to become obsessed with, but if you never allow yourself to go off of taking a plan then you will. Let yourself live while you find your new sense of food freedom.