If you’d like to follow our advice but love those creature comforts and tasty treats, your best bet would be to cheat – but in controlled ways.
Many people benefit from having one “cheat meal” per week because it helps them remain sane with their new food choices and also prevents them from falling back to their old and unhealthy eating habits. The most effective way to cheat in a controlled manner would be to fix a day, such as Saturday to have your cheat meal when you go out with your friends or even if you are at home.
The 80/20 rule
Whatever your determination is, life will eventually get in the way. If you follow the 80/20 fitness rule, you’ll aim to follow your diet 80% of the time, and allow for small changes the remaining 20% while still getting most of the benefits.
Planning one sporadic cheat meal, or even one full cheat day a week might help you better adhere to your diet.
What’s a cheat meal?
Your cheat meal can be anything from a hamburger to a chocolate pie, but make sure you enjoy it!
Cheat meals (or days) also keep your body burning a higher quantity of calories. If you reduce your daily caloric intake from, say, 2000, to 1500, and keep it there every day, your metabolism will adjust to the deficit.
If you eat 1500 calories daily and 3000 calories on Saturdays (or another cheat day of choice), your metabolism will experience a small boost and your will burn more calories on “normal” days.
Just do your best to lower the glycemic index of the cheat meals so you burn them more slowly and absorb less as fat. If possible, work out – or at least go for a long walk – on cheat days as well, preferably after you eat the most calorie-intensive meal so you burn more of the carbs rather than have them be reabsorbed into your body.
Remember, cheat days are to help you feel sane and enjoy all the foods you’re trying to cut back on. They’re also to help you keep your metabolism boosted. But we also want to make sure they don’t have any adverse effects! Take the above two measures to stay on track and cheat responsibly.