Most times when people go on diets or workout routines like P90X or Insanity, they look forward to what is referred to as a cheat day or free day. This is the day that you get to relax from your rigid diet and eat things you actually enjoy as opposed to things you know are good for you. The question for many people however is whether or not such a day is harmful to the results they are trying to achieve with the diet and fitness program. You will be happy to know that there are more benefits to having a relaxed diet day than there are harmful effects.
Key To A Cheat Day
The key to having a cheat day to ensure it does not affect your results is to not overdo it. Sure, it allows you to have the kind of foods you actually like to eat but that does not mean you can do it in moderation. Moderation is truly the name of the game if you are going to have a cheat day and prefer if it does not affect your fitness results. What works for a lot of people is having a cheat meal on a certain day of the week as opposed to dubbing the entire day at cheat day. That allows them to have a full meal consisting of things they enjoy and then returning to the healthier diet for the rest of that day.
Only in Moderation…
Again, moderation is the name of the game with a cheat day. It is very possible that if you overdo eating unhealthy foods on your cheat day, you can erase the results of all of the healthy eating and exercise you have accomplished the week before. Overloading on junk food filled with sugar and fat can set you back for days and have you starting your regimen over from scratch.
Remember that with a cheat day, you do not want it to get so much in the way that you lose your momentum and desire to eat healthy and exercise. Remember you have been putting in tons of effort for a long time now and it would be a shame to lose all of those results by giving in to unhealthy eating habits. On the flip side of that however, not having a cheat day or at cheat meal can actually be harmful because of the psychological effects that come with starving your body of your favorite foods. When your body feels it is being starved of certain things, the natural reaction would be to have intense cravings which once you get to satisfying, can result in you overdoing the eating.
And finally, perhaps the greatest benefit of actually having a cheat day is the fact that your body will no longer feel that it is being starved. As you may already know, when you restrict calories, your body starts to hold on to fat and store it because it feels it is being starved. When you give it a day with more calories than you are accustomed to having, your body will be tricked into thinking that you are actually not starving it any more.
So in a nutshell, the only time a cheat day can ruin your results is if you overdo it and neglect the word moderation. Remember we are in this for the long haul. It is actually a very great idea to indulge in some of your favorite not-so-healthy foods, but do it at a moderate pace so you do not erase the results of all the hard work you have done before.
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