Cheat days, worth it or not?
Posted: 31st Aug 2018
We are all going to say the answer is ‘YES’ but really, they aren’t. When you allow yourself to have “cheat days” this means that you are on some sort of diet and that cheat foods are forbidden. So when your cheat day rolls around, rather than enjoying foods that you don’t eat regularly, you use it as a time to eat as many “bad” foods as you can. This can lead to binge eating and eating WAY too much on these cheat days.
At work, we tend to consume a lot of snacks, which from sitting at a desk all day, the pounds can pile up. As you can see, we go in on it hard.
When you put something delicious out on display, people are going to eat much more of it than if it was tucked away in a desk drawer out of sight.
When you “diet” you tend to crave unhealthy foods. If you are sticking to a balanced diet, no foods are off limits. You shouldn’t think of any food as off limits or that you can’t eat it. Instead I recommend allowing yourself to eat treats 2-3 times per week.
If you really feel like having pasta for lunch, eat it! Or if you’re out for dinner with your friends and everyone is having dessert and you want some too, go for it! Don’t restrict yourself too heavily.
I understand that a lot of people use cheat meals as a reward for sticking to their diet and eating healthy all week. Using unhealthy food as a reward will again, lead to an unhealthy relationship with food. You shouldn’t only be allowed these foods at certain times. You can still be healthy and eat these types of foods during the week, as long as you’re not having them every single day or bingeing on them.
If you allow yourself one designated cheat day, it is easy for this to spill over to the next day (especially if it’s on the weekend). Let’s say you go out for lunch with your friends on Saturday and end up getting pizza. It is hard to then choose to eat healthy for Saturday night dinner because you are going to crave more unhealthy foods, and you feel like you have already ruined your diet and there is no point (me all over).
To make matters worse, you might feel like you’ve just ruined your diet for the weekend so Sunday also becomes an unhealthy eating day, and you think to yourself that you will just start again on Monday.
And if you’re anything like me, this never happens.