Let’s face it. Undertaking a weight-loss regimen is no fun. We are told to control our diet, count our calories and make sure we burn more than what we eat. More often than not, we need to restrict ourselves and cut out those empty calories from food we love so much: burgers, fries, steak, coffee with half and half (half cream, half whole milk), chocolates, cakes, and countless of junk food. So, is it the end for all those glorious food? Not really. In fact, if you really love to eat those food, cutting them out completely will just mean you will fail in your weight-loss journey. Solution? Cheat days.
I don’t mean everyday cheat day. I would suggest that we squeeze in one day a week where you wouldn’t count your calories. That means, you eat what you want, as much as you can. This has been my strategy to help me sustain my calorie-counting program. Here are some of the reasons why we need cheat days:
- It allows you to look forward to something after sacrificing so much during the week. This is especially true when you start to introduce healthier foods you used to hate: e.g. vegetables. You really need to cut down on those fatty foods and it is normal for you to crave these things. It actually helps to know that you can eat what you crave for at the end of the week.
- Since you have done such a good job in your healthy choices during the week, eating the forbidden food will not feel as guilty. You feel entitled; you need a reward.
- It provides you an opportunity to daydream and fantasize about all those yumminess. Hey, we all need to dream, right?
“Cheat days” actually is a coping mechanism for those who find it hard to let go of their favorite unhealthy food. However, you would notice that as you start to get used to your healthy diet during the week, you would crave less and less of the junk food. Besides, you would also start to feel that you don’t want to waste all your efforts.; so you would stick to healthy food even during cheat days. They also say your taste buds alter, especially once you start juicing. Until one day, you will discover that you no longer need cheat days. Well, we need to throw in an occasional venti latte with breve or two, perhaps. Okay, okay. Who are we kidding? We will always need those cheat days.
Photo Credit: McDonald’s Quarter Pounder