Cheat Day or Cheat Meal
I’m not a fan of the terms cheat day or cheat meal, but most people know what I’m talking about when I reference them. They’re also shorter and more convenient to use than “eat whatever you want and not feel guilty.”
So, when should you
eat whatever you want and not feel guilty cheat?
I don’t like cheat days. Sure, we all have days where we stop counting calories and eat whatever we feel like. These shouldn’t be very often though and should be reserved for holidays and special occasions. When I think of a full blown “cheat day” where I eat absolutely anything I think of July 4th, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. These are bonafide eat whatever days.
Don’t use Uncle Larry coming to town as an excuse to have a cheat day.
I’m more of a fan of cheat meals. I don’t call them cheat meals, though, but instead enjoying food in moderation. If Uncle Larry is coming into town and you want to go out to dinner and splurge, do it, but don’t use him as an excuse to set up camp at the Chinese buffet all day.
Three reasons why I like having a cheat meal over a cheat day:
Cheat meals are more practical – Simple scenario: your cheat day is on Saturday but your spouse/friend had a hard day at work and wants to go to your favorite restaurant on a Thursday. What do you do? I recommend counting calories and practicing portion control because it’s practical and sustainable. Having a cheat day for the rest of your life isn’t very sustainable unless you can plan every single social event and outing on that day.
Number game – The calories add up quickly when you go on an all day splurge. Not only do the calories add up, but so does the weight of the extra food being digested inside of you. You’ll also probably be holding a lot of excess water (especially if you went out to eat) when the day is done. So, even if you might have only consumed a few thousand extra calories (3,500 calories is a pound and all), you might step onto the scale the next morning and see a gain of several pounds. If you decide to have a cheat day, stay off the scale or risk being demoralized.
kill eat – After all the calories are added up, I generally consume less calories at the end of the week if I stick with cheat meals as opposed to cheat days. On days I have a high in calorie cheat meal I’ll still stay physically active and watch my calories the rest of the day, but with cheat days I have a tendency to lose control and be lazy.
While there are no limits as to how much you can eat when you cheat, there’s still no reason to be gluttonous or fall back into old, bad habits.
Ultimately, whether you decide to stick to a cheat meal or a cheat day is up to you. There’s no right or wrong answer as long as you watch your calories as a whole and you keep making progress.