Time and time again we get people asking us if it’s ok to have a cheat day or cheat meal. So we thought we’d share our personal experience as well advice we would pass on to clients.
For those of you that are wondering what a cheat day...essentially you stop following or tracking your calorie intake and start binging on cakes, donuts, pizzas and all the other good stuff.
This usually starts with “ooh a bite won’t hurt” which then leads to “screw it, I’ll start dieting next week”.
This is absolutely normal when you’re in a calorie deficit. The issue is that you’ve restricted your food intake by cutting out foods you like. Such as chocolates, bread, milk, cereal. You then have an urge of cravings because you’ve told yourself you can’t eat any of that stuff to lose fat. Then next you know, you’re stuffing yourself in chocolate cake (or whatever tickles your fancy)
Our advice is focus on your WEEKLY calorie intake. It is important to understand that you don’t need to worry about your daily as much.
A simple way to calculate your calorie intake for fat loss is to multiply your bw (lbs) by 11. FOR EXAMPLE:
If you weigh 180lbs x by 11 = 1980 (quick maths). Now that is your daily intake!! So multiply that by 7, and that gives you 13,860 calories to consume during the week! The next step is for you to plan out your week, if you have social events, birthdays or eating out (these are the days you want to save higher calories for).
So you could do something like:
Saturday - 1500
Again the above is just an example to show you that you will benefit more from planning out your weekly intake rather than focusing too much on your daily.
An issue with Cheat Day is how it will affect you psychologically. Many people feel that cheat meals help them deal with the feelings of restriction they endure while on a diet. They then feel that the next time round they’ll stick to there diet better. This then fails again. It’s an endless cycle.
Find out your weekly calorie intake (contact us if you need help calculating) and plan your week. If you do happen to end up going of the rails eating everything insight, it ok, not then end of the world. However if you realise that you’re cheating on a regular basis (every week or two) then your calorie deficit may be to low causing you to have cravings all the time.
Don’t give up 95% of your life to reduce 5% of your weight. Be sensible with your calorie intake and understand it’s a lifestyle that should be sustainable. Something we personally like to do is be in a deficit for 4 weeks followed by 1 week of maintenance intake. Until we’ve accomplished our fat loss goal. We will to a blog on goal setting soon and how long you should be deficit for fat loss.
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