If you ask me, cheat days don’t work.
Even the concept of a cheat day sounds wrong to me.
According to urban dictionary, cheat day is “a day on which you are allowed to break your diet, as complete abstinence is impossible for most people. It also provides a reward for the sticking to your nutrition plan over the rest of the week.”
SO WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?
You eat healthy for six days straight and then have a day off. On this day you can treat yourself to whatever you want. It sounds good, doesn’t it? A day where you can go crazy and eat anything your heart desires. Kind of like a break from your diet.
WHY DON’T I BELIEVE IN CHEAT DAYS?
My problem with cheat days is that they make me feel guilty. I eat well for a whole week and on my day off I want to take a break from all the good stuff and have the all the bad ones. Because, well it’s my “cheat day”. I will go to the store and guilt-free buy anything I desire.
So, after all, a cheat day turns into a binge day and the next day comes with the guilt.
I feel terrible for making such poor food choices and all I want to do is quit. I don’t feel motivated to continue with my diet and I end up giving up in a few days.
Not the best way to diet, right?
First, let me clarify, I don’t have a problem with treats. If I have to be honest, I love treats. Chocolate, chocolate ice cream, chocolate cake, chocolate pudding…just anything chocolate would do.
I even have who to blame for that :). I blame it on my mom (hey mom!). My mom loves sweets more than any person I have ever met. She used to bake all kinds of delicious chocolatey desserts when I was little. Also to this day my parents still have their “dessert cabinet.” It’s basically a big cabinet full of cookies, chocolates, waffles. All kinds of sugar bombs. Which makes staying away from sugar extremely difficult when I come visit my family.
Anyways, let me get back on today’s topic.
HERE’S WHAT WORKS FOR ME
Don’t get me wrong, I also don’t believe in eating clean 100% of the time. If you are the type of person, that never craves a slice of cake or eating a whole box of ice cream, good for you. Most of us, don’t have that much self-control. Am I right, or am I right?
What works for me is a balance. This means that if I want a glass of wine and some dark chocolate 4 days a week, I will have that. Then I will balance it out.
The next day I will have a light breakfast and a big salad for lunch. Done!
No regrets, no binging, no guilt!
What works for you? Do you love or hate cheat days?