To Cheat or Not To Cheat, That is The Question.
Shakespeare once said, "To be or not to be? That is the question."
Well, in fitness and nutrition we more commonly ask ourselves, "To cheat or not to cheat?"
Most of us, when we start a new exercise and dare I say diet plan, tend to get overzealous, push too hard and then we CRASH and CHEAT. Not good!
The question that inevitably always comes up is, "Are cheat days allowed?"
If you plan out your diet well, there's no reason why you can't add a cheat meal into your diet regimen every once in a while. Here's the thing about cheat meals, they can be a great way to indulge and satisfy some food cravings you are experiencing, and as long as you are making sure that you account for them and offset the damage, they won't set you back in progress.
However, when cheat meals come unplanned, you may run into some problems. Especially if these unplanned cheat meals begin coming on a little too frequently; that's when weight loss set-backs are almost inevitable.
Fortunately, if you do miss the target and have a cheat meal, there are a few things that you can do to recover quickly from it.
Let's give you a quick strategy and some steps you can take to make sure a slip does not derail your progress.
1. Have A Protein And Vegetable Day.
The very first thing that you should do if you encounter a setback is to have a high protein and vegetable-focused diet the next day. This will help make up for the high spike of carbs that likely came in, helping you sustain a proper calorie balance between the two days.
Remember that one day of overeating isn't going to cause weight gain. It's day after day of overeating that will. Keep things in balance and you will be okay.
2. Resist The Urge To Do Cardio Overload.
Also resist the urge to do cardio overload. Many people will go this route and perform hours and hours of cardio training. This is only going to seriously stress the body out and will cause additional cortisol to flood your system. Cortisol has the tendency to cause the body to store excess body fat. This, combined with the higher calorie intake from the day before, is not an ideal situation.
You may want to add in an additional workout to make up for the additional calories, but keep it to a quick 20-30 minute bout of higher intensity intervals so you avoid the cortisol release.
3. Focus On Moving Forward.
Finally, put the set-back behind you. This is where many people go wrong. They feel like since they made one error, they've really blown it and are now on route to gaining back all the weight that they had lost once again. There is no such thing as a fatal error when it comes to weight loss.
Instead, focus on what you're going to do in the future to help prevent that same set-back from occurring. Ask yourself, was it a situation that set you off into an overeating frenzy?
Was it stress? Perhaps you need to work on your coping methods better?
Whatever the case, pinpoint what led you to the set-back in the first place and then deal with it in a productive manner. This way, you can reduce your chances of cheating again. Let go of the guilt and instead just jump right back on the band wagon and you will be back on track.
So there you have some important tips to keep in mind if you want to recover well from a cheat meal. While a cheat meal may cause some frustration, if you push past it productively, it doesn't have to do you too much harm.