I was asked this week what my thoughts where on having a full on cheat day. Meaning eating everything you want to eat - mostly "bad foods" all day long. Everything that you haven't let yourself eat all week - cake, chips, pizza, etc.
There has been talk in the media and with certain 'diet' plans that incorporate this beloved cheat day. This is just that - a diet plan. They generally suggest eating clean all week and allowing yourself one massive cheat day to eat whatever you desire.
If your goal is overall health or weight loss... I don’t think that cheat days are the way to go.
I have played around with this myself, along with watching others, and these are the things that I found difficult:
- You may think about it all week long and what you are going to eat. This is allowing food to control you - not good.
- You may skip out on social events, because it isn't 'cheat day' and you don't want to risk your self-control.
- You may end up eating way way way more food then you should.
- Most craved cheat food is processed, low quality and lacking in nutrients.
- You may have to recover for a couple of days (sugar hangover)
- You may not be able to perform as well as you usually do (mental, physical, etc.)
- "Cheating" in any form is never hot.
These are just my thoughts on what is like to have a cheat day.
In certain situations - bodybuilder where your goal is to get extremely lean - calorie cycling could be an option. But if you are looking for overall well-being - I would avoid.