“Cheat days” may be a touchy subject for dieters because many are all for it, yet many are also quite against it. Some struggle with it because they feel like being allowed to indulge in unhealthy foods for a day will make them feel guilty and consequently make them develop bad habits again. However, your physical and mental health can actually benefit from a cheat day every so often.
It’s important to understand what a cheat day actually is. It doesn’t mean that you can spend an entire day eating whatever you please, once a week. Instead, it means you can designate one day where you can eat something that you may have cut out of your diet such as bread, pizza, cake, cookies, or ice cream. It can even be as simple as ordering a carbonated drink rather than water.
The purpose of cheat days are to reward yourself for all of your hard work; it can be something that you look forward to and work towards. It can help you fight with your temptations knowing that you already designated a day where you can have that treat, rather than constantly fighting it every day. Without a cheat day, you may be in danger of binge eating if you finally give in. Then, it can lead to starving yourself or crash dieting which will ultimately be harmful to your overall health and fitness plan.
See Dr. Oz’s “Fat-urday” cheat day for an example of what you could do if you are struggling with this.