Cheat Day Basics
In part one, we learned all about the science behind the cheat day and we discovered why it works so well when trying to get fit. In part two of our series, I will be going over some of the basics of your cheat day bonanza so you have everything you need to get started. To start, lets just first answer the question, ‘what exactly is a cheat day?”
What is a cheat day?
A cheat day is a day that you carve out to eat anything and everything that you want. It is a properly planned day of indulging in all the junk foods you want that will work to your advantage. Not only that, but it will keep you sane in the process of getting fit. It is so hard to stop eating all the foods you love for extended periods of time, and that is why a cheat day is so beneficial.
As we learned in part one, it is something that is perfectly timed so the junk foods won’t hurt your results.
When should you start your cheat day?
From experience, I have found that the best way to start a cheat day is to simply choose a day and stick with it. With that said, you should first go at least 5 days of healthy eating before having your first cheat day. Therefore you can start on a Sunday or Monday eating healthy, then enjoy a cheat day that next Saturday. Once you have a day picked out, stick with it.
The preference for most people is to have their cheat day on a weekend as this is when most go out with friends. You then do not have to worry about what you are going to order as pizza, burgers, nachos, etc. are completely fine to eat on your cheat day.
How often should I cheat?
As we saw in part one, your metabolism will start to slow after about 6-7 days so therefore a cheat day every 6-7 days works great. Women especially, should focus on having one once per week. Men can get away with every 7-10 days but a simple solution is to place a cheat day once per week.
A cheat day allows your body to refuel and will help get you focused for the upcoming week. Many times after going through a day of all cheat meals you will find that you cannot wait to get back to eating real foods. The combination of six days of healthy eating and one day of cheat meals works perfectly with timing and satisfying your cravings. Asking someone to cut out all junk food for 30 days is a daunting task. Asking someone, however, to eat healthy for six days at a time is something we all can do. Plus it brings amazing results.
How should I cheat?
Well, you just do it. You got out and eat everything that you want. If you have been feeling like pancakes with extra maple syrup, by all means order it. If you then feel like a pizza (something that is a must for my cheat day), order it and finish the whole thing guilt free. You should not feel at all guilty during your cheat day. We know that it works to your advantage, so enjoy it.
Now even though it is your cheat day, this does not mean you should go and purposely make yourself sick by having a dozen donuts, ten candy bars, and two extra large pizzas. Simply eat as you normally would and enjoy the day. After eating healthy foods for the previous six days, you deserve to a day to eat what you love.
Cheat Day Example Week
I am sure you are finding out that this eating style is quite simple. I figured, however, that I would add in a short nutrition description of what the cheat day plan may look like. In our example, Saturday is going to be our cheat day:
Focus all your meals on eating real food: good sources of protein, healthy fats, and lots of vegetables. Then depending on your goals, you should incorporate your carbohydrates. As we have learned, the best time to have your carbs is within 30 minutes after an intense workout. For those looking to add size, you can add in more carbs throughout the day. It is best however to keep them around workout times (2-4 hours before and within 30 minutes after).
Throughout the week, you should be eating when you are hungry and until you are satisfied. Remember, it will do you no good to starve your body of the nutrients it needs. By eating the right foods, your body will respond perfectly and start burning fat.
Breakfast: 4 eggs, broccoli, asparagus, avocado
Early Lunch: Chicken breast, stir fried veggies in grass fed butter
Lunch: Grass fed beef patty, veggies, guacamole, black beans, handful of almonds
Post Workout: Protein shake, banana, oatmeal. Chicken breast, veggies
Dinner: Chicken breast, asparagus, broccoli stir fried in grass fed butter
This is just one example of what a day may look like. There are plenty of healthy meals to choose from. Find a few that work for you and stick with them.
After focusing on eating healthy for the previous six days, it is time for your cheat day:
Your cheat day is here! Go crazy, simple as that. Eat whatever your heart desires and do it guilt free. Don’t you just love the fact that you can eat some donuts, a pizza, and a burger and fries and know that its working to your advantage? Pretty sweet…
Well that is all that needs to be said about your cheat day, go enjoy it.
In part three of our series, I will be covering how you can maximize your cheat days and I will give you some more tips on how to go about your cheat day extravaganza!
Questions or Comments?
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