Can a cheat day help you with your weight loss efforts?
Changing your diet in the name of improved health and well-being can be a serious exercise in discipline and this is a hurdle that many fall at, never to get up again. But don't let this be you.
It's important to remember that no "short-cut" to better shape is worth your time - if that 'method' promises 'instant' results - avoid avoid avoid. Hard work and dedication are the two best things to embrace. I want to help you on your weight-loss journey and I'm going to share the concept of the "Cheat Day" with you.
REDUCE YOUR CALORIFIC INTAKE BELOW YOUR DAILY MAINTENANCE LEVEL TO LOSE WEIGHT
To fully appreciate the positives of a weekly cheat day it's useful to cover the basics of dietary weight loss. If your body burns 2000 calories per day just from functioning - that's breathing, eating, maintaining bodily processes,for example - you'll need to ingest less than that base amount to lose weight.
Eat 1800 a day, before exercising, and you've just cut 200 calories. It stands to reason then, if you consume more than this base amount without exercising, you will steadily gain weight.
THE EFFECTS OF A CLEAN DIET ON THE METABOLISM
Reducing your calorific intake to an amount that will result in weight loss will lower your metabolism - this is a natural bodily response - and your progress will eventually slow to a halt.
This is because the body thinks it's starving, which will also boost your appetite (increasing those near-irresistable urges for junk food). This is due to hormones and such but we don't need to cover this. Here's the low down.
INCORPORATE A CHEAT DAY FOR CONSISTENT RESULTS
This is very important guys - in order for the cheat day to work you'll need to have a disciplined diet for the other six days of the week. Now, here's the good news - in the name of progress, it is absolutely fine for you to have an overfeeding day where you eat whatever you wish. No, seriously, and how great is that?
Okay, so for those disciplined people out there walking that tough road of weight loss, I'm going to put a few guidelines in place to keep you on the straight and narrow. On your overfeeding day, you will naturally go for high-carb foods, and this is encouraged, but you must, must, must avoid fizzy drinks and foods with corn syrup (the latter is your absolute enemy).
Aim to ingest an extra 1000 calories than you normally would, provided you have been dedicated for the days of the week before. Remember though - no fizzy drinks and no corn syrup under any circumstances.
THE EFFECTS OF THE OVER EATING DAY ON BODY AND MIND
We have covered your body's reation to dieting - the metabolism slows down, and this is something you will wish to avoid because if it grinds to a halt your hard work will no longer bring good results. By incorporating one overfeeding day per week, you'll trick your body into thinking the food drought is over, which will send your metabolism rocketing to the stratosphere, which means less chance of fat storage.
It will also help to keep you committed by giving you something to look forward to. Weight loss is always going to take discipline, and that's a word you'll see me use often, but you're much more likely to succeed in the long run if you know you have an overfeeding day just around the corner.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT
To put your mind at ease, look at what I've proposed in this light - as an example, if you were to reduce your calorific intake by 750 per day, that would be 750 over 6 days, which would be a deficit of 4500 calories. Now if we add in your overeating day (remember guys, this is important - no soda and no corn syrup), during which you ingest an extra 1000 calories OVER your maintanence level, you'll still be at a deficit of 3500 calories by the end of the week, which will amount to a fantastic one pound of lost body fat.
QUICK RECAP OF THESE CHEAT DAY DIET TRICKS
- The over-eating day will only work if you have created a calorie deficit for the other six days of the week.
- Avoid SODA & CORN SYRUP foods.
- Aim for an extra 1000 calories on your cheat day.
There you go guys, a great way to keep the progress coming so your hard efforts pay off. I just want to emphasize again that fad diets are never a good idea, nor is starving yourself. You may well get results to start with but they will dry up and putting the weight back on is an inevitability.
The best way to weight loss is through smart eating, and regular, effective exercise. Keep up the hard work. Progress is just a step away.
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