THERE’S one time in life when cheating is looked on as a not-so-bad thing, and that’s during your diet and fitness plan when you’re allowed one day to binge. Gym instructor Kingsley Gordon said cheat days are valuable, and will help to satisfy your cravings.
“After a while you will crave the things that you love once you start dieting, so that’s why you are allowed to have a cheat day,” Gordon said.
But getting approval for a cheat day doesn’t mean that you should go overboard, and Gordon said there are a few tips to take into consideration to ensure you don’t mess up your routine.
Here’s what to do, and what not to do on cheat days.
WHAT TO DO
Cheat only once or twice a month
Bad habits are hard to break. The more cheat days you have, the less effective your dietary plan will become. Certainly, it will be harder to burn calories and fat when you return to your regular exercise routine and dietary plan.
Eat in moderation
As the saying goes, “Too much of one thing is good for nothing”. Gordon suggested, therefore that chocolate lovers can have a side of a chocolate bar or two rows of it, while fried chicken lovers can have one or two pieces of chicken, for example.
Do food swaps
Cheat days do not have to be filled with unhealthy foods. If you are a chicken lover, you can try healthier ways of preparing chicken. Instead of having fried chicken which will require cooking oil, you can have it baked or jerked.
WHAT NOT TO DO
Don’t drink too much alcohol
“If you go overboard with it, you will put on some serious pounds,” Gordon said.
Excessive alcohol can cause weight gain as it prevents your body from burning fat. It can also increase your appetite.
Don’t be consumed by guilt
Relax! You are only cheating for a day, so don’t be too hard on yourself. Eat the box of French fries you’ve been longing for. You’ll return to your regular dietary plan the next day anyway.