How to Ditch the Cheat Day Mentality for Good

Hey Angels and Alphas,

If you’re someone who follows the popular cheat day diet mentality, you probably have experienced this at some point in your life. 

After eating healthy, low-calorie foods during the week, you allow yourself to eat whatever you want on one designated day of the week, often called cheat day or free day or something similar to that effect. But why do people use cheat days and are they actually good for you? This article will help answer those questions and more.

The first step: Understanding the cheat day mentality

A lot of people think that in order to be healthy, they need to deprive themselves of all the foods they love. This couldn’t be further from the truth! In fact, studies have shown that restrictive diets are more likely to lead to binge eating and other unhealthy behaviors. 

So what’s the problem with cheat days? 

The problem is when people start relying on them too much. Some might only eat two or three meals a day and then just eat whatever on their cheat day because they don’t want to feel guilty about it. That may sound like fun at first, but eventually you’ll find yourself feeling lethargic, sluggish, out of shape and unhappy with your body. 

And if you’re relying on these types of breaks once a week or once every two weeks (or even less), you can also end up gaining weight because your body doesn’t know how to regulate its metabolism anymore without proper nourishment.

Step two: Evaluate your goal

It’s important to be honest with yourself about why you want to ditch the cheat day mentality. What is your goal? To be healthier? To lose weight? To feel better? Once you know your goal, you can start making a plan to transition into a sustainable routine. 

For example, if your goal is to feel better or lose weight, then you might want to try cutting out processed foods from your diet and slowly decreasing the number of days per week that you have a cheat meal. If your goal is simply to get more protein without taking in too many calories, then adding healthy proteins like tofu or quinoa might be more appropriate.

Step three: Create new habits

If you want to make lasting changes, you need to create new habits that support your goals. This means saying goodbye to your old cheat day ways and hello to a new, healthier routine. Here are the two things you have to keep in mind:

1. Set realistic goals. If you’re used to eating whatever you want, whenever you want, it’s not realistic to expect that you’ll be able to stick to a restrictive diet overnight. Give yourself some time to adjust by setting small, achievable goals. 

2. Find a healthy balance. It’s important to find a diet that works for you and that you can stick with long-term. This means finding a balance between healthy eating and indulging in your favourite foods. 

Step four: Get rid of bad habits

Bad habits can sabotage your diet and make it harder to stick to your healthy eating goals. If you’re trying to cut out cheat days, here are a few bad habits you should ditch:  

– Eating high-sugar snacks like candy bars or cake; 

– Eating all of your meals at fast food restaurants; 

– Eating all of your meals at buffets; and, 

– Drinking sugary drinks like soda or juice.

Step five: Make rules for yourself

Just like you made rules for your diet, make rules for your cheat days as well. For example, you might allow yourself to eat whatever you want one day a week, but on that day, you can’t eat more than 1,500 calories. Or you might allow yourself to eat whatever you want, but only until 6 p.m. This will help you stick to your diet and not go overboard on your cheat days.

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