weight loss

The Case for Indulging on Your Day Off

Hey Angels and Alphas,

If you’re like most dieters, your weekdays are characterized by strict diets and limited eating, followed by an anything-goes weekend of buffets and cheat days. That way, you can justify the indulgent side of your personality on the weekend and feel guiltless about it because it’s just one day (or two) out of the entire week. However, what you may not realize about this habit is that it might not be helping you reach your goals at all.

How many calories should you eat on your rest day?

Indulgences are meant to feel good. So, if you’re eating candy as a means of dealing with stress, you should rethink that strategy. However, if you’re using sweets and other indulgent items like potato chips and chocolate to satisfy your sweet tooth or keep your cravings at bay while dieting – there’s nothing wrong with having them on occasion. 

The key is moderation – not going overboard when it’s not necessary. Eating too many calories will cause all the hard work of dieting to be undone, so take the day off now and then and enjoy some of your favorite foods in moderation.

How much sugar, fat, protein and alcohol are OK in moderation?

It can be challenging to determine exactly how much sugar, fat, protein and alcohol is a healthy amount in moderation. We have to remember that dieting is about total calorie balance. You should never starve yourself or go without food. However, it’s still good to know your limits! 

Generally speaking, carbs should be consumed in moderation as they turn into sugar very quickly in the body and may cause you to crash in a few hours. Protein also takes longer to break down than carbs so it can also keep you feeling full longer.

What’s the verdict? Should we indulge more often?

Eating healthy may seem like a never-ending cycle, but it doesn’t have to be. We may not be able to change the fact that calorie counting is in our blood. What we can do is change the way we think about food and more importantly how often we indulge. There’s nothing wrong with eating a piece of cake or going out to eat after a workout. But the key is not making it a weekly tradition, because your health should always come first!

Which foods are worth splurging on and which aren’t?

Even though you don’t need as many calories on your day off, it doesn’t mean that you should deprive yourself completely. After all, if you haven’t been eating a lot lately (working out or taking care of a sick family member) it might be wise to replenish some of those nutrients by eating well and balanced. 

Indulging in a calorie-rich meal can actually keep your metabolism running at an efficient level throughout the day without snacking excessively between meals (although this could depend on your daily calorie budget). Since indulgent food has more calories than nutrient-rich foods like vegetables and whole grains, choose wisely when choosing your indulgences.

Is there anything else we can do to stay healthy without dieting all the time?

Who said you have to be strict with your diet every day? If you’re trying to maintain a caloric deficit and control your appetite, you may want to rethink depriving yourself of everything tasty. Restricting your diet is counterproductive because it often leads to more intense cravings and a cycle of binges.

The body needs nutrients from the outside world (i.e., those found in food) in order to function properly; cutting them out of your life too early may lead you down the path toward sickness or even death. Plus, restricted foods are usually the most delicious, meaning if you’re not eating something good, then what’s the point? It’s like eating nothing at all.

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