Whether you want to build muscle, lose a few pounds or want a more toned body – a cheat day belongs in every diet. We explain what a cheat day does for you and what you should pay attention to.
30% training, 70% nutrition. If you want to work on your body in a targeted manner, you need a nutritional schedule. And the best one with cheat days. why? Because they help you achieve your goal.
Cheat day – What is that?
A cheat day is a day when you don’t stick to the strict rules of your nutritional schedule, but just eat what you feel like . Sounds great? It is! A cheat day makes your nutritional schedule more bearable and ultimately helps you reach your goal.
That’s why you should cherish cheat days
1. Cheat days make you last better
Cake on a birthday, brunch with friends and Friday afternoon drinks with your colleagues. Have you said goodbye to this for a long time, in order to achieve your dream body? Not a good idea. Chances are that you will not keep this up for long and will fall back into your old patterns or a frustrated indifference.
You can best your cheat days plans . At least that way you know you can let your Sunday brunch go. Or that you can finally order beer and burger again during your regular drink on Thursday. Make these days your cheat days and you will keep everything going for longer!
The view on these cheat days makes it easy to keep it up on the other days. If you spontaneously choose a cheat day, try to go for healthy and responsible snacks!
2. Cheat days keep your metabolism going
If you eat fewer calories than you actually need for a long time, your metabolism will adjust. This means that your body switches to a permanent energy-saving mode, which slows down the speed of your basal metabolism. When you start eating more food again, the yo-yo effect is inevitable.
If you regularly have a cheat day, you will avoid this effect. It restarts your metabolism and stimulates your entire body. Plus, the extra carbs make you happier on a cheat day!
3. change in your diet? Cheat days make it easier.
Imagine that you have planned a cheat day, when you actually do n’t feel like cheating on that day and prefer to eat healthy . You can’t imagine? Surely it is very realistic. Over time, your head and body get used to your new diet and consider it normal. And if you already eat what you want to eat, why take another cheat day?
Cheat day – what to watch out for
1. Calculate weekly calorie balance
The most important point for a successful diet is and remains your calorie balance . If you want to build muscle, you need to eat more calories than you consume. The reverse applies if you want to lose weight.
For example, you want to lose weight and have calculated that you can eat 1,500 calories every day to reach your goal in 12 weeks. That makes 10,500 kcal per week. So if you only eat 1300 kcal for 6 days instead of 1500 you can eat 2700 kcal on a cheat day. Have fun!
By the way: If you don’t know how to calculate your calorie requirement for your goal, our calories calculator can help.
2. Treat yourself to what you really want
You shouldn’t use a cheat day to just put anything in your mouth. Listen to what you really feel like. And really enjoy it. Of course, it’s even better if you opt for healthy, responsible treats instead of fries and chocolate on a cheat day.
Find a cheat rhythm
Opinions differ on how often you should take a cheat day. Most say one cheat day per week . 6 days of discipline – 1 day of cheating. But others swear by 13 days of discipline – 1 day of cheating. Our tip: See what suits you best.
By only taking a cheat day every 2 weeks, you may reach your goal faster. But at the same time it requires more discipline and is therefore less easy to maintain.
Studies prove the success of cheat days
Skidmore College in New York conducted a study on cheat days over a 3-month period. The test subjects lost an average of 5 kilos and also unconsciously changed their diet in a positive way.
In some cases, this led to some of the test subjects getting so used to their new eating habits that they no longer needed a cheat day by the end of the 3 months. Healthy eating habits had become normal.
- A cheat day can help you reach your goal faster during a diet or muscle building phase.
- Cheat days make it easier to keep up with your nutritional schedule.
- A cheat day has to fit within your weekly calorie balance.
- You have to determine for yourself how often a cheat day is useful.