Cheating on your diet isn't always a bad thing. When you're on a strict diet in an effort to lose weight, the occasional cheat day can actually boost your progress. It may seem counterintuitive, but research has shown that splurging every once in a while is not only OK but, in fact, beneficial.
Why You Need A Cheat Day
Losing weight is all about creating an energy deficit. This generally means significantly lowering your fat and carbohydrate intake. Consuming lean protein (think baked chicken and egg whites) and cutting way back on sources of bad carbs, such as bread and pasta, is key.
But there's a downside to limiting calories in such a way that this type of energy deficit is present. Your body begins to become accustomed to the calorie deficiency and it burns fewer of them in order to preserve energy. Taking an occasional break from calorie restrictions (in other words, cheating) causes your body to pick the calorie-burning speed back up.
In addition to slowing down the burning of calories, diets that limit fat often cause thyroid hormones and leptin levels to decline. Why is this a bad thing for shedding unwanted pounds? Because both of these directly affect your body's ability to burn fat. Going outside the confines of your diet on occasion can stabilize these levels.
Cheating On Your Diet The Right Way
So now that you understand the benefits of giving yourself a little break every once in a while, let's discuss how to go about doing this without causing a dietary disaster. Here are a few tips.
Dieting is hard, but it doesn't have to be impossible. Anything challenging is always easier with a support system on your side. To learn how personal trainer Ralph Roberts can help you stick to your plan and reach your fitness goals, reach out today.
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