How Cheat Days Affect Your Body

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During a diet, definition phase, or muscle building phase, strict dietary rules are often adhered to. This not only makes sense for long-term success but also plays a significant part in the success. Therefore, it is usually the case that a treat from the cake buffet, in summer ice cream, a pizza, a doner or a steak with the portion of fries, the chocolate bar or another sweet sin’ is not on the diet plan during these phases. Nevertheless, the desire for it does not disappear from our minds – goal back and forth.


What is a Cheat Day?

Cheat Days

As indicated above, Cheat Day is a cheating day. Your normal diet plan provides a certain number of calories for the day – when you lose weight, e..B. it is below your calorie requirement. On Cheat Day, you can cheat and treat yourself to something you’ve been looking for all week. It can be something savory or sweet, according to personal preference. You should not exceed your calculated calorie requirements massively, not to jeopardize long-term success, but the metabolism should be required on this day.


Why a Cheat Day?

You will get answers to this question several:

The food change is easier.
Many go on a diet with a radical diet change. Suddenly, everything found in the candy cupboard or has been put on the table as a rather high-calorie food component is forbidden. The chocolate bar in between or the piece of cake for coffee, your favorite (but unfortunately not low-calorie) pasta dish at the Italian next door, or the burger for beer. But such a radical step also carries the risk that at some point, you will fall over all the treats at the same time with cravings and ruin the successes of a few weeks within a few days. But if there is a cheat day in the week, one or more things from this category can be put on the table on that day, and you can satisfy your secret food wishes.


Your stamina is strengthened.
If you look forward to cheating during the week and don’t pinch everything, it is often easier to persevere on the other days. Most of the time, you are still full the day after and have no problems returning to the actual diet plan. You have enjoyed a different taste, maybe met up with friends and can take a nice memory into the next week. Also, a piece of cake with nuts, the barbecue with the neighbors, or an extensive breakfast with the loved one at home – once a week, you should treat yourself to this.


Metabolism is stimulated
Most know the unpleasant yo-yo effect after a diet. The kilos are quickly back on – with far less effort.
By combining strength training, stamina and/or HIIT training, and the appropriate diet, you are already setting a decisive course for things to change in this weight loss phase. The training also stimulates metabolism; special exercises can also help, and some nutritional variants or ingredients can positively affect the metabolism. Spices such as turmeric, chili, or ginger have a stimulating effect on your metabolism – so season vigorously, you don’t just care for the taste.
Cheat Day also stimulates metabolism due to increased food intake. This eventually lowers to a low level with a limited food intake, leading to the yo-yo effect after the diet phase. Cheat Day helps to keep the metabolism going, as a day with more calories always provides a stimulus.

However, there are some things to keep in mind during a cheat day. You don’t want to jeopardize your long-term success, so you should set some rules for the special day of the week.


What do you have to look out for during Cheat Day?

Generally speaking – even before the start of a food change, there are some things on the to-do list: – Set the target – set the time frame within which the goal is to be achieved decisively: calculate the calorie requirements of the day and the week Depending on the target, the last point, in particular, is very different. A calorie deficit is required for weight reduction, and the number of calories per day must be increased if you want more muscle mass.

We have two examples for you:

1. Decrease goal
– desk activity during the day, three times a week light to moderate training. Female, 32 years old, 1.70m tall, and 70kg heavy.
The basic turnover is about 1440 calories – with the work and the workout, the normal daily requirement is about 2100 on days without exercise and 2400/2500 calories on days without exercise – so the weekly balance should be 15600 and 15900 calories to keep the weight. To create a calorie deficit and thus contribute to weight loss, you can reduce the calorie count by up to 500kcal a day – in our example, we assume that our protagonist extends the workout by about 1h (so on training days usually consumes 2500 calories) and reduces her calorie intake by 300 calories a day. The weekly balance is then about 14200kcal.


2. Building
muscles – We stick to a similar protagonist, 32 years, 1.70 tall but only 60kg heavy. She also works at a desk and does 1h sport 3 times a week. Their basic turnover is slightly lower at 1380 calories – with work and training (strength training), their daily turnover is about 1900 calories on days without training and 2250 calories on days with exercise. To build muscle, she should exceed her calorie consumption by 200 – 300 calories – depending on the mass build-up. In this case, however, this should be done in consultation with a trainer and a corresponding training plan – to align the need and the distribution of the required macronutrients according to it – more fat mass should not be built up as far as possible.

In our example, we have chosen two females, but the principle can, of course, also be applied and calculated for men or athletes who are willing to make weight in mass-building phases.

In both cases, a cheat day is allowed, but the week’s calorie balance should not be overlooked. You can save an additional 100 calories. 6 days. For Example 1, this means – 2030kcal is allowed on average per day. If you take 100 off, it is still 1930 over 6 days – on Cheat Day, you are allowed to eat 2600 calories, and you still stay in your weekly calorie balance. The calorie balance can also be changed and adjusted by an appropriate workout during the week.

To not run the risk of falling back into old patterns, you should consciously choose certain things on Cheat Day and enjoy them. Again, the focus should be on a healthy and balanced diet, and unhealthy things should not necessarily be on the menu. So maybe the piece of fruit cake rather than the cream cake. But it can also be one or the other on such a day – if it stays in the calorie balance. If it is above that, the particularly unhealthy nutritionists accumulate more quickly in the unloved fat-pesters.

Whether you put in a cheat day 1 x a week or every 14 days, that depends entirely on you and your living environment. If you meet up with friends once a week and like to eat deliciously, you should try to make this day of the week his Cheat Day. The general motivation for losing weight suffers if you let yourself miss a nice evening or afternoon every week due to strict abstinence. The further away Cheat Day is, the greater the discipline must be.

Our tip: Try both ways and test for yourself personally, with which variant you have more success, and you can live better. After all, it is only if a change in diet is suitable for everyday use that can ultimately lead to success. From 0 to 100 is sometimes the more difficult way, so maybe from 0 to 50 and long-term success.

The question of whether 1 or 2 cheat days within 14 days makes sense can also be made by itself in the long run if you change your diet. Those who become increasingly friendly with their new nutrition concept and make it varied have usually become so accustomed after only a few weeks that many Cheat Day is simply forgotten, or you have no desire for completely unhealthy things on these days. If you eat a calorie-conscious diet, you will find greasy fries, a chocolate bar, or a piece of cream cake hefty in your stomach. The desire for lovely things becomes less or disappears if you have befriended fruit as a snack in the afternoon. Especially for athletes, protein bars, with low carbohydrates, sugars, and fats but an extra portion of protein, are a delicious alternative to the chocolate bar.

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