For die hard gym rats or individuals who just started a diet, cheat days are a great way to subdue some of those hunger cravings quickly. Designed to keep someone focused on their diet, a cheat day has several benefits for your diet. It is very common for an individual to include a cheat day because they help provide a emotion release. There are several mental roadblocks that arise during a diet and it’s good to indulge in your temptations once in a while to allow yourself to stay focused during your diet. Another benefit of a cheat day is that they provide a big spark to your metabolism. One hormone called Leptin is secreted by fat cells and plays a critical part in maintaining your energy balance. When Leptin levels reach their threshold, it signals to your brain to stop and therefore creates that sensation of feeling full.
When Cheat Days Go Bad
On the other hand, cheat days could ultimately mean the end to your diet. Sometimes cheat days are taken to literal and are detrimental to your health. Called “The Abstinence-Violation Effect,” a lot of people end up losing complete control of their diets. Their cheat day ends up turning into a cheat week. In addition, many people may fall into a deep state of depression that might lead to worse habits. It is very important to set realistic guidelines for yourself during your cheat day to make sure you don’t push yourself too much.
Overall, cheat days can be beneficial to keeping you focused on your weight loss goals. Just remember that it’s called a cheat day, not a cheat week.