Why having a cheat day can help you lose weight
By Chelsey Smullen
“Cheat Day” – Just the idea of eating whatever you want seems counterintuitive to any New Year’s weight loss goals you might have for 2018, but consider why it can work for you.
It keeps you motivated.
We all know how New Year’s resolutions go – the first two weeks of January you do it all: eating kale for every meal, running for hours on the treadmill, taking 20 vitamins each morning, etc. Then, before the month is over, you’re back to eating a whole pizza and taking a 4-hour nap afterwards.
Why is it so hard to start new healthy habits? One problem is a lack of motivation. Especially in the dead of winter, it’s nearly impossible to keep a good thing going without it.
Having a cheat day gives you something to look forward to, and your goals will seem easier to reach. Treat yourself after a couple weeks of eating well, and you’ll want to eat well again.
It makes a diet realistic.
Depriving yourself with no end goal in sight just doesn’t work. Everyone breaks a diet eventually, but having a cheat day makes it seem part of the “plan.” You’re less likely to feel guilty and give up.
If your resolutions include building good habits and breaking bad ones, you want a plan that will work for you in the long-term. Making room for your favorite treat or meal can give you the willpower to make healthy choices the rest of the time.
A healthy cheat day is even better.
Not all cheat days are created equal. If your cheat meal can include lots of protein and fresh veggies, while still tasting delicious, then, even better!
That’s why a hot bowl of BBQ from Lee’s Mongolian could be the perfect choice for cheat day. It’s delicious, comforting, even nostalgic. And yet, when you pile on the mushrooms, garlic, tomatoes, carrots, sprouts, and baby corn – it hardly counts as a cheat meal at all. You get the best of both worlds – your favorite meal and the willpower eat kale tomorrow.
So try adding a cheat day in your weight loss plan this year, and see if you just don’t reach those goals in 2018.