We will introduce the effects of cheat days, how to overcome the stagnation that is common in diets, how to do it, frequency, calorie intake, what to eat and what not to eat, and precautions. Incorporate cheat days correctly to release stress during dieting and escape from a long stagnation period!
Table of contents
- What causes diet plateaus?
- What is a cheat day (cheat day)?
- Benefits of cheat days
- The correct way and implementation method of cheat day (cheat day)
- About cheat day (cheat day) meals
- Cheat Day (Cheat Day) Precautions
- How to get out of a long diet plateau
- Let’s get over the diet plateau by incorporating a cheat day!
What causes diet plateaus?
If you go on a diet, you will lose weight as much as you worked hard, but after a while there will come a time when the weight loss effect will be less effective. That is the “stagnation period” that many dieters face.
It’s hard not to get results even if you try hard because you want to lose weight. So why does this stagnation occur?
The cause of the stagnation period of the diet is “homeostasis”
When we restrict the amount of food we eat, our body judges it to be in a state of starvation and works to keep blood sugar levels and blood oxygen levels constant even with less energy and nutrients. Then, in order to compensate for the lack of energy, the body will try to store fat to prevent excessive weight loss. This is called “homeostasis”, and it is said that this function causes a plateau in dieting.
The rate of nutrient absorption increases, and the body tries to store energy and water.
During the plateau, the body works to efficiently store energy and water even with a small amount of food. In addition, the amount of calories consumed is reduced and the energy saving mode is activated, so even if you follow the same dietary restrictions as before, you will not see any weight loss.
How long is the diet stagnation period?
It is said that the stagnation period often comes about a month after starting the diet. It is said that if you lose 5% of your weight, you will likely enter a plateau. Once you enter a plateau, it lasts for a few weeks to a month, and when your body gets used to it, the plateau will come to an end.
What is a cheat day (cheat day)?
Cheat days are one of the ways to get out of the diet stagnation period. It’s common to feel like you’re just trying to put up with your diet, but cheat days can also be a fun way to get through your diet.
Benefits of cheat days
From here, we will introduce the benefits of cheat days to escape the diet stagnation period.
I introduced that when you are on a diet, your body goes into energy saving mode and misunderstands that you are in a state of starvation, which is the reason for the stagnation period. The purpose of the cheat day is to give them the illusion that they are well nourished. “Cheat” means “to cheat” in English.
Therefore, it is said that by inserting a “cheat day”, the energy saving mode that was saved during the diet stagnation period will be canceled, and the metabolic rate will increase, making it easier to lose weight.
Relieve stress while dieting
During the diet, there are many scenes that you have to endure, such as restricting carbohydrates and avoiding lipids. If you continue to be patient, stress builds up and causes you to overeat.
Setting up a cheat day will also help you maintain your motivation to continue your diet.
During a diet, the content of meals is also restricted, so nutrients that tend to be deficient will come out. It is also an advantage that you can adjust your nutritional status by ingesting nutrients that are lacking during your diet on a cheat day.
The correct way and implementation method of cheat day (cheat day)
How can I incorporate cheat days into my diet? Here’s how to do a cheat day.
[How to have a cheat day 1] Only have one cheat day
Cheat day is only for one day. It’s a relief from the stress of everyday life, and it’s easy to want to continue for days, but think of it as a one-day-only treat and finish it in one day. Don’t forget to immediately return to your diet diet the day after your cheat day!
[Cheat Day Method 2] Once every 1-2 weeks
A good frequency for setting up a cheat day is once a week or once every two weeks. If you set it on a whim, you may end up creating cheat days several days a week. It is recommended to set a schedule for when to have a cheat day first, such as “Make every Sunday a cheat day”, as it will be easy to remember and also a goal.
[How to have a cheat day 3] Enjoy with friends
For cheat day meals, we recommend going out with friends rather than alone. Eating out with close friends will make you feel even more delicious than usual, and it should be a good stress reliever. By spending a fun cheat day, you will be motivated to diet from the next day.
[How to do a cheat day 4] Do it according to changes in weight
If the cheat day is successful, it may be a trigger to get out of the diet stagnation period. The plateau is something that comes up again and again during the diet. It’s also a good idea to stop cheat days while you’re losing weight, and start cheat days again when you’re no longer losing weight.
About cheat day (cheat day) meals
I’m curious about the meal on the day of the cheat day. Click here to learn more about cheat day meals.
Approximate calorie intake for cheat days
If you are worried about eating without worrying about calorie intake just because it is a cheat day, it is a good idea to set a rough upper limit.
The guideline for calorie intake on a cheat day is said to be “body weight x 40 kcal”. If you are 50kg, let’s use the upper limit of 2000kcal as a guide.
What to eat on cheat day (cheat day)
On cheat days, you can basically eat whatever you want. This is the only day when you can eat high-calorie foods such as deep-fried foods, sweets, and snacks. Just don’t forget to never make it a “bad eating day”. Enjoy your cheat day.
If you usually refrain from carbohydrates for dieting, it is recommended to eat on a cheat day. In addition to this, if you try to eat any food or ingredients that you are holding back, you will be able to satisfy your appetite that you usually hold back.
Basically, you can eat whatever you like, but if you can’t decide what to eat, please refer to the recommended meals below.
- Meat such as yakiniku and steak
Meat contains a lot of protein, so people who are doing muscle training want to actively eat it. If you want to eat something sweet, you can also take in vitamins, minerals, and dietary fiber by choosing fruits.
Curry contains many spices, and it is recommended because it can be expected to have the effect of increasing metabolism and regulating the intestinal environment.
Foods you shouldn’t eat
Foods that should not be eaten include cakes and pastries with plenty of fresh cream, French fries, potato chips, and other foods high in fat and sugar.
It’s not that you can’t eat it, but it’s safe to be careful not to eat too much.
What do you eat the day after a cheat day? Is fasting NG?
The day after your cheat day, go back to your regular diet. Some people fast to adjust the calories they consume on cheat days, but fasting is NG.
If you fast, you will turn on the starvation switch that was reset by the cheat day. Also, if you repeat cheat days and fasting, your body will be able to absorb fat more easily, and you may end up gaining weight.
It is a good idea to try to eat a healthy diet centered on vegetables and protein, with fewer calories than usual.
Cheat Day (Cheat Day) Precautions
Incorrect cheat days can lead to weight gain and diet failure. Be careful of the following things.
[Cheat day precaution 1] Don’t panic if you gain weight the next day
If you eat a lot on a cheat day, you will gain weight the next day. But this is a matter of course, so there is no need to panic or give up here. If you follow the usual diet restrictions from the next day, the weight will eventually come back.
[Cheat day precaution 2] Eat calorie evenly with 3 meals
Even if you can eat as much as you like, eating a large amount of food in one meal is overkill. Eat three meals a day to get your calories evenly.
[Cheat day precaution 3] Do it after losing some weight
Women with a body fat percentage of 35% or more and men with a body fat percentage of 25% or more are said to have little effect on cheat days. Therefore, it is a good idea to continue the diet steadily until the body fat percentage falls below this figure.
[Cheat Day Precautions 4] Refrain from alcohol
It is recommended to avoid alcohol as much as possible on the day of the cheat day. This is because excessive alcohol consumption inhibits the decomposition of fat.
You don’t have to quit drinking completely, but remember that it’s best not to drink too much.
[Cheat day precaution 5] Consider whether it is necessary in the first place
Cheat days are not a must for everyone on a diet. If you haven’t hit a diet plateau, you don’t need a cheat day.
Also, if you are just starting your diet or if you haven’t lost much weight, you probably don’t need a cheat day. It’s a good idea to continue the diet for a while and see how it goes, then decide if you need a cheat day.
How to get out of a long diet plateau
If you don’t lose weight even if you try a diet, your motivation will drop and you will want to give up. However, this happens to everyone, so getting out of the plateau is also the key to a successful diet.
Here’s how to get out of a long diet plateau. Please practice it together with cheat day.
[How to deal with the stagnation period 1] Review to a balanced diet
During the diet stagnation period, the brain is under the illusion that “nutrition is insufficient”. That is why it is so important to eat a well-balanced diet. Avoid excessive dietary restrictions and unbalanced meals, and be sure to review your overall diet.
[How to deal with the plateau 2] Incorporate aerobic exercise
Aerobic exercise is recommended for exercise during dieting. When you do aerobic exercise, the sugar in your body becomes insufficient, so you try to make energy from fat accumulated in your body. In other words, this leads to fat burning. Therefore, even if your diet is stagnating, you can continue to do aerobic exercise such as walking to reduce fat even if your weight does not change.
[How to deal with the stagnation period 3] Try changing the content of exercise and training
It’s also a good idea to review the exercise and training you’ve been doing during your diet. Even if you think it’s hard at first, your body may gradually get used to it. In order to refresh your mood, try incorporating different training or increasing the load.
[How to deal with the plateau 4] Record your daily meals
There is a weight loss method called “recording diet” in which you record your daily meals like a diary. In the same way, it is one means to take notes of the contents of the meal. If you write down everything you ate in a day, you may find yourself thinking, “I’m eating a lot more than I expected,” or “I might be able to put up with this snack.” As part of reviewing your diet, you might want to start a food diary.
[How to deal with the plateau 5] Increase muscle mass with muscle training
Basal metabolism is the minimum amount of energy we need to maintain our body temperature, keep our heart pumping, breathe, and keep us alive. The higher your basal metabolic rate, the easier it is to burn calories, so you should work hard to increase your basal metabolism during the stagnant period. What you need is muscle mass. The more muscle mass you have, the higher your basal metabolism will be, so let’s incorporate muscle training.
[How to deal with the stagnation period 6] Visualize the target image
In order to overcome the stagnation period when many people are frustrated with dieting, it is also effective to reconfirm the purpose and goals of dieting by yourself. Find out what kind of body line you want to achieve by dieting, find a person you admire, look for clothes you want to wear, and expand your image of when your diet is successful.
[How to deal with the stagnation period 7] Introduction of cheat day. make a diet rest day
A stagnation period when it becomes difficult to maintain motivation for dieting. To get through this, you need adequate rest. Take a break from training and give your body and mind a rest.
Also, as a way to get out of the stagnation period, many people are adopting the “cheat day” introduced above.
Let’s get over the diet plateau by incorporating a cheat day!
Daily weight management is important in order to use cheat days to lead your diet to success. By keeping track of how much weight you’ve changed each day, you’ll be able to incorporate cheat days at the right times. Everyone has a diet stagnation period, so let’s get over it without giving up!