Should Your Low Carb Diet Have a Cheat Day?
Low carb diets and many other similar diets can be stressful after a certain amount of time. That’s just normal for almost everyone. A popular way around the stress of changing and limiting their typical comfort foods to low carb or limited options is to incorporate a cheat day.
Cheat days are uncertain in how you decide to use them, because they can either help you progress along your regimen, or be detrimental to your success. First, take a second to realize your level of comfort with not giving into temptation when it comes to cheating on meals.
Are you the type who would give in easily and grab that extra dessert, or be the one who could go months without ever eyeing any junk food? If you don’t do well for long periods of time without thinking of cheating a meal, go ahead and give yourself a regular cheat day in the week, month, or however long or short you need it.
This will lower the stress causing you to give in to those urges to eat when you shouldn’t and let you have a more manageable diet fit for you. If you can go long periods of time without giving in to wanting something unhealthy, then maybe you shouldn’t risk adding in a cheat meal.
You’re doing great and making the progress you want. Maybe it’s fine to get one cheat meal in on a special occasion, but don’t make it a regular thing if you’re doing fine without it.
Cheat meals are a mental coping tool to tell yourself, “Okay, I’ll eat bad this time, but right after that, I’m going back to my low carb regimen.” Adding unnecessary changes that don’t benefit you, unlike it does for the people who use it to bounce back without feeling like they are risking losing their mental motivation, isn’t as useful to you.
The first set of people who benefit from it use it to stay in their eating habits and slowly improve. The second group of people who are already doing good, but want to see if it would hurt to add a cheat day, are slowing their results, and risk slipping into more and more comfortable eating habits.
A cheat meal’s only purpose is to support stress management when following a low carb or any other type of diet. If a cheat day will lower your stress, helping you to stick with your low carb plan, then you can benefit from a cheat day.