You’ve probably heard of the concept of a “cheat day”, which is a day that you break the rules of your chosen Way of Eating or diet in order to free yourself from your self-made constraints and not feel guilty. People that I know that do them have them set for once a week. Some people will have a set “cheat meal” instead of a cheat day, but have it regularly scheduled.
I’m really not a fan of this concept. There’s a few reasons for this. First, having an entire day filled with bad foods is disastrous for your metabolism. Here you are, finally getting your insulin resistance under control, and you bombard your clean system with trash. It’ll take days for your body to recover from your sugar binge, just in time for your next cheat day. And then you’ll wonder why you aren’t seeing progress on the scale!
Second, you’re just inviting your carb addiction to come back. Third, you fought through the keto flu, why would you want to purposefully kick yourself back out and make yourself miserable again?
The concept of a scheduled cheat day/meal is also very silly, much like how children seem to get candy at every turn. Remember how we used to only get cake on birthdays? Now people bring in cupcakes to work all the time, there are cupcake shops everywhere, and eating sugar constantly is the norm. Food is wonderful, delicious, and should be a great experience, but you shouldn’t need to run off and eat sugar to feel happy. Those are continued symptoms of your carb addiction, of not finding enough exciting low carb recipes, or not having figured out how to eat low carb in social settings. Don’t misdiagnose the real problem as being on “too restrictive of a diet” when you are simply being too picky or not communicating.
Are 100% of my meals low carb? No, but probably 98% of them are. I guard my ketosis very carefully, and even if I have a “bad food”, I never have enough to purposely mess with my ketosis. And I’d never have an entire day of eating bad foods. The worst I’ve done with going to a chinese buffet and eating crab rangoons. Cheat days shouldn’t be a regularly scheduled thing, it will bring you back to your old bad habits. You need to fix your food addiction.
If you’re feeling deprived on LCHF and feel like you need a cheat day, I’m betting you’re forgetting the “HF” part of the “LCHF”. Learn some new cooking techniques. Don’t allow yourself the low carb frankenfoods. Eat some real foods. If you keep your body properly fueled, it will be easy to say “no thanks” to cupcakes and cheats because you’ll know it doesn’t fuel your body properly.
What are your thoughts on cheat days/meals? Do you do them? I’d love to hear everyone’s opinions!