cheat day

How to get over the guilt of a cheat day?

This post is for those who have been or are about to get on a diet; those who are eat in tears and shame; and those who purge after every meal.

In retrospect, I believe none of us deserve to get stuck in such an uncomfortable and excruciating situation.

This procedure below is the result of years of experience from my own weight obsession.

Step 1: The right mindset

Cheat is not necessarily bad.

On the contrary, having a cheat meal or even a cheat day once in a while can help with your weight loss attempt.

It is normal that after an extended period of extreme calorie deficit, your body adapts to the reduced energy intake. As a result, your metabolism slows down. Consequently, you end up losing insignificant weight, sometimes falling into survival mode.

To deal with this problem, dieters and athletes opt for “cheating” to trick the bodies into thinking that they are still eating an adequate amount of food. This temporarily accelerates their metabolism and improve weight loss efficiency.

It’s never too late to stop eating.

No matter how huge and fatty a feast is, it is almost impossible to gain gross fat immediately. The increasing number you see on the scale is the result of water bloating. If you are susceptible to bloating, you may even gain from 5 to 8 pounds on the next day.

But don’t get upset right away because it only takes a few days for you to get back to the normal weight, as long as you maintain a balanced diet and keep your body moving.

Step 2: Act!

Never starve yourself.

You may reduce your portion or eat more vegetables on the day after cheating. However, the last thing you want to do is to skip meals.

I used to try this several times by skipping breakfasts and lunches. Unsurprisingly, at the end of the day, I was so hungry that I binged eating for the whole evening.

To make the matter worse, skipping meals does harm to both your digestive system and your overall health.

Drink more water

This is one of the most effective way to deal with a cheat day. There are three main benefits of increasing your water intake

  • Ease hunger
  • Boost metabolism
  • Better mentality

But how to drink and when to drink are as important as how much water to consume.

Since water is a decisive element in losing weight, I will dedicate another post to elaborating on how to drink water properly.

Exercise moderately

In the past, after every cheat day, I rushed to the gym and worked out like a beast to “wash the guilt and shame” off.

Then, I realized such punishment only made me resent the vicious cycle of eating and working out even more.

Overexercising is certainly not a solution. If you are full to the brim, try some bodyweight exercises or go for a walk.

Stress won’t help.

As your body perceives stress, your adrenal glands make and release the hormone cortisol into your bloodstream. Often called the “stress hormone,” cortisol causes an increase in your heart rate and blood pressure. It’s your natural “flight or fight” response that has kept humans alive for thousands of years.

Plan you cheat smartly in advance.

Feeling almost exhausted after every cheat meal, I decided to make some ‘preventions’.

In cheat day, I am more fastidious about what to eat and where to eat, just to make sure that my meal is full of nutrients and joy.

For instance, I am the biggest fan of carb, especially when I’m on period. As shown in the picture below, I was enjoying my lunch at an Italian – Japan fusion restaurant. The dishes appear to be fast food but they are made from less unhealthy ingredients and have less fatty seasoning.

Step 3: Forgive

Although sometimes I do indulge myself a little bit, I understand that binge eating is a symptom of lack of nutrients. Or it may signify some other psychological issue.

This bloating shall pass. Your weight shall return to normal.

Everything will be okay.

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