June 26, 2018

Cheat Day vs Meal Planning

By Lisa Jane

I’ve seen so much on the internet about ‘cheat days’ within diets! The concept of a cheat day is: cut out any ‘bad’ food (and the definition of ‘bad’ will depend on the diet!) for the week and then have a ‘cheat’ day where you can eat anything you want so that you don’t feel deprived! What I don’t get is, what kind of lifestyle are you living where you need to ‘cheat’ on yourself with what you eat?

Google tells me that to cheat is to ‘act dishonestly or unfairly in order to gain an advantage’. So, by definition, if you are following a diet that involves ‘cheat’ days, you are essentially being dishonest with yourself! Surely that can’t be healthy on the mental side of things? In addition, you then go through the week feeling like you are depriving yourself and looking forward to cheat day where potentially, you are undoing any good you were doing towards reaching your goals! So, the ‘advantage’ in the equation is that you feel good for a day! In many cases, this is then quickly followed by beating yourself up because (1) you may have overdone it, (2) you now feel heavy and sluggish due to the change of food or (3) the ‘treats’ that you have just weren’t as satisfying as you were imaging!

My philosophy is that if you are eating wholesome foods for the majority, you can pretty much include anything else you fancy within your eating plan… in moderation! By taking on the approach of meal planning, you can include ‘treats’ in what you eat. By taking a bit of time to plan what you are going to eat on a daily or weekly basis, before you eat it, gives you more control of how much of something you will consume!

So give it a go! Take one or two days from next week’s schedule and sit down and plan what you will have for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks. When those days arrive, stick to the plan you made! After you finish the day, reflect on how you feel! I certainly don’t feel guilty about having that piece of cake at a party because I have planned my meals to allow me to have it!

Feel free to comment below and tell us how you went!


Lisa Jane

I believe in a holistic approach to health and fitness and making small, incremental changes to improve your lifestyle. It isn’t about how you stack up against everyone else, it's about how you feel about yourself! It’s more than your exercise or your food, it is your attitude and your well-being!

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