So as we prepare for the weekend, I thought I’d take a quick moment to discuss the “cheat” day.
What is this, exactly?
Right. So a “cheat” day is typically one (1) day out of the week designated as a day during which, honestly, just about anything goes food-wise. Unfortunately, this concept has evolved over the past decade. It really started during the early 2000s when the Body for Life “thing” was really gaining traction. I’m sure it can be traced farther back than that, because the idea behind it is sound and probably has built a lot of huge physiques out there.
Here’s the concept as it is intended:
1. Sunday thru Friday (or some other six-day spread of choice), work out each day.
2. Sunday thru Friday, be extremely diligent about what and how often you eat.
3. Saturday (or which ever seventh day you choose), rest for recovery and eat whatever you feel like…but try to keep it reasonable (i.e. don’t go eat a horse, but half a pizza is pretty much fair game).
Here’s how I’ve seen a lot of casual dieters take this:
1. Work out when you can.
2. Sunday thru Friday, try your best to limit bad foods.
3. Saturday, eat whatever you feel like. Seriously…whatever and however much you want.
You can pretty much see where that could go quite badly for a lot of folks. For anyone!
So here’s what I suggest…
If you really want a day to “eat whatever you want,” be very careful about what you eat throughout the week. More importantly than what you eat is, arguably, how many calories you take in and how many you burn throughout the week. If you create a significant caloric deficit Sunday through Friday, then give your body a break and chill out on Saturday.
But if you just try to pretty much eat right throughout the week (and that’s okay for most people in my opinion), be sure to hit the gym at least four times a week and be content with maintaining your current body weight. If you want to lose body weight, create that deficit on at least six days. Two days of going over will destroy an entire week of effort for most people. Trust me…I know.
Still thinking about what to focus on next week. If you have any suggestions, please share them. Have a specific question? I’ll research the heck out of it and give you the smartest answer the Internet (and other professional resources) can provide. Until then…