Last Updated on September 24, 2016 by Michael Brockbank
A lot of us have a hard time sticking to diet plans. Especially those who love foods and snacks like myself. I’ve seen people go into a full-blown panic attack because they indulged themselves for one day. I’ve also seen people get incredibly upset at themselves because they ate a cookie. Can one day of cheating really throw that much of a wrench into your goals?
Effects of Cheating On Your Body
Keep in mind that this is all based on personal experience and what I have learned thus far.
Cheating one day on your diet isn’t going to cause that much damage to your health. Of course this is also dependent on other conditions such as diabetes. But for most of us, a candy bar isn’t going to cause your weight to balloon back up after losing it.
Take me, for example. So far this week, I have lost five pounds. I’ve kept my calorie intake in the green and have been exercising every day. I also indulged myself on pizza the other night complete with teriyaki wings. What did this do to my diet? It gave me heart burn. That’s it. By keeping focus and continuing my goals the next day, I am still on task for losing weight.
Retraining the Body
Many diets, such as the Lean for Life diet, focus on retraining your metabolism to burn foods more efficiently. I’ve done this diet in the past, and I was quite pleased with the results. So, what happens when cheating one day on the diet? Do you lose momentum of correcting your metabolism?
For me, the answer is absolutely not. There were plenty of times when I indulged myself while still maintaining progress in the diet plan. However, some foods did give me an upset stomach or bouts with diarrhea.
For instance, staying away from grease and oils for a few weeks and than snacking on something like a McDonald’s double cheese burger causes your gall bladder to go into overdrive necessary to break down those components. In other words, park yourself on a toilet for a day or two because you won’t be doing much of anything else. At least that’s what happened to me.
Going Hog Wild
I don’t really see the problem with indulgence every once in a while as long as you don’t go gonzo with it. For instance, it’s very unlikely that a single chocolate-covered doughnut will add five pounds to your thighs. But eating an entire box in one sitting may cause you to feel like crap afterward.
If you plan on cheating on your diet, just don’t go overboard. Keep your snacking within reason. Have two Oreos instead of a whole row. Have a slice of pizza instead of three or four. It’s all about moderation and controlling how much of an indulgence you dive into.
Cheating becomes a problem when you’re unable to go back into a good routine. It’s when you start to cheat every day when it can start to affect your diet. At that point, why be on the diet to begin with?
Personally, I tend to fall of the wagon at least once a week. Not because I have absolutely no willpower, which seems to be the case in most things, but because I enjoy certain foods too much. I understand that if I deny myself certain things for too long, the temptation will just get worse.
I believe in being able to maintain a balance. This is how I can enjoy the things I like while still losing weight and promoting a healthier body. Not only can I satisfy my sweet tooth, but I also get the vitamins and minerals I need throughout the day.
Benefits of a Diet Plan
I’m not a big supporter of sticking with strict diet plans in order to lose weight. Myself, I simply reduce my caloric intake while increasing physical activity. But for others, it’s Adkins or Paleo diets that drive them.
Even though I am not a fan of diet plans, I do see how they can be beneficial for certain people. As long as you’re on one that can be helpful to your specific physique, there can be a great deal of good from following one.
Giving You Focus
Not everyone has the willpower to simply reduce portion sizes and throw healthier snacks in their daily routine. Diet plans can be helpful to keep your focus if you’re following a strict guideline. A lot of people relish in that kind of guidance for many things in life.
It’s the plan’s structure that gives it value to many. You’ll already have an idea of what you’ll eat today while sticking with specific recipes and food types. This focus can help prevent cheating on the diet.
However, it’s those rigorous routines that increase cravings in many situations. For example, denying a chocolate lover those goodies has potential to vastly increase his or her craving to the point of cheating with a Snickers.
The obvious point of being on a diet plan is increasing the health value of the food you’re eating. This is done in a variety of ways. Some diets, like mine, simply reduce your portion sizes while increasing fruits and vegetables. Others force you to abandon some kinds of foods altogether, such as the Paleo diet.
The main thing to focus on is providing your body with what it needs to function properly. It’s also important to reduce the things the body doesn’t need. For instance, sugars and carbohydrates can be good as long as you commit to greater physical activity. Otherwise, you need to reduce your intake.
Don’t Fret When Cheating on the Diet
Too many people get worked up over cheating on a diet. Some believe that an entire month’s worth of fitness can be spoiled by a single slice of cake. That’s what’s call an obsession. In reality, it would take an awful lot of bad foods to really screw up a good diet plan.
So, the next time you feel like having a Reece’s Peanut Butter cup, don’t go into a panic. In the grand scheme of things, cheating mildly on a diet isn’t going to put you into a downward spiral.