Epic Cheat Day: Cheat Days Might Actually Be Good For You

Today I’m talking about cheat days. After dedicating myself (most of the time to a 90-day body transformation plan — see my results here) to 3 month’s worth of solid healthy eating, I decided to allow myself the most epic cheat day of all time. I’m talking UBER BINGE. I’m pretty sure I earned it and it was not a half-hearted affair. I managed to consume over 12,000 calories in one day. Not the type of 12K I would have been doing two months ago…

Below you’ll find a list of everything that passed my lips that day and above, video evidence of just how I managed to fit 7 days worth of calories in my belly (hint: I basically didn’t stop eating). Then I hope you’ll read my excuse. There is scientific evidence to suggest that cheat days might actually be good for you and that they might actually help you LOSE weight. But first”_

The Most Epic Cheat Day Of All Time

In a single day, I attempted to eat all the things I’d ”Émissed’ while I was on the plan (although I can’t say I miss them that much”_). This is what 12,000 calories looks like:

*BREAKFAST ”Ð 8AM*

  • 5 x blueberry pancakes with crՌme fraiche, maple syrup and BACON from Brew
  • 1 x Naked blueberry smoothie
  • 1 x mixed berry smoothie

*SNACK*

  • 1 x Whittard’s flaked hot chocolate with marshmallows and whipped cream
  • 2 x Bonne Maman chocolate galettes
  • 1 x Bonne Maman chocolate madeleine
  • 1 x Walkers shortbread biscuit

*BRUNCH*

  • 2 x Five Guys double bacon cheeseburgers & large fries
  • 3 x Five Guys sodas

*LUNCH*

  • 1 x GBK Taxi Driver burger
  • 1 x GBK sweet potato fries
  • 1 x GBK chocolate and peanut butter milkshake

*AFTERNOON TEA*

  • 1 x Brewdog Punk IPA
  • 1 x Brewdog Vagabond
  • 1 x Five Points IPA
  • 1 x Crabbies Ginger Beer Citrus Fruits Flavour
  • 1 x medium Pork Farms pork pie
  • 1 x bowl of ”ÉNacho Lasagne’ (Doritos, cheese, salsa)
  • Half a bag of Haribo Starmix
  • 1 x squirt of squirty cream
  • 1 x bowl of Tyrell’s crisps

*DINNER*

  • McDonald’s Quarterpounder (dirty little starter)
  • 2 x cocktails
  • Half a bottle of red wine
  • 400g steak at Gaucho to celebrate (with thick cut chips and creamy veg)
  • 2 x deep fried Oreos at Hotbox (you HAVE to try these!)
  • More cocktails and a shot
  • Dram of The Arran Malt 14 yo whisky
  • Half a pint of Ben & Jerry’s new blueberry cheesecake frozen yoghurt (YUM)

And the video evidence can be seen above.

After having consumed an ENTIRE WEEK’s worth of calories in 24 hours, surprise surprise: I felt dreadful. This was exacerbated by the fact that I’d switched from the healthiest diet I’ve ever been on to”_the unhealthiest I’ve ever been, overnight. The next morning I was knackered, out of breath and my trousers were tight. I must have put on about a kilo. It was the foodover from hell, complete with meat sweats and predictable remorse: “I’m never eating a gram of junk food in my life again.”

So, gluttony aside, why did I put myself through this? As I mentioned, there is evidence to suggest that cheat days or cheat meals can have a positive impact on your fitness. As long as you don’t take a cheat day to the extreme I clearly took it”_ Here’s the theory.

Cheat Days Are A Wake-up Call For Your Metabolism

When you decrease the number of calories you eat, as I did on this plan, your body notices. Your caveman brain wonders if your food supply is threatened and adapts to the shortfall by burning fewer calories. Your metabolism slows down, your progress on the weighing scales plateaus and you bash your head against a brick wall. Which doesn’t help, either. It’s one of the reasons everyone finds it hard and demotivating sticking to diets.

How your body does this a matter of complicated body chemistry (and some debate) but a simplistic way of thinking about it is hormonal sleight of hand. When you eat fewer calories than your body is used to, levels of the hormones that affect your appetite and metabolism ”Ð chemicals like leptin and ghrelin ”Ð change. Here’s a good article that explains the science and a study that backs it all up.The upshot is that you burn fewer calories and always crave a bag of Monster Munch after lunch.

By having the odd cheat day where you splurge out on calories you can manipulate those same hormones and trick your body into thinking everything is tickety-boo. It can help reverse any negative effects on metabolism, hunger and energy expenditure resulting from long-term low-carb dieting. Like I said, it’s a lot more complicated that this but I’m not a biologist ”Ð I’m just someone who wants to maintain a healthy weight while still ordering a burger with all the trimmings every now and again.

What next?

So it turns out cheat days can have a positive impact on your diet. That said, be careful not to a) overdo it ”Ð the above video is NOT the way to go (!!) ”Ð and b) do it all the time. A cheat day or a cheat meal should be a once a week occurrence, or even fewer, and not part of your daily regime. Otherwise you may as well give up your diet completely.

As for me, I’m dropping back into cycle one of the 90daysssplan I completed last month almost immediately so I’m not too worried about the extra wobbly bits I’ve gained (there are plenty ”Ð in just one night, can you believe it? Actually, after 12,000 cals I can). I’ll post up an article showing my progress beyond the 90daysssplan in a few months ”Ð only then will I know if I’m truly a changed man. And whilst I might have temporarily added some extra podge for now, at least I’ve achieved one thing; that was DEFINITELY the most EPIC cheat day of my life.

Video shot entirely on a GoPro HERO4. And a selfie stick.

Source


Comments to Epic Cheat Day: Cheat Days Might Actually Be Good For You

  • They don’t. Most just boost up the levels of cafefine in your body so that your metabolism is higher. The same effect can be done by drinking a couple cups of coffee.They are normally safe, but are not monitored well by the FDA and if you have any heart problems they can have serious effects.References :

    Welington 17/09/2015 7:07 am Reply

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