During dieting, your consumption of calories and carbohydrates is low hence your body will start to burn more calories than it is receiving. Over time, the body’s metabolism will drop, to strike a balance between calories-in and calories-out hence the importance of a intermittent fasting cheat day. Reduced caloric intake creates an energy deficit and controls the hormone insulin which stimulates hunger and promotes fat storage. Lower levels of insulin will hence lead to the burning of stored fat.
So how to keep the metabolism from dropping — an intermittent fasting cheat day.
A drop in metabolism is not good especially when the point of dieting is to lose fat. This is where a intermittent fasting cheat day comes in. The function of a cheat day is to interrupt the slow-down in metabolism. This involves breaking free from the regular dieting routine of low caloric intake and instead of consuming a high calories diet on that day– the intermittent fasting cheat day comes in.
The body is tricked into believing that it is getting enough calories hence leading to an increase in metabolism. Besides, dieting leads to reduced levels of thyroid hormone and leptin; two hormones which play a fundamental role in the burning of fat. An intermittent fasting cheat day serves to restore these hormones to normal levels. So, after days of observing a strict and healthy diet, you pick that one day in a week where you take the foods you’ve been restricting yourself from all in a bid to reset your metabolism so as to facilitate weight loss. Therefore, the occasional intermittent fasting cheat day. Are an important component of weight loss and fitness?
However, intermittent fasting cheat day can be an epic fail when it is associated with overeating and when it leads to addiction to “unhealthy” foods which beats the point of dieting.
Here are 6 tips to a successful intermittent fasting cheat day
1. Avoid overeating.
After a week of sticking to a strict diet, there is always the temptation to get stuffed on your intermittent fasting cheat day. You need to stop eating the moment you get full or before you get full. Take your time with the food; this way you will easily know when you are full. Also, don’t attempt to satisfy all your cravings for one week. Just identify one need and attend to it.
You can do this in a couple of ways;
A. Try size proportion.
B. Eat slowly
C. Dish up a small plate.
D. After you eat start keeping and consuming water till the next meal.
Moreover, you need to avoid buffets. Though they may help you satisfy your cravings all at once, they promote overeating.
2. Stay hydrated, this cannot be mentioned enough.
On your intermittent fasting cheat day, it is advisable to drink water especially during and after the cheat meal. Water will help you feel full faster hence preventing you from overeating. Water also reduces incidences of waking up with a dry mouth and an intermittent fasting cheat day hangover, cannot be mentioned enough, because it is the first thing we forget.
3. Make it a cheat meal .
More often than not, a intermittent fasting cheat day is associated with lifting the ban on restricted foods the whole day. Having a full day to go back to your “bad” foods can lead to overeating which promotes relapses. I like to call it falling off the wagon and like an alcoholic this can be bad.
To avoid this, just have one meal on your intermittent fasting cheat day. Just one meal and your intermittent fasting cheat day is over. It works!
4. Cheat healthy.
You just increase that quantity of the typically eaten “good” foods. It makes no sense to eat healthy for a week then have that one day when you have the license to do otherwise. A intermittent fasting cheat day isn’t a call to up the junk food.
A cheat meal should be nutritious as opposed to meals with empty calories. Your cheat meal should check for proteins, carbohydrates, and fats. However, you need to avoid a diet high in fat because fat isn’t as effective in increasing your levels of leptin. A high carbohydrate and moderate protein meal are recommended because carbs are very efficient in increasing leptin levels which in turn increases metabolism while proteins have a greater impact on satiety.
5. Create a calorie buffer.
Don’t head into your intermittent fasting cheat day all famished? Before the meal, you should eat a high-quality meal rich in protein preferably with a low starch fiber. Protein will promote satisfaction while the fiber will slow down digestion. When the cheat time comes, you will be having some carbohydrates and fats in storage.
6. Get back to your dieting routine.
It is called an intermittent fasting cheat day or a cheat meal, not a cheat week. After you are done with your cheat meal, you need to get back to dieting as soon as possible. This prevents cases of relapses. This is achieved by making sure you dispose of all the leftovers of your cheat meal.
An intermittent fasting cheat day shouldn’t be seen as an off-day that is characterized by overindulgence. Instead, it needs to be appreciated as a sustainable approach to helping dieters attain a particular health outcome.
Remember intermittent fasting should be a lifestyle change not a 6 day change.