Have you ever thought of sneaking that midnight snack while you’re on a diet? Don’t worry, you are not alone. For some reason, people who go on diets are known for doing a few sneaks in which they call it cheat day. Based on the choice of words, it is an actual thing that happens commonly to people who have strict diets, they think of those days as a means to reward themselves after being a good follower of whatever diet regimen they are doing. Although there are a few specific diets that allow these extra treats during the procedure, will it work the same with the diet that is very well appreciated these days which is the ketogenic diet?
In this article, we will have a clear understanding of what a cheat day really is, how it affects certain diets, and if it is acceptable for those who are going through ketogenic diets.
WILL A FEW CHEAT DAYS HURT YOUR DIET?
If you ever plan to go on a diet, you must be prepared to face the consequences which include being very disciplined with your food consumption and at the same time you need to deal with all the restrictions and limitations. In short, you need to have that one of a kind dedication and seriousness to achieve your desired results in the end. However, we are in fact all just humans. Sometimes, we get too weary from the repetitive process and we tend to miss what we previously have; the same concept may be applicable to diet regimens and all the restrictions that come with them.
Thankfully, cheat days were discovered where it serves as an oasis for some people. It is an oasis in such a way that it becomes their hope to be able to eat the previous foods they were allowed to eat before they began their journeys with diet. Usually, they make way for cheat days or meals once a week or twice a month, depending on each person. This is also their means to slowly adjust to their new diet and lifestyle because some of them think that it is unbearable to just stick to the diet all the time, so they go for a few treats that they can enjoy.
The Real Meaning of Cheat Days or Meals
No, cheat days do not necessarily mean that you can eat whatever you want to. Maybe you could if you plan on doing a complete stop to your diet afterward. Meals that are eaten during cheat days, or which are called as the cheat meals, are still considered to be a part of the diet regimen as they must also be calculated and controlled at the same time. Who would want to put to waste the weeks and months that they already sacrificed for the sake of their diets, right?
The main thought regarding cheat days is that they are designed to be like treats or rewards for a job well done. It is just like a gift to yourself for enduring those days by following your supposed diet routine. Also by giving occasional treats to themselves, it can become their motivation to continue with the routine because they will be able to look forward to the next few cheat days that they will encounter. Therefore, cheat meals are referred to as a reward-based strategy in dieting that is oftentimes applied to most diet regimens to give their followers little but meaningful motivations to continue with the routine.
Luckily for those who are doing certain diets, some of them are allowed to eat any food they want despite their calorie count. For others, they can freely choose their meal ideas for a whole day without worrying about what nutrients they intake and they can even pick the foods based on their preference and cravings. While there are still some people who prefer to keep their cheat days low-key by still being considerate with their overall diet, this just means that they are determined to reach their goals and at the same time be a little more kind to their bodies by satisfying a few food cravings. However, there may also be special cases out there including the ketogenic which do not condone cheat days as freely as others.
Keto Cheat Day: Is It Allowed?
If you think a slice of cake will not hurt your keto diet if you ever attempt to get a bite, maybe you are wrong this time. You see, the keto diet is a very special kind of diet that involves strict principles that must be followed, or else all that hard work and the years you have struggled to stay in shape will just be gone. Always remember, keto diets are special cases and a lot more different when it comes to other diets that require the same low amount of carbohydrate intake.
Keto cheat day will knock you out of ketosis
No doubt that the snacks you’ll be munching will be full of carbohydrates like how desserts are made of sugar, so this sudden consumption will obviously affect your state of ketosis. For some people though, this is acceptable. It actually depends on the individual’s ketone levels, which means if there are enough in the body it may still be able to keep up with being in ketosis even while eating your keto cheat day meals. You can have your ketone levels measured through different tests like urine, breath, and blood tests but I would suggest that you stick to the blood test for more accurate results.
You may start gaining weight again
This one would be what any of us would love to avoid – gaining weight while on a diet. Arguments like “but she is also on a diet but she did not gain weight when she had her keto cheat day” are totally unacceptable because as previously mentioned, the ketogenic diet is completely diet. In a keto diet, the individual must be strict with carb intake because they must achieve the state of ketosis wherein the fats are used as the energy sources instead of the usual carbs. Just imagine how you stocked up on your fats while on the keto diet and you suddenly thought of eating a whole chocolate cake by yourself, the body will become compromised. Also, the sudden intake of carbs will definitely put the body back into storing fats and that’s how the weight will start to increase again.
Keto cheat day may damage blood vessels
Sadly, there is this possibility that the sudden change in diet routine may affect the body and end up with results of more serious health conditions.
There was a study conducted wherein a group of men was asked to do a ketogenic diet for a whole week until they achieve being in ketosis. They were indeed successful with the ketosis part, but on the day after the week of the keto diet, they were given a drink that contains about 75 grams of glucose. The result? Their glucose intolerance became impaired and there were clear signs of inflammation. And the worst thing is that the walls of blood vessels called the endothelial cells were actually damaged because of the sudden surge of carbohydrate intake.