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Cheating on diet

Hi, I am currently on a cutting diet to lower by body fat percentage, but I have having trouble sticking to my diet, I often find myself cheating and then feel horrible afterwards. Could you help provide some sort of strategy or motivation to stop cheating, and when I do cheat how should I handle it? detox, extra cardio? Please help, Thank You.

Answer:

Hello and thanks for your question. It is never easy trying to make big changes to your diet and avoid the craving for the foods you used to eat. I believe it is important to still have the odd treat as part of an overall diet program, however it is important to make sure you control the consumption of those treats. I recommend that you actually introduce a cheat day into your diet. So rather than cheating at random, you allocate a single day, perhaps Saturday or Sunday as your cheat day and you allow your self to eat whatever you want on that day. You might be asking how is having a cheat day going to help with your diet? Well firstly having a day where you allow yourself your favourite foods, can help motivate you to stick to your diet plan during the week. Secondly a cheat day if planned well can actually help your lose weight. For example often when people start on diet, they try to reduce calories/fat/carbs significantly, this can cause a drop in your metabolism which reduces the rate at which you burn calories. This in turn can hinder your fat loss. By having a cheat day where you not only eat your favourite foods, but also consume more calories overall than on your diet days, you help keep your metabolism elevated and prevent stagnating in your diet. So to summarise keep your diet under control for 6 days of the week and then treat yourself on your cheat day. By doing this you will also help remove the horrible feeling that you have when you have cheated previously, as you know that you are helping your diet. One other thing I would suggest having read your profile, is that you consider reducing/avoiding your consumption of artificial sweeteners. Recent studies have shown that the brain can react to artificial sweeteners in just the same way as sugar, making the body release insulin. Not only that there is some suggestion that they may also increase your cravings for sweet foods. If you really cant avoid the use of sweeteners, then I would recommend you look at using natural low calories sweeteners like xylitol or stevia. Good luck.