Cheating on your Diet… Is it the New Fidelity?

Hopefully cheating doesn’t play a part in your interpersonal relationships, but does it have a place in your weight loss plan? Whether you’re considering a weekly cheat meal or a full day of gluttonous bliss, many eating plans tout breaking your diet once a week. But what are the benefits, if any, to derailing your diet? Why is cheating important and is it necessary to maximize your results?

The Mental Diet Cheat

For many, the concept of cheating offers a much-needed break to following a rigorous food plan. If dieting is something new for you or something you struggle with, each meal can be an obstacle you have to fight to overcome. Simply knowing that a cheat meal is on your horizon can help you get through the moments of weakness. Many successful “cheaters” keep a diary of their cravings throughout the week and reach for those foods during their cheat meal. allows you to eat your favorite foods (especially the bad ones) at least once a week while keeping the splurge focused to a single time period and purpose.

The Physical Implications of Cheating on your Diet

An interesting process is engaged within the body when a restrictive/focused dieter transitions to a period of indulgence. The two primary hormones that impact our feelings of appetite and hunger are leptin and ghrelin; both affecting the human body in their own unique ways. Ultimately, an increase of leptin and a decrease of ghrelin will help your weight loss efforts (for more info on these hormones visit: ). Indulging during a cheat day causes an increase in the production of leptin, which in turn causes an increase in your metabolism. Ideally, this metabolic increase will cause your body to quickly metabolize the foods you just ate, preventing them from being stored in your body as fat. What’s more, as you diet leptin typically depletes within your body, and this jolt of foods can result in a jolt of positive leptin production that is vital to losing weight. The best leptin-producing foods are:
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  • Carbohydrates
  • Protein
  • Dietary Fat
  • Alcohol


The Verdict is In!

If done right, dieters can indulge in their favorite pasta dish or ice cream treat without denting the results of all the hard work of the previous week. So whether you believe in a full cheat day or a simple cheat meal, confusing your diet once a week (or every couple of weeks) may be way to maintain your sanity and make a long term commitment to eating healthy. As always, speak with your doctor before making changes to your diet or embarking on a weight loss program.