Taking a Cheat Day Can Help in Losing Weight

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Image by Dan Wirdefalk from Pixabay

As the holiday season is just around the corner, people are traveling back to their homes in order to celebrate with their friends and families. Along with the talks, games, and family time, one of the biggest things most looks forward to the food. However, for some, the tables filled with different kinds of holiday delicacies can keep them from losing weight.

During the colder months, the majority of the people find it hard to maintain their usual diets and routines. As a result, weight gain is a common problem many people face by the start of the following year.

Usually, this happens due to a number of factors including negligence of diet and exercise, high-stress levels, and mindless eating. Some are stressed about managing work, arranging, and attending dinners while others simply cannot control themselves.

In a dinner where every other person is indulging and trying every kind of dessert present, it is indeed difficult to stop from doing the same. Most of the time, there are not even any healthy options available at gatherings.

Therefore, regardless of the strict diet a person may have followed, temptations and lack of choices can result in weight gain especially when attending dinners and events consistently for a period of two weeks and more.

This can take a toll on the progress of those who have been eating healthy and sticking to a strict diet in hopes of losing weight. The majority believes that indulging during the holiday season does cause inevitable weight loss.

However, that may actually be true only to a limited extent. Not following a strict diet for some time does not always lead to weight gain. In fact, enjoying holiday delicacies for a number of days is unlikely to affect long-term weight outcomes.

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On the contrary, feelings of guilt and shame can cause unhealthy effects on the weight as many people start punishing themselves, developing anxiety disorders, eating disorders, and even body dysmorphia.

Therefore, it is better to develop healthy food-related habits and not attach a sense of guilt with indulging in food. Many people are able to enjoy all delicacies and return to their normal diets right after the holiday season is over.

This sets them back on track and actually keeps them motivated to lose weight. This is also the same mechanism that explains the trend of ‘cheat days’. In many cases, taking a cheat day or taking a reward by eating something not-so-healthy can help in sticking to a diet.

Some of the recommendations given by nutritionists include developing food flexibility, which simply means avoiding being extreme. Both following a very strict diet or overly-indulging can be unhealthy.

Instead, know when to reward and when to go back to the normal diet. During the holidays, some other tips also include starting with the favorite food and keeping the portions in control but trying everything.

On planned lunches, dinners, make sure other meals of the day are nutritious and healthy to balance calories in the end. Most importantly, enjoy the time spent with family but make sure to get on track right after the end of the holidays.

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