Absolutely. And before you ladies get too upset, I’m talking about cheating on my diet, not my wife!
Yesterday was Easter Sunday, and my wife put together a delicious meal for us and a few friends. Ham, buttermilk biscuits, sausage cheese balls, hash browns, homemade cinnamon rolls, two different egg dishes (one with cheese and turkey sausage, one with veggies and bacon), lemon poppyseed muffins and fruit. After that we topped it off with a layered parfait dessert. Coffee and/or mimosas were the drinks of choice.
Did I eat too much? Oh yeah. Did I stray out of my diet? Nope. You see, a proper healthy diet INCLUDES cheat days. That’s right. I didn’t say “tolerates cheat days” or “can handle cheat days.” No, a proper diet includes them. The trick is to only do them on cheat days, general rule of thumb being no more than once a week.
Two major reasons:
1. Cheat days help to keep you from feeling deprived of the unhealthy things that you love. If you get to indulge in your “guilty pleasures” every now and then, then you don’t give in to your cravings when you aren’t supposed to. It also gives you something to look forward to.
2. Cheat days dramatically spike your calorie intake. This will increase your fat loss by ensuring that your metabolic rate doesn’t down regulate from extended calorie restriction.
Now this isn’t applicable to all situations (such as a pre-contest diet, etc.), and realistically you don’t want to completely blow it out of the water (save those times for Thanksgiving and Christmas) but the principles are sound.