Are You Cheating Yourself On Cheat Days?

Are You Cheating Yourself On Cheat Days?

This is one of the most common mistakes that people make when they are trying to lose weight. Before going into details, we need to understand the theory behind cheat days.

The theory behind cheat days

When you are trying to lose weight, you need to be on a caloric deficit of 500 calories a day. This is achieved by eating less, making wise food choices and exercising. Since you are aiming for fat loss and not just weight loss, you need to go on a slow but steady program.

Most people who crash diet end up losing muscle and lowering their metabolic rate. This is a double whammy. Fat burning will grind to a halt and when that happens, your weight loss will hit a plateau and this can be exasperating.

Therefore, slow and steady wins the race. However, even if you diet and exercise the correct way and do your best, when your body is on a caloric deficit for 4 to 6 days in a row, it will automatically drop your metabolic rate as it tries to “preserve” its fat stores.

In order, to overcome this problem, we have a cheat day. On this day, you will aim for a caloric surplus. Preferably in the 500 to 700 calorie range. This will refresh your leptin levels and give your metabolic rate a boost. Your body will go back into fat burning mode since the body does not believe that it is starving.

This is also where the majority of people make a mistake.

They use the cheat days to gorge themselves on all the food that they can eat. Some even manage to reach caloric surpluses of 2000 to even 5000 calories. That is not a cheat day. It is chaos.

You can cause your weight loss efforts to slow down or worse. You may actually gain weight. This will cause feelings of guilt, frustration, and anger. It’s like taking one step forward and two steps back.

Find out your daily calorie requirement and add 500 or 600 to it. That’s it. That’s the caloric surplus you should aim for. Even if you wish to eat junk food or whatever your heart desires, eat them in the right amount but make sure you do not exceed your target calorie surplus.

This being said, generally, it would be best to avoid junk food or processed food. It’s just not good for your health. It may sound boring and a tremendous sacrifice forsaking the food you love.

However, thousands of people can testify that after a few months of avoiding junk food, their body totally stopped craving for these sinful pleasures.

You do not need to obsess over the numbers but you need to at least have a fairly good idea of where you stand as far as your diet and calories are concerned.

Consume adequate water daily. This is crucial! Water naturally suppresses your appetite and helps to metabolize the fat.

Watch your carb intake. Try and limit your carbohydrates, especially the starchy carbs. You should not eliminate carbs from your diet completely like what the Atkins diet recommends.

You do need carbs for energy during your cardio workouts. However, limit them and either consume them early in the day or immediately after an intense workout.

The numbers on a scale can be misleading. When people embark on a weight loss plan, they may include resistance training as part of the training regimen. Even people, who are totally on a cardio training plan, will experience a growth in lean muscle. This is inevitable.

Most overweight people have poor muscle tone. So, once they start exercising, the body starts burning fat and simultaneously gaining muscle. If you were to measure your weight on the scales, there may be no change in the numbers because the 2 pounds of fat you lost may have been replaced by 2 pounds of muscle.

Since muscle is denser than fat, your body size would have shrunk a little even though there is no change on the scale. That is why it is so crucial to track your progress by using photos or a measuring tape to measure different parts of your body. This will be a much better way to track your progress.

5 Ways To Cut 100 Or More Calories A Day

5 Ways To Cut 100 Or More Calories A Day

When dieting there are several things to keep in mind, from how often you’re eating down to the distribution of macronutrients in your food.

The bottom line is that when you’re trying to lose weight it all comes down to simple math: Calories in must be less than calories out.

That’s it.

The CDC states that a healthy rate at which to lose weight is anywhere from 1 to 2 pounds per week.

To put that into perspective, there are 3500 calories in 1 pound. In order to lose 1 pound a week, you’ll need to be at a 3500 calorie deficit. That being said, you can reach this deficit through both diet and exercise.

Exercising is a sure fire way to burn extra calories and gain muscle strength. However, it can be discouraging to go to the gym daily and not see any results.

Have you ever heard the saying that abs are made in the kitchen?

It means that no matter how hard you work out if you’re eating more calories than you’re burning you’ll never see the desired results.

It’s important to start slowly when making any changes to your diet. It would not, for instance, be in your best interest to cut out a meal or two just to meet your target calorie deficit.

There are a couple of reasons this wouldn’t work out well: first, you risk throwing your metabolism out of whack; second, the body is programmed to protect itself so if you drop your calorie intake too drastically it will hold onto whatever sugars and fats you do eat to prepare for the next famine.

Start by reducing your calorie intake gradually. Experts say that a healthy rate at which to drop your calories is from 100-500 calories per day. Here a few tips to help get you started!

1: Replacing Familiar Foods With Lower Calorie Alternatives

If you replaced your morning bagel with a Bagel Thin you’d be starting your day off with 240 calories less than you did the day before. What about that delicious bacon or cheeseburger? Going with a chicken or turkey alternative can shave off almost 300 calories!

2: Veggies Masquerading As Starches

Comfort foods are, perhaps, some of the most difficult to give up. Swapping in vegetables and preparing them in a way that mimics your favorite dishes is a huge calorie saver.

Zoodles (zucchini noodles) replaces pasta. They don’t have a strong flavor so they go great with any kind of sauce. Cauliflower does a tremendous job playing the part of the mashed potato and you prepare it the same way! Boil, mash, season, and serve. And the best part? These little tricks can save you close to 200 calories per meal!

3: Negative Calorie Foods

Yes, you read that correctly. There are foods that take more energy to burn than the calories they provide.

Choose any of the items from this list to replace one daily snack and start chipping away at those calories!

  • Celery
  • Cucumbers
  • Strawberries
  • Tomatoes
  • Watermelon
  • Grapefruit
  • Apples
  • Lettuce

4: Premeasured Portions

How often do you eat a snack straight from the bag? Eating directly from the box makes it impossible to keep track of your calorie intake. The best thing to do is to portion out your snacks for the week ahead of time.

Keep your snacks in a single serving size in its own baggie or container. You’ll be less likely to overeat and you’ll know exactly how many calories you’re taking in.

5: Play Mind Games

The Journal of Consumer Research sites several things you can do to trick yourself into eating less. Some of the suggestions seem a bit ridiculous, but they’ve got the research to back up their claims.

Their recommendations?

  • Use smaller plates/bowls: The Delboeuf illusion says that two identical items placed side by side will not appear to be of equal size if each is surrounded by a different sized circle, which in our case, is a dish. The bigger the circle the smaller the item appeared. Placing your food on smaller dishes will help you feel like you’re actually eating more than you are.
  • Make sure your dish is a different color than your food: People tend to over-serve themselves if the color of their dish is too close to what they’re eating.
  • Drink from tall glasses: If partaking in an adult beverage, swap your lowball glass for something tall and narrow. Researches from the British Medical Journal found that you’re more likely to pour larger amounts of alcohol into a short glass as opposed to a tall one.
  • Cut your food into smaller bites: A test conducted at the Arizona State University found that students who were told to cut up their bagel before eating it ate fewer calories than those who ate the uncut bagels.

Final words

There you have it! Most of the suggestions on this list are very simple to integrate into your daily routine. A swap of an ingredient here, a smaller plate there…you’ll be sure to shave off at least 100 calories, if not more, every day!



Calorie Counting for Weight Loss

When people think of calorie counting, they cringe, and while all of us wish we could eat whatever we want without gaining weight, for most of us this is simply not reality and not how it works.

Calorie Counting for Weight Loss

While there are some people who can eat what they want and not gain weight, most of us have to watch our diet closely and pay close attention to the food we consume.

Counting calories is one way people have decided to take charge of their fitness and lead a healthier lifestyle. Along with counting calories, they may decide to go on a low-carb diet in an effort to lose weight.

There may be some confusion about calorie counting and what it actually entails and how it can benefit you, but also if it is necessary when you are on a low-carb diet. To figure out the answer to this question, it is important to understand what each entails and their purposes.

Why People Count Calories

 The idea behind calorie counting is the basic formula of calories in and calories out. The goal is to burn more than you eat so to create a calorie deficit that results in either weight loss or healthy weight management.

Typically, tracking calorie intake and being mindful of physical activity you are performing is key to maintaining a healthy weight and staving off overweight and obesity that cause serious health problems for the body.

The calorie formula takes into account your height, weight, activity levels and age in order to determine the correct number for you. For those who workout every day can eat much more food and still lose weight, while those who are sedentary will have to lower their daily intake.

Use an online calorie calculator and plug in your data and then play around with the activity settings and you will see the big differences in allowed calories between sedentary and active lifestyles.

Does Counting Calories Help With Weight Loss?

Since calorie counting keeps people on track of their weight loss goals, it may actually be beneficial for people to do so while they are trying to lose weight.

Yes, you are consuming fewer calories, but it is still important for you to know how many calories are in the foods you are eating because the calorie deficit is important for your weight loss journey. Therefore, even if you do exercise for weight loss, if you are consuming too many calories, you may not see any results.

Bottom Line

 Everyone is different. The decision to count or not really depends on you and your results, if you find that you are eating more calories than you should and not seeing your weight loss goals realized, you may need to determine your requirements and start monitoring caloric intake.

7 Characteristics Of Unsafe Diet Plans

The fitness industry is one of the biggest industries in the world. Every year millions of people spend billions of dollars on products they hope will finally help them shed those unwanted pounds.

7 Characteristics Of Unsafe Diet Plans

Just think for a second about all the unsafe diet plans that have come out in the last 20 years. You have the Dukan diet, the Atkins diet, the South Beach diet, the 24 hour Hollywood diet, and a host of other diets that in the end leave you feeling frustrated and in the same condition as when you started.

Fitness companies know people are desperate. They know you will spend money on almost anything if you think it will be the magic pill that will help you fit into those size 8 jeans you wore in high school.

These companies, many of which have absolutely no experience in health and fitness, create diet programs all in an effort to get their piece of the billion-dollar pie that is known as the fitness industry.

In other words, the last thing they care about is your health. They create products to make money. That is all they care about and that is all they focus on.

It Requires You Drastically Cut Calories

To lose weight you have to eat and truth be told, you need to eat more than what you think. Anytime a diet requires you drastically cut your calories that should be an immediate red flag.

Always remember food is fuel and anytime you drastically cut your calories you put yourself at risk for nutrient deficiencies that can lead to serious health issues later on down the road.

Keep in mind anytime you cut your calories you will lose weight. However, drastically cutting your calories is not a recipe for safe, sustainable weight loss.

It Is Centered Around Pills

Unless your doctor is recommending medication and is supervising its use, diet pills are dangerous territory. Illegal drugs are of course in no way smart choices for weight loss.

It’s time, to be honest, there is no pill that will magically make you thin and physically fit. The only thing these drugs are good for is wreaking havoc on your nervous system, damaging brain cells and causing heart problems.

Other side effects include insomnia, high blood pressure, dizziness, stroke, blurred vision, and unhealthy bowel movements, among others.

How many commercials have you seen promoting weight loss pills that absorb fat, suppress your appetite, and block carbs? Too many to count I’m sure.

The problem with this type of diet is that these pills prevent your body from doing what it was naturally designed to do. They literally signal to your brain that you’re full even though you haven’t eaten.

So yes, while you will lose weight, you will also destroy your metabolism and could potentially do some serious damage to your organs in the process, and most important this method is not sustainable for the long-term, so will not support permanent weight loss.

It Eliminates Entire Food Groups

If a diet recommends you eliminate an entire food group, or it requires you to eat only ONE food group, be very wary. The major food groups are what provide your body with the nutrients it needs to not only survive but to thrive. It is therefore never a good idea to do away with an entire food group.

While you will initially lose weight by eliminating food groups, this type of diet is too restrictive to produce results over the long haul.

It Claims To Be a Miracle Breakthrough

Unsafe diets are almost always advertised as being the new miracle breakthrough. They make absurd claims about finding some miracle herb, pill, or spice that can help you lose 30 pounds in 30 days.

And just in case it needs to be said, there is nothing safe or healthy about losing 50 pounds in 30 days. Nor is there a miracle herb or food that can help you do that.

This falls into the category of “if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is”. Never trust a product that claims to be a miracle breakthrough.

Starvation, Extreme Fasting, And Skipping Meals

Cutting back on too many calories in a short amount of time can lead to severe malnutrition, loss of muscle mass and even type-2 diabetes.

Sure, there will be some weight loss, but it’ll quickly backfire. This is because when your daily caloric intake drops below a certain level, mainly in 1200, then the body starts storing fat for fear of starvation. It goes back to our hunting days when people weren’t sure when their next meal was going to be.

So, anything less than 1200 calories per day won’t provide you with the number of nutrients you need for healthy development and to be able to sustain your energy levels throughout the day.

The same goes for skipping meals, which may make sense at first, but science has proven that it’s one of the worst ways to lose weight. This is because your metabolism increases after eating.

Therefore, eating healthy foods means you’re consuming less or the same amount of energy being burned so nothing gets stored away as fat. On the other hand, if you skip meals, your metabolism slows down, so much so that if you repeatedly skip meals in an effort to burn off fat, you’ll find yourself gaining weight, rather than losing it.

Requires Little To No Effort

The most common theme among all unsafe diets is they require little to no effort on your part. All you have to do is take this pill, or eat that food, and all the weight will just fall off.

The unrealistic expectations are what draw people in only to let them down. It is also what leads people to the vicious cycle of yo-yo dieting.

Safe weight loss requires effort. Not only do you need to start eating a healthy, well-balanced diet, but you will also need to make working out a top priority in your life. This is what will allow you to start losing weight and transforming your body.

Incorporating exercise into your daily life will also help keep your heart and bones healthy. As a result, you will be less likely to suffer from health issues such as heart attacks, diabetes, high cholesterol, and osteoporosis just to name a few.

When it comes to losing weight, always remember that slow and steady wins the race. You didn’t gain the weight overnight, so don’t expect to lose it overnight.

It Boasts Mass Loss In A Short Time

Diets that boast fast weight loss in a short time can really impact your health, and once again, these are typically so drastic in nature that they are rarely sustainable for the long term.

WebMD reports that rapid weight loss poses serious health risks:

  • Bone frailty
  • Bone density loss
  • Muscle atrophy
  • Diminished immunity
  • Heart damage, including heart attacks and palpitations


Those were 7 characteristics fo unsafe diet plans, if do you want to learn how to chose a right diet plan you can read my article here:Choosing the Right Diet Plan