Cheat Days Help Boost Metabolism

Cheat Days help boost your metabolism when you've hit a plateau Cheat days have become the newest fad. This is because if used right, they actually work to bust you through any weight loss plateaus that you are stuck on.

I have used this method for years with great success. Your body is amazing at one thing…. adaptation. Your body can adapt to virtually any situation.

So what happens when you adapt? Well, to put it simply, you get stuck in a rut. Especially in weight loss. That is why it’s a great idea to “shake things up a bit” hence, the cheat day.

The idea at first was to give you a mental break from your strict diet.  Some programs are very strict and mentally individuals would become tired and start to stray from the program.  Ultimately they “fell off the wagon” so to speak because mentally it is too challenging for them to continue.

So many use the cheat day as a way to give you a break or a reprieve mentally.  It allows you to eat some of those foods you have been avoiding while on your weight loss program.

What some have discovered with research is that something physically takes place when you incorporate a cheat day.

When you diet or restrict calories and nutrients your body will start to deplete a hormone called leptin.  Leptin is a powerful hormone that can influence your weight loss or even cause you to gain weight if it manipulated in the wrong way.

When you diet and start depleting your leptin levels you brain gets sent a signal from leptin that you are starving yourself because leptin is dropping.  This is what some call the ‘starvation mode’ and when this happens it triggers a series of other actions.  Your brain will now send signals to other hormones to slow down your metabolism, shed energy costly muscle and cause your body to start storing more calories you eat as stored fat.

A cheat day is important in this situation because by allowing you to eat more calories, more sugar, more fat, etc allows the hormone leptin to increase and calm down. By raising your leptin level back to normal it starts to think “We are not starving” and tells the brain to stop conserving and trying to protect the body.

This allows you to continue to burn calories and prevent extra storage of calories. Generally it takes a few days for the body to recognize the calorie restriction and the leptin level to start to fall, which is why a cheat day is usually inserted somewhere between the 3rd and 5th day of a restricted calorie weight loss program.

One thing to be careful with this method though is that 1 cheat day doesn’t turn into 2 cheat days and then 3 cheat days, etc, etc.  There are some individuals that have a hard time getting back on the program the next day so if you use this type of program be careful to not fall into this trap.

Most will look forward to this method and don’t mind getting back to the program the next day knowing that the next cheat day is coming in 3-5 days. In the Fat Loss Factor course on how to lose weight fast, there is one cheat day every week.  The program also gives you the option to stay flexible and add a cheat day every 3-5 days.   Fat Loss Factor does a great job giving you baby steps to overcome your weight loss issues.

Remember, to keep your sanity and keep your metabolism boosted, add in a cheat day every 4 days or so for maximum results.

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10 thoughts on “Cheat Days Help Boost Metabolism”

  1. I love the seventeen day diet…I have only been on the diet for seven days and have already lost eight pounds.. AMAZING!!!

    Reply
    • I would follow the book and not have a cheat day on Cycle 1– this cycle is about detox and eliminating carbs/sugar. If you go onto Cycle 2 or 3 and your weight loss stalls, consider a cheat day, but be aware this is against practices of the actual diet, but cheat days are a part of other dietary practices.

      Reply
    • Rather than cheat days I would look to cheat meals? Then your not blowing your hard work as much but still getting to enjoy the pleasures of life and get a break. Does cycle 4 have something like this incorporated?

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      • You can certainly have a cheat meal. Cycle 4 is all about having 3 of your favorite meals on the weekend (within moderation, of course), and right back to any of the previous cycles during the week.

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  2. I have lost over 50 pounds in 7 months on the 17 day diet and do incorporate cheat days when my weight loss plateaus for several days. I typically only cheat (moderately) for 1-2 meals on the cheat day. So far it’s worked quite well. I do get right back on the next day.

    Reply
  3. I have been on cycle one for 13 days. I have cheated twice but both times I cheated it was with just one meal not an entire day.
    Should I add an extra day to the first cycle? Will this mess up the detox process majorly? ..I won’t be cheating the remaining four days and also plan to do the fasting day at the end.

    Reply
    • Annie, it’s best to stay on course for the 17 days, even if you cheated here and there. The second you start adding days to cycle 1 for every cheat, you’ll end up being on Cycle 1 for too long. Best to keep moving ahead!!

      Reply
      • My birthday is this week, which happens to be Day 12 of my first cycle. I have not cheated (even a little) thus far because I have struggled with binge eating and don’t want a cheat to spiral out of control. But this diet has been better for me than others and I have seen good results, so I am not fearing the spiral, but a lack of results. I would love to have one cheat meal (in moderation) with a small dessert and maybe a drink or two on my birthday. Would this damage my results and the work I’ve put in so far? Could I get a few longer workouts in to make up for the meal?

        Reply
        • Well first, Happy Birthday! You may see a pound or two from having a cheat meal, depending on how badly you cheat. However, it’s been my experience that once you get back on track, this cheat meal actually helps you drop the weight a bit quicker. So if you think you can have a moderate birthday meal, I say go for it!

          Reply

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