If you are having trouble eating healthily, even when you’ve got phentermine on your side to help out, then having a cheat day – a day where dieters let themselves enjoy their favorite treats – could make it easier to stick to a diet. Is it such a good idea to have this day of indulgence though? Or would you just be undermining all your hard work? We’ll be looking at both sides of the argument so you can make an informed decision about whether or not you can have a cheat day on phentermine.
How Cheat Days Can Help With Weight Loss
Some people feel that letting yourself have a cheat day, or even just one cheat meal, helps you get a break from having to eat healthily. A cheat day gives you the freedom to enjoy your favorite (likely not diet-friendly) treats. It is intended to be a reward for sticking to your diet for so long. It’s believed that promising yourself this chance to indulge makes it more bearable to get through the days where you have to restrict what you eat.
While phentermine does help to reduce cravings and suppress appetite, it is nevertheless difficult to go from an unstructured and free diet to a restrictive one. There are also times when being on holiday, having a meal at a restaurant, or another kind of social situation makes it practically impossible to keep your diet. By allowing for a cheat meal or day once a week, you have a little more freedom to indulge and enjoy these situations.
The logic behind the cheat day is that after taking a day off from the diet, you’ll come back to it with some extra motivation. You’ve satisfied your cravings and so you’re free from the nagging thoughts of a thick juicy burger. It gives you the chance to eat something you shouldn’t without the guilt of slipping up with your diet. That’s because you are consciously choosing to indulge knowing you’ll be back on the diet the day after.
Some studies have even shown that having the occasional high-calorie and high-fat food after restricting your diet can “wake” your metabolism up and get it working at full capacity, as well as increase production leptin; the hormone that suppresses appetite and tells you that you are full.
What Makes Cheat Days Bad?
It’s starting to sound like having a cheat day could be all you need to maintain your diet without having to feel deprived, and that it could even help you to lose more weight. Of course, nothing is ever that simple.
1. Cheat Meals Reinforce the Idea Food is Either “Good” or “Bad”
The first issue is that “cheating” on your diet reinforces the notion that you are doing something “bad”. This adds extra emotional value to the treat. Emotional eating is one of the hardest eating habits to break, even with phentermine helping out. Treating yourself and rewarding yourself with food like this strengthens the connection between food and emotions, making it even more likely that you’ll indulge too much when the time comes for a cheat day.
As you continue to reinforce the notion of bad and unhealthy foods to long for, you also reinforce the idea of there being “good” and “healthy” foods, most of which can only be considered good if consumed in moderation.
Studies show that if you think of a food as being healthy you dismiss the idea of portion control and are likely to overeat. Most food is healthy in moderation, but if you start packing your plate with food that you think is “good”, you’re likely to shoot past your calorie allowance and have trouble losing weight.
2. Cheating Fuels Cravings and Begets More Cheating
You may feel that you can compensate for a cheat day by eating right for every other day of the week. The reality is that regularly cheating on your diet makes you less likely to reach your ultimate weight loss goal. That’s because taking time off from the diet and eating too much fat, sugar, and salt fuels your addiction to them. This means you are likely to wake up the next day with less resistance to those foods.
Foods that are high in sugar and saturated fat like butter, ice cream, and cakes also make phentermine less effective. That is why some people choose not to take their phentermine dose on their cheat day.
You will likely feel even more deprived when you have to go back to a 1,200 calorie limit after the cheat day. AS such, you are more likely to overindulge with your next cheat day, which only exacerbates the vicious cycle. The result is that you will feel even more deprived and will have a lot of cravings that you’ll be stuck with for a week. All this adds up to an increased chance of just quitting your diet.
3. Cheating Doesn’t Work in the Long-Term
Last but not least, if you feel this much of a need to cheat on a diet then it probably isn’t the right diet for you. You shouldn’t feel that eating healthy is a kind of punishment. If you aren’t a fan of a certain food then don’t make yourself eat it. There are lots of great delicious and nutritious options out there. If you are thinking in the long-term, then you have to see that transitioning into eating healthy is a gradual, long-term shift towards making the right choices for you, such as the choice to eat more healthy foods and indulge in healthy habits to promote weight loss.
4. Finding a Good Compromise
If cheat days aren’t the answer that most people think they are, is there a better solution? The key to dieting, much like most things in life, is everything in moderation. A diet that is truly healthy is one made up of a variety of foods, none of which are considered to be good or bad. You need to take a long-term approach to long-term weight loss. This means getting lots of filling and nutrient-rich meals, planning out your snacks, and even getting the occasional treat (provided it’s a smaller portion size) and maintaining your overall calorie goals. Here are some tips on how to achieve moderation while enjoying an all-encompassing diet;
5. Listen to What Your Body is Telling You
Studies show that denying yourself what you want and choosing something that you feel is a healthier option out of obligation, such as eating a protein bar when you’re craving chocolate, will leave you feeling hungrier in the end. If you feel that you want to eat something that could be considered unhealthy, like a pizza, then we say go for it (in moderation!). If you give your body what it’s telling you it wants, you’re going to eat more reasonable amounts of it and feel more satisfied when you finish eating.
6. Have the Occasional Treat
Most people who have managed to successfully lose weight and keep it off recognize completely denying themselves of the foods they want makes it both mentally and physically difficult to lose weight. Some people take the 80/20 approach to dieting; they eat healthy and nutritious foods 80% of the time, and less-nutritious less healthy foods 20% of the time.
However, rather than sectioning off a day out of the week to indulge in anything you want, they find a more natural way to get these less healthy foods. That means spreading these treats for yourself out across the week, such as having a bar of chocolate, creamy mashed potatoes, or having a drink with friends. This kind of eating gives you back control over the food you eat because you are making the conscious choice to treat yourself – or not – which makes mealtime a more pleasant affair. On top of this, an occasional loosening of the reigns helps to get your metabolism working at peak capacity again and can help you break through a weight-loss plateau.
7. Savor the Flavor of Food
You may be in control of the food that you eat, but you should also take time to give the food the attention and love it deserves, particularly if it’s one of those rare special treats. Eat your food slowly and take the time to taste it and appreciate what you’re eating. This makes it easier for you to stop eating when you get full. This mindful eating creates a stronger connection between your appetite and hunger cues, leaving you feeling more satisfied with smaller portions and reinforcing your healthy relationship with food.
The message to take from all of this is that you should treat yourself, but you shouldn’t set aside one day in the week to go all out. Also practice mindful eating, particularly when treating yourself, to get the most out of each bite. While it might be hard to imagine when you first start your healthy eating journey, you will slowly lose your desire for sweet treats over time. That means that you can soon satisfy yourself with an occasional small treat. A weekly cheat day can quickly become a 24-hour binge, which makes it more difficult to reach this point. Cheat days could mean you are cheating yourself out of the chance to break free from the vicious cycle of craving unhealthy foods.