When you undertake a diet it’s always good to have a clear plan in place, what you want to achieve, understanding why and how to put it all into action. By planning and preparing you stand a much better chance of success, and remember that you will need to pick a diet that works for you. One that fits into your daily routine (Not necessarily the one that offers the best results) this is because we are all different, the diet should work for you and not the over way around.
So is it ok to have a cheat day?
Good news! Research tells us it is actually a very good idea to have a cheat day. Why? Because it reduces cravings and the possibility of binge eating. When we undertake a diet our bodies will want for certain foods, in fact you will feel like your mind is trying to destroy your whole plan, so by rewarding yourself once a week with a guilt free day you will actually stand a better chance of succeeding in your goals.
So can I eat anything I want?
Yes! but slow down, in reality, we are all aware that certain foods are better for us than others. So let’s take a look at few firm favourites and the pros and cons to each food. If you are going to have a cheat day, at least be informed in the decisions you make (after all – this isn’t a licence to undo all the hard work you put in throughout the week).
PROS: As we all know, cheese burgers taste delicious! That mix of beef, cheese and pickles….Yummy. But how about vitamins? A “regular” cheeseburger provides no sugar but iron and also vitamins B6 and B12. Another pro is that you can make your own burger made from healthy foods like low fat cheese, lean beef and vegetables. We once saw a burger without a bun, instead of bread someone used cabbage leaves. Brilliant isn’t it?
CONS: Unfortunately, it contains 28 grams of fat which 10 percent is saturated, 41 mg of cholesterol, sodium 1,2g (which is a lot), 60 g of carbohydrates and 10g of sugar. It doesn’t look good but if you eat a cheeseburger just during your cheat day – it doesn’t matter. Just enjoy.
Average calories: a regular cheese burger gives you about 700 calories.
PROS: Cheese. Cheese is one of the most delicious food on the earth. But not only because of taste but also because it is one of the best sources of calcium. One slice from a giant pizza contains about 219 milligrams of calcium. You can make or buy various types of pizza: from vegetables to meat feast varieties. Add or choose chicken with spinach or maybe with seafood and artichoke. Seafood contains a lot of protein and calcium too. Calcium helps you keep your bones strong and also helps your blood vessels, nerves and muscles function in a good condition. If you want to have an even healthier pizza, order or make one with a whole grain crust. It will give you 3 times more fibre than a regular crust pizza. Fibre lowers your risk of too high cholesterol and will help fill you up so you don’t overeat.
CONS: As a pizza lover, it’s hard to say if the cons of pizza really exist but yes, they exist. Pizza is high in sodium that makes your water level in your body higher, the aftermath is simple – gaining weight, also you can suffer from potential kidney failure. Pizza crust is full of simple carbs that “help” you with gaining more kilos. But having a pizza on your cheat day is not the end of the world. Just enjoy and eat sensibly.
Average calories: 300 calories in a slice of pizza on regular crust with cheese.
PROS: Beer is a kind of alcohol that is actually highly nutritious. Beer is a source of fibre, minerals, potassium, magnesium, and vitamins such as B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B9, and B12. It means that those vitamins and other minerals are good for your body. Beer is also a source of water – almost 95%! Alcohol also, thins out your blood, which will protect your heart and reduce the risk of strokes.
CONS: Beer is still a member of the alcohol family and that is the biggest con. If you drink it every day, it will destroy your brain cells. So maybe do not drink it so often. Secondly, remember that you should never drink a beer instead of water because even if beer contains 95 % of water, it can easily dehydrate your body. Another con is that a beer can destroy the level of vitamin C in your body.
Average calories: A single beer has about 230 calories.
PROS: One of the best pros of fried chicken is taste. It’s just delicious, crunchy and juicy. Also, chicken has a lot of proteins, vitamins and minerals.
CONS: Fried chicken is still fried chicken in a deep oil. It means that it is a very fatty and heavy meal that, all in all has more carbs and fat than proteins.
Average calories: one breaded and deeply fried chicken breast is around 110 calories