Science backs him up. Last year, researchers put study participants on a diet that was limited to only 10,500 calories per week
Call it this instead.
This article was written by Joelle Smith and provided by our partners at Men's Health.
Every week, you look forward to your cheat day—a day to cave to a few of your cravings after sticking to a well-balanced diet (and workout regimen) all week long. But Men’s Health senior editor Paul Kita takes issue with the concept.
“When you say ‘I’m cheating,’ that makes it sound like it’s some kind of indiscretion that shouldn’t be forgiven for, or even admitted to,” says Kita.
Instead, Kita prefers the term rest day. “Think of [your cheat day] as your rest day for your diet,” Kita says. “Every now and then you just need a rest. And what happens the day after a rest day? You go in and you hit it harder because you’re replenished.”
Science backs him up. Last year, researchers put study participants on a diet that was limited to only 10,500 calories per week, or about 1,500 calories a day.
But half of the dieters were allowed to eat anything they wanted on Sundays.
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After two weeks, the two groups both reduced their average body mass indexes and there was no significant difference in the amount of weight the two groups lost, however those who took Sundays off were happier and more motivated to continue working toward their weight-loss goals. In othe words, taking a break once a week didn't slow dieters' progress, it only motivated to keep up their healthy habits for longer.
Researchers say that the reason behind this is that occasional indulgence makes dieting more sustainable.
To hear more of Kita’s nutrition strategies, along with tons of fitness and weight-loss tips from Men’s Health Fitness Director BJ Gaddour, check out the latest two-part episode of the Men’s Health Podcast.
It’s tons of useful stuff, on the go.
Additional reporting by Ali Eaves