Low carb diets such as Keto and Paleo have proven to be some of the most effective means of helping shed unwanted pounds. Despite their immensely promising results however, many are still reluctant to give them a try.
The prospect of cutting out so many foods is undoubtedly daunting. Many of the most deliciously mouth watering comfort foods and favorite treats are absolutely loaded with carbs. Finding the determination to abandon them completely is a tall order.
However, many low carb dieters have found a brilliant compromise; they include a cheat day in their meal plans. In some cases, this means including one day on the weekend where they eat whatever they want. For others, it may be only one or two days a month or even limiting their temporary reprieve to special occasions. By simply adjusting the “no low carb foods ever” mindset to “only during specific times”, it’s possible to hold on to a bit of variety and avoid the occasional misery of feeling boxed in and limited by a strict diet.
Of course, the only problem with the concept of a low carb diet cheat day is in opening the door to relapse. Many have reported giving in to the offer of a nice dessert for a special occasion, only to immediately do the same again the next day with the classic “just once more” line of excuse making. It can easily grow out of control from there. Stepping away from your diet — even temporarily — is the very definition of a slippery slope.
With that in mind, it’s sometimes recommended not to try a cheat day until you’ve already gotten used to the low carb lifestyle. The cravings for carb heavy foods often start to subside after the first week or two, meaning you may not fall so far astray if you do eventually employ occasional cheat days. If you start out by abandoning your new meal plan on day 6, the relapse effect is much more likely to bring any of your earliest progress to a halt.
While restrictive, there are still a number of delicious foods that can be enjoyed after you’ve decided to leave carbs behind. As long as you can afford to invest in higher quality, natural foods rather than packaged fare loaded with preservatives and learn to love cooking for yourself, you’ll be in good shape. Many people find themselves surprisingly happy with their new carb-free meal plans, so much so that they’re never tempted to cheat at all.
If you still want to have a little fun through indulgence however, the concept of the low carb diet cheat day might be the secret weapon you need to finally try cutting back. Just knowing that you can still have some of your favorite foods (on occasion) is a strong motivator. Despite the risk of dialing back some of your progress, a little self control is all you need to make it work in your favor.