Binge or Cheat Days Can Help You Stick To Your Diet Without Feeling Deprived.
If you have trouble staying on a diet … whether your diet is short-term for weight loss or long term for health reasons, having a regularly scheduled “treat” day can make the difference between success or failure.
I’m all about real results, sustainability and taking slow steps towards your goals. The bottom line is that most diets fail because we feel deprived. We want to eat that brownie, or have a bowl of our favorite ice cream, but we can’t. “The Diet” says we will never be able to eat our favorite foods again … EVER.
Talk about a bleak future.
No wonder 90% of dieters fail … often within the first few days of their diet.
What is a Binge Day or Cheat Day?
On one day out of seven you get to eat what ever you want.
Before I continue, I’m going to talk about the words Binge and Cheat. The name “Cheat Day” was popularized in Tim Ferriss’ Slow Carb Diet. BUT here’s my take on it. IF this day is a regular and “required” part of the diet, how is that cheating? The word cheating makes me feel guilty … and why should I feel guilty if I am following the rules.
The word Binge allows me to eat what I want and how much I want, without feeling like I am cheating. So … from here on, I will refer to the “eat what you want” day as … Binge Day.
So, back to “What is a Binge Day?”
In the Slow Carb Diet you get to eat ANYTHING
you want for one day a week.
Tim Ferriss does a LOT of experimenting on his own body. He took the binge day to its limit by eating so much he was on the verge of throwing up. The reason for doing this was to see if his weight went up and if it did, by how much. Then he tracked what happened the rest of the week. Did his excessive binge day destroy any hope of losing weight? The answer was a resounding NO.
He continued with the binge days, but not to the point of up-chucking. He actually encourages people to start the day right, with a good protein breakfast … and then to binge in moderation.
How does having a Binge Day work?
The concept of a binge day is based on three premises:
First … you ARE sticking to your diet 85% of the time. If you stick to your diet on six days of the week, the one binge day (15%) will slow you down a bit … but not as much as you might expect.
Second … the binge day serves as a reset. The rationale being, that continuous dieting week after week will end up affecting your metabolism. Your body compares what you are eating now, with what you used to eat and goes into starvation mode. Your metabolism lowers in order to keep you from “starving.” The once a week binge day, basically signals “not starving” to your body, keeping your metabolism happily chugging along.
The third premise of having a weekly binge day is that it keeps you from feeling deprived. You can more easily stick to your diet because you have something to look forward to.
Many of the diets that advocate for binge days, tell you to go ahead and dream about the treats you will have and plan for them. If you are feeling a big craving for chocolate on Wednesday … just tell yourself YES, I will stick to my diet right now, because on Sunday I can have a huge bowl of chocolate ice cream … AND some brownies … and maybe even a chocolate doughnut.
The bottom line is, feeling deprived is often the reason people stop or fail at their diet. They stick to the diet for a day, a week, a month and then BINGO … a binge. Then rather than resuming their diet, they feel like a failure and they just stop.
By giving yourself a sanctioned binge day, you will stick to your diet for the long term.
Here’s a little trick you can use:
Whenever you want to indulge throughout the week, tell yourself that you CAN stick to your plan now because you will allow yourself to eat whatever you want a few days from now.
PLAN what you will have. Make a list of the things are craving.
On your binge day … pick several of the goodies on your list, go shopping and then, enjoy the heck out of them.
NO reading and eating. NO TV and eating.
Just sit there and savor every single bit of your indulgences.
Let the ice cream melt in your mouth. Take tiny bites of cheesecake or the Big Mac and let them sit on your tongue. Stretch it out by taking a bite and then waiting a few minutes until you take another bite. You want to get every single bit of enjoyment out of each bite!
Like Tim Ferriss did, you can eat until you want to throw up, or you can slow down and savor the flavor, texture and taste of the things you have been craving throughout the week.
It’s curious to note, that in some of the forums about the Slow Carb Diet and “Cheat Days,” people would start off by spending their whole day eating. Over time the feeling of “being deprived,” and the panic associated with that lessened. As the cheat days became a normal part of their diet, people ended up wanting and eating less. Yes they still “binged,” but the binges were smaller and less desperate.
It is NOT fun feeling desperate for food. The binge days take “desperation out of the dieting equation.
For Diabetics, and anyone who is serious about staying low-carb (or Keto)
I am Diabetic, and when I first came across the concept of binge days I snorted and went away. However, the results I saw people having with the Slow Carb diet, kept me coming back.
I tried a Binge Day several times and each time my blood sugar levels went through the roof … and it would take DAYS for the levels to return to normal.
I stopped binging, until one day I realized …
I can have my own version of Binge Days. I can to stick to my modified Keto Diet and still give myself sweet treats once a week.
My main go to treat is sugar free ice cream. The ice cream is high in fats, keto friendly and is a total indulgence while staying inside the Keto eating plan rules. I’ve never seen Keto Ice Cream on the shelves of any grocery or heath food store I have visited … so I make my own. It is easier than you think!
Sugar-free Cheese Cake can also be a Keto treat that sticks to the plan … ditto with one-bite Brownies.
I stick to my low-carb diet for six days of the week. NOT eating anything sweet even if it is made with a no-sugar sweetener mix. Then on my Binge Day, I indulge myself with the taste of sweet. Sweet drinks, sweet desserts, sweet everything. BUT because I make my treats with sugar free sweetener mixes, they don’t add carbs and they don’t affect my blood sugar readings.
The fact is … YES you CAN still have Binge Days even if you are Diabetic. You CAN stick to your low-carb or Keto diets and still have Binge Days!
Here are ten of the best no-sugar ice cream treats you will ever indulge in!
Take a look at YOUR diet. Is there something you crave that still sticks to the plan? Maybe you don’t regularly eat it because it is too expensive or because the only way to eat it is to make it first. Take the time and make it. Forego one or two Starbucks coffees and indulge in your treat instead! One of MY favorite “way too expensive” treats is LOX (without the bagel).
So there you have it. No matter what eating plan (except for fasting) you can stick to your diet and indulge regularly.
You can BINGE your way thin!
There is ONE caveat … don’t let your binge DAY turn into a binge week.
Find out more about the Slow Carb Diet here:
If you’ve failed with your diets time after time after time … check out this book. It is all about creating mini and I mean MINI habits that support your weight loss goals.