Dieting is hard work no matter how strong willed you are. There are many different approaches to dieting, depending on what your goal is e.g. changes in body aesthetics, changes to improve your health, changes to improve sports performance. Many people count calories in order to make sure they are consuming the optimum amount for their specific goal.

The simplest methods for weight loss are:

1) Decreasing calorie intake – if a calorie deficit is created, weight loss will increase

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2) Increasing calorie expenditure – if calorie burning is enhanced, weight loss will increase.

3) A combination of both – if both are done in combination, weight loss will be accelerated. This process can then be turbo boosted by consuming drinks with natural fat burning properties (e.g. green tea) and eating foods that increase the body’s metabolism (e.g spicy foods).

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What is a cheat day?

Say for instance that you plan to eat considerably less calories than you have done previously, e.g. a maximum of 1500 calories every day. From Monday to Sunday, this would total 10,500 per week. A cheat day would be consuming more calories on 1 specific day of the week followed by even less than normal the following day e.g. 1500 calories Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday then on Saturday (cheat day) having 2500 followed by 500 on Sunday. This will still total 10,500 per week, but the split each day is different.

Pros:

If it’s planned and carried out properly, cheat days can enhance the weight loss process.

Cons:

If it’s not carried out properly, cheat days can worsen the weight loss process. The theory behind cheat days being effective in a calorie restricted diet are that they enhance the body’s fat burning ability by stopping it adapting to change (the same amount of calories each day, every day) and therefore becoming less efficient at using fat as a fuel.

Also check out Cheat day vs no cheat day

The top things to remember when it comes to cheat days are:

1) Have a plan which consists of consuming a total amount of calories over a certain time period.

2) Always eat less the day after to balance out the increased amount consumed on the day.

3) Keep in control of what you eat on the day, don’t go over board.

4) Don’t replace all of the additional calorie allowance with alcohol. These are empty calories that will lead to weight gain if consumed in high volumes.

5) Combined with regular exercise for maximum results.

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