Weekend cheat meals can ruin your progress

Arko Provo Ghosh
Arko Provo Ghosh

 | 1 minute to read
Dieting Psychology
Amidst our busy work schedules, the weekend is the only gateway where we try to find some quality time with our family and friends and what can be better than enjoying some good food. Mostly on weekdays, we follow a fixed routine but during weekends, we go out and eat at some restaurants, have a couple of drinks but what if you are on a diet? Many a time I hear this query from people that, “I followed the diet strictly for 5-6 days, can I have a cheat meal this weekend?” Sadly, it doesn’t work that way. The basic mistake that people make is to put short term goals like “I need to lose 20 kg in 3 months” or “need to get six-pack abs as soon as possible” thereby putting themselves into too many restrictions from the very beginning. You need to understand that choosing a healthy lifestyle isn’t for just 3 months or 6 months rather you need to adapt it gradually.

Let me cite an example for better understanding. Let’s say you have started your diet from day 1 with a 500 calories deficit from your TDEE (total daily energy expenditure) and followed the same for the next 6 days without any deviation. On the 7th day, you get tempted to reward yourself with a cheat meal. After all, you have worked hard for it. Now, the problem is that there is no way for you to track the calories for those food items. If you are following the diet for 7 days as per the planned macros, the total calorie deficit will be 500*7 = 3500 calories. 1 gm of fat has 9 calories. So the total amount of fat should be reduced after 1 week is (3500/9) = 388 grams approximately. Now let’s say, you followed the diet for 6 days so the total calorie deficit is 500*6 = 3000 calories and You had a cheat meal on 7th day, which is 2000 calories above your TDEE. That way, you ate in surplus which compromises the overall deficit you created by following the diet for 6 days. So your overall deficit becomes (3000-2000) = 1000 calories and fat loss will be (1000/9) = 111 grams approximately. Now you can understand, why your progress becomes slower or sometimes you end up gaining weight. You will never be able to track the calories of the outside foods and such hidden calories will put an obstacle in your fat loss journey. What you can do to make yourself sustain the diet? • Do not put yourself on too many restrictions from the very beginning. Remember, it’s a lifestyle, not a short term goal. • Carbs don’t make you fat. It’s your overall calories which matter. Include your favorite food items in the diet. • Track calories of each food. Use a kitchen scale to measure the food. • Plan ahead. At the very beginning of the week, buy your groceries and plan your meals. • If you have cravings for some food items, add some of it in your diet chart. By checking the nutritional values, you can easily track down the calories. • Cook your meals in advance. If you are working and don’t get much time to cook every day, prepare your meals in advance and store it. Storing foods in the refrigerator doesn’t degrade its nutritional values. No matter how many obstacles you face, if you are determined, you can reach your goal. Control your mind to control your body. Cheers!
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Manisha Gupta

Is high carb diet equally beneficial as zone diet, bcoz i read it many a times that protein intake should be more while dieting for weight loss? If we try to include favorite food items, they have high carbs and less protein as our indian food is like that.

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