We know that eating healthy is required to achieve your health and fitness goals but eating clean and healthy ALL the time can be hard!
This is why we are firm believers in having a treat day!
We like to call it a treat day rather than a cheat day as words have power and it’s important not to think that you are “cheating” on your diet just by eating some of your favourite foods. It also helps to better support self-regulation and healthy eating behaviours.
A weekly treat day has been shown to boost your metabolism and reduce feelings of deprivation, improving not only your ability to lose weight but also the ability to stick to your diet plan too.
Allow Joel and Steph to explain…
The benefits of a treat day
1. Regulate your hormones
Our appetite is controlled by two hormones – ghrelin and leptin. Ghrelin stimulates hunger and leptin suppresses hunger. When we follow a calorie restricted diet, we may be causing our leptin levels to fall, and our ghrelin levels to rise. By temporarily increasing calorie intake through a treat day, our bodies can regulate the levels of these hormones in our body, keeping our metabolism in check. One study has shown that leptin production can be boosted by almost 30% for up to 24 hours after indulging in a high carbohydrate meal.
2. Reduce cravings
Constantly trying to resist your cravings can be exhausting. Having a weekly treat day allows you to enjoy the foods you have been craving, which can help to reduce your urge to overindulge during the week and keep you on track to achieving your goals.
3. Restore glycogen levels & improve training performance
If you have been following a strict diet for a long time, the glycogen stores in your muscles may be low. This can lead you to fatigue more quickly and affect your workout performance. Having a treat day where you consume more calories and carbohydrates can help replenish your glycogen stores and help to improve your workout performance.
Important treat day reminders
- A treat day is not an opportunity to go off the rails and unravel all of your hard work! Try to find cleaner alternatives to ultra-processed foods so that you can enjoy your treat meal, while still staying as healthy as possible.
- The diet and lifestyle changes you’ve adopted through the TNT lifestyle will help guide your treat meal and keep you from going overboard, but it’s also helpful to plan your meal ahead.
- If you do end up overindulging and eating over your calorie limit, get right back on track the next day and use it as a way to learn how to make better choices on your next treat day!
It can be hard to not feel guilty after a treat meal. You may be scared of falling off track or undoing all your hard work, but you shouldn’t. You worked hard to earn it, so enjoy it!