Happy Thursday to everyone! Or whatever day it may be when you get this. I know it’s been a long time since I have had a fitness post, which is probably a very bad thing. As it took my focus away from fitness for the last couple of months. Not that this is a fitness blog per say. This blog never intended to be such. But I do think as parents that we need to think about fitness not just for our partner (if you have one) or ourselves (because duh!). When it comes to fitness, we need to maintain a level of it for our children.
Because our kids are our priority. So we must be healthy for them if nothing else. Whether we do so because we fear our kids not leaving the nest before they turn 40, or because we need the energy to run around the house with our toddler or else we will have a heart attack and die in the middle of the living room floor while chasing them away from the glass coffee table for fear that they will crash into it; it will cut them; and they will die. We need to be healthy.
It’s For The Kids
For this reason, I did intend to come back from time to time and speak about various different health issues there are out there and have a discussion with my followers about topics on my heart. This meant as certain issues came to mind, I would have a discussion about those issues, or I would encourage my audience to engage those issues. And as my lack of fitness for the last two months began to weigh on me, I started noticing different fitness things would cross my desk or be on my computer screen while I would peruse through other material.
“Cheat Days”: Is It A Thing?
One of the very first one’s catching my attention was a study recently released dealing with cheat days and dieting. The small study compared two groups of obese men and dieting. They had one group participate in the four-month diet plan, making sure they rigidly held to their diet plan the whole time. The other group had to maintain the strict diet for two weeks, then be able to cheat two weeks, followed by going back to dieting for two weeks. They did this throughout the two months. This limited study found the people who did the cheating weeks actually lost more weight than those who strictly maintained their dieting and they maintained their weight loss longer.
Now I know I have had many conversations with people about dieting and cheat days. And I have heard many positive benefits. Most of the benefits of cheat days from doctors and nutritionists came in the form of positive psychological impacts. Psychologists have found when we start labeling food as healthy, or we force people to do the right thing day after day, we tire of eating healthy after a time. (Although people who get gastric bypasses or a sleeve to reduce their weight have a whole other issue with food in the end.) But for those of us who try to lose the weight in a non-surgical manner, we tend to end up failing because we cannot give ourselves the freedom to fail from time to time. This all made a lot of sense to me.
“Cheating” Makes Physical Impact
This study, however, took everything one step further. This study concluded that cheat days actually made you lose more weight than strict dieting alone. Everyone who dealt with a diet before knows of the term plateauing. Our weight reaches a certain weight loss level and then we have to have a breakthrough to be able to lose anymore. Some people have talked about varying up your diet to include more or less calories to push yourself past that plateau. This study would seem to go along with this suggestion. It gives evidence for changes in your body’s caloric intake producing a faster and better working metabolic rate.
I’m Skeptical . . .
To be honest, I am not sure what to think about this study. First of all, as with all studies, I am skeptical of who released the study and why. Because who would actually listen to a study stating sugar is good for you which was produced with funds donated by the sugar lobby? Or who would believe a tobacco study that purported to show that smoking produced a healthier set of lungs when produced by the Marlboro Company? I don’t think anyone would.
And then comes the second part of this process making me suspect about the results of the study. According to ABC news, the study took a small sample of obese men and separated them into two groups. Depending on the size of this sample, there may be too many different variables when it comes to individual people to rely on the results of this study. You can only really make a successful study if you are able to eliminate all other variables. For example, if those who cheated all decided to go to the gym that week because they felt bad for cheating, you no longer eliminate all variables to prove your point.
Could This Be Fake News?
In addition, for those of you who read my blog regularly and know I am one for writing fake histories, you haven’t even gotten into the nature of fake news. I am not saying ABC reported anything falsely here. But they have their own experts with their own opinions who frame this study in their own way. They downplay the study because their experts don’t seem to want to believe it. They repeat the positive psychological effects of the occasional cheat day while downplaying the possibility that cheat days are actually beneficial for your body.
Definitely More Study
Taking all of this into account, I believe that more study is necessary before a firm opinion can be held on the topic. My problem comes when I think so many different people in the marketplace have a vested interest in promoting whatever dietary fix that they are offering. One would think that telling good advice to the people who listened to you would be your highest priority. As giving bad advice would lead other people to stop listening to your advice.
This is where nutritionists and dietitians live in a whole other world. They create their own “formula” for losing weight, and then they attack everyone else. Because attacking others is like picking low hanging fruit. There always seems to be something that you can criticize about other people’s diet plans. The only thing most people seem to agree on includes less sugar and more exercise.
What Do You Think?
While droning on about the positive or negative aspects of “cheating” on one’s diet, what I am really interested in is what you think. Personally, I am all for cheating because of our own psyche. We feel trapped when we have to eat this “healthy food” which tastes like it came out of a bird seed box. By allowing for failure, or even planning for it, we reduce some of the psychological stress of dieting and increase our capacity to diet. But this is just my humble opinion.
What you think means more to me. Do you think it actually can aid in weight loss? Do you think it aids to more positive outcomes because of the stress it reduces? Or do you think that all cheating in diets is bad? (Please do not go to your spouse and tell them that I think it’s ok to cheat!!! Unless it’s in chess and then by all means!!!)
Continue The Conversation
Normally I would have things to ask that were extra here, but in truth, I probably asked the most important questions already. What do you think when it comes to dieting? But if you have other questions above and beyond that, please feel free to message me about certain fitness fads that I can look up? People who have followed me know I am not high on them, but I am always curious to learn about them for you.
If you liked this post, please like the post at the end, and follow me here at the Guide. Email Subscribers ill get access to the Dad Rules. These are ten rules that ever father should know about and follow. Just no cheating!!!