Have a cheat day? While a properly planned cheat day can be an acceptable part of any workout protocol, if you have one when it wasn’t quite planned, it’s essential that you learn how to fully recover from it.
Cheat days, as long as they are just that and don’t turn into full blown weeks off your diet, don’t have to damage you all that much. You just need to do a little damage control.
Cut Back On Carbohydrates
First, if you ate a high calorie and carbohydrate diet the day before, you’ll want to consider reducing your carbohydrate intake to some extent for the day or two after.
This will help to reduce your calorie intake and ‘wipe the slate clean’ so to speak on how much total body fat you may gain.
You don’t want to cut all carbohydrates out, but do consider slightly reducing them.
Choose Strength Training Over Cardio
Next, you should also consider choosing strength training workouts for the next few days rather than cardio training. Far too many people have this plan to rush out and do hours of cardio to burn up those excess calories they just consumed.
But remember, after the cheat day, your muscle glycogen stores will be fully saturated and you’ll be better off using that muscle glycogen for strength training, not cardio.
You will find that you feel much stronger in your workouts after a cheat day, so it’s a perfect time to take advantage of this.
Learn The Lesson
Finally, if you cheated and it wasn’t a planned cheat day, think about why it occurred so that you can learn a lesson from it.
Was there something that set the cheat off?
What can you do in the future to prevent that from happening again?
Remember, we all make mistakes but those who learn from them move forward. Those who don’t, will only continue making that mistake until they learn the lesson they needed to.
Learn this lesson the first time around so that the same problem doesn’t happen into the future.
If your diet isn’t set up properly to include a cheat day every so often, this could have been the driving force for instance, so getting that incorporated in could help you stick with the plan that much better.
So there you have a few key facts to know and remember about recovering from cheat days. If you’re smart in how you handle this, it won’t have to set you back.