Make Thanksgiving & Christmas Your Cheat Day & Stay on Your Fitness Plan

Thanksgiving and Christmas

As with most things in life if we keep repeating the same things over and over again, two things happen… We either get bored, or as a result stop doing them all together.┬áSometimes┬ápersonal trainers in Los Angeles are faced with helping clients combat this type of issue.

People often have a hard time with ‘Diets’, as they associate it with I can’t eat this/ or that philosophy, which puts them mentally in a ‘food jail’ mindset, with the result that they don’t stick to it!

Eating anything for too long is tough… know that feeling?

Well I have good news!… Strategic cheat days can be used within a weight loss diet plan, and make it even MORE EFFECTIVE.

Doesn’t ‘pigging out’ on junk food sound too good to be true?

I have since done some scientific research that will support the fact that strategic cheat days can enhance rapid weight loss. The key thing is a trigger from a cheat day being so effective, is a bodily hormone called LEPTIN. The way LEPTIN acts in the body is like an internal gauge that gives your body by way of the brain information about your body’s nutritional state, or level.

LEPTIN and Weight Loss

There are two ways LEPTIN levels are adjusted by your body, 1) The type of foods you consume, and 2) Your body- fat level.

To explain point 1)…

A person on a weight loss diet tends to have lowered LEPTIN levels, even
if they have high body-fat.

As LEPTIN levels functions are to tell the brain that our stomach is
full, when we are following a weight loss diet plan,our body as a result of our
lowered LEPTIN levels interpretes it that we are in starvation mode and not
eating enough calories. This can happen in as little as 10-14 days, with LEPTIN
levels dropping by as much as 50-70%. The result is that your thyroid hormone
decreases , causing the metabolism to shut down while at the same time your
Cortisol hormone (fat hormone) increases, putting your body in the perfect state to make losing additional body fat hard, and worse still to store even more

This is the ultimate ‘Catch 22′, as most of us start a weight loss diet plan to lose weight (body-fat), which we all do for the first couple of weeks, then our LEPTIN levels do a number on us, and to make it worse our Cortisol (fat hormone) goes up making us crave even more of the foods we planned to avoid on our weight loss diet. This results in us gaining even more weight than in the first place!!!

Most diets reduce calories,usually by restricting carbohydrates, with the result that our metabolism comes to a grinding stop! This is why diets don’t work! Crazy eh?

The perfect solution to this dilemma-


It works in two ways, 1) gives you a mental break from the ‘diet’ – can’t eat this/ can’t eat that mind set, and 2) turbo charges your metabolism to lose even more weight.

A cheat day promotes a quick increase in LEPTIN levels, and counteracts the reduction incurred from the reduced calories of a weight loss diet. This response is quickly attained in about 8-10 hours. This acts to reset your LEPTIN levels- By planning to eat whatever you want ONE day per week, your put your body in a position to burn fat again, when you go back to your weight loss diet
plan the next day.

To accelerate results even more you can reduce your calories even more than
usual following the cheat day, as your metabolism is still at an increased level
due to the higher calories taken in on the that day, hence you will burn even
more of the calories, basically you will create a higher calorie deficit = more
body- fat burned. You see how this works?

It breaks the barriers to weight loss imposed by diets, helping you move past
usual sticking points- by hormone manipulation.

Foods to eat on a cheat day

The oxymoron here is that all the foods we try to avoid on a weight loss plan, are the most effective ones to consume on a cheat day. This is because they are most effective is raising your insulin levels, which in turn significantly boost your LEPTIN level.

The most effective foods for a cheat day are the ones most people eat on a regular basis, pizza, bagels, cakes, muffins, sandwiches(white bread), yogurts and ice cream. They are all high glycemic(high conversion to sugar), and eating even small amounts can dramatically increase your LEPTIN levels.


A cheat day can be as important to you as your weight loss food plan in losing your unwanted weight. I would recommend eating healthfully for 2-3 weeks before incorporating a cheat day. Your body needs time to adjust to the much needed changes, that you made when going onto your weight loss plan. You have probably developed some hugh cravings since changing from your regular eating style. Those cravings need to be satisfied in order for you to stay on course. After about 30 days your cravings will begin to diminish, and the food you are eating on your weight loss plan will satisfy you.

If you are in the Los Angeles area and you would like a complimentary one-on-one assessment with Personal Trainer in L.A. Nicholas Barrett, please don't hesitate to get in touch! Personal trainer Los Angeles. Los Angeles personal trainer. Personal trainer marina del rey.