The truth about cheat meals

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For some people, dieting is all or nothing: indulging in any treats at all will tempt them back to their unhealthy ways. However, many of us may find that scheduling a sweet treat from time to time can help us stay on the wagon for much longer, and enjoy a healthier lifestyle overall. But why?

Don't deny yourself
Studies show that completely cutting out foods you love can result in you rebelling against your diet. Restricting access to treats like chocolate can leave you wanting them even more than before - and see you ditching your diet altogether. 

See the bigger picture
Try not to get hung up on your weight from day to day, or be tempted to think your diet isn't working because you seem to have gained weight over the last day or two. Studies have found that most of us are naturally at our lightest on Friday morning and heaviest on Sunday night, thanks to indulging on the weekend. However, we can still successfully lose weight even if we treat ourselves on Saturday and Sunday, if we follow a healthy diet and fitness plan on weekdays. 

Ditch the guilt
Embarking on a diet shouldn't feel like a punishment. To have a chance of sticking to your virtuous new ways, you need to be able to allow yourself breaks - for a glass of bubbly at a wedding, or ice cream on holiday - without being wracked by guilt. Instead, if your diet includes built-in cheat meals (or even cheat days) you're much more likely to avoid feelings of failure while remaining committed to your weight-loss goal.

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