Health

Diet not working? Your 'cheat day' may be the culprit

If you're on board with healthy eating, you might have a special day reserved for when all of that is thrown out the window.

A 2006 study done in the Journal of Consumer Psychology showed that cheat meals could be beneficial in a weight loss plan as it wards off feelings of deprivation.

But looking forward to your cheat meals could end up with you cheating your way out of your diet.

1. It might mess up your whole diet cycle

You might feel guilty and overcompensate by going on a stricter diet for the next few days or even pumping more hours in the gym. With every cheat day, your body absorbs a great amount of sugar, fat and refined carbs that could make matters worse.

2. By labelling certain foods as a cheat meal, it might appear more enticing than it actually is.

Restricting tempting foods can cause a bigger craving for them.

3. Your regular meals will appear to be less appetising.

The goal should be to love your healthy food by enjoying the taste of it, instead of hanging on bitterly just so to relish your cheat meal.

4. Cheat meals go against the point of eating in moderation.

You could always incorporate your favourite but not-so-healthy food into your everyday eating plan, but do so in moderation. It's best to stick to the 90/10 rule, whereby you eat 90 per cent balanced meals and 10 per cent anything your heart desires.

This story first appeared in Shape magazine, the only women's health and fitness magazine in Singapore.

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