Dreaming of doughnuts? Pining for pizza? Mesmerized by mashed potatoes mounded with melted butter? You’re in luck! The folks at Gold’s Gym have declared June ‘National Cheat Food Awareness Month’ in an effort to save your diet.
"Diets often fail because people feel like they're punishing themselves," said Dr. Belisa Vranich, a nationally-recognized heath, fitness and psychology expert and advisor for the Gold's Gym Fitness Institute. She knows that a little cheating can actually help you to stay on track with your diet and exercise program. The key is doing it right.
Below you’ll find Dr. Vranich’s top five tips for “responsible” cheating. Read on for the full delicious scoop:
Five Rules: Cheating Done Right
1. Mark your calendar.
“The decision that it will be your cheat day should not come after you’ve ingested a box of doughnut holes,” cautions Dr. Vranich, right off the bat. Plan ahead instead, as the “premeditated” cheater is less likely to binge and feel guilty about it the next day.
2. Limited-time offer.
We hate to be the bearer of bad news, but cheating should not be an all-day event. (Don’t shoot the messenger.) According to our expert, we should designate one meal or occasion each week to indulge. “That way,” Dr. Vranich explains, “you can be sure to make smart decisions leading up to the big day.”
3. No midnight snacks.
For dieters prone to nighttime noshing, the doctor prescribes, “Cheat by the light of day.” She knows that snacking just before crashing is “doubly bad”, and encourages us to cheat during the a.m. or early p.m. instead. Even better, if you cheat while you’re out and about, you may feel more accountable for your actions.
4. Put on the brakes.
Now, more than ever, it's time to slow down and savor your food. Craving chocolate? Take your time with one fine piece of high-quality candy, rather than inhaling an entire batch of cookies. Your diet (and your digestion) will thank you.
5. Spend to save (calories).
Finally, Dr. Vranich recommends avoiding oversized packages of cheat-worthy foods. “Single servings will help keep you in line,” she explains. For example, buy an ice cream cone from your favorite shop, rather than a half-gallon tub from the supermarket. Sure, it may cost you a little bit more coin, but this rule saves calories in the long run.
For more information on National Cheat Food Awareness Month visit GoldsGym.com.