7 Tips to Get the Most Out of Your Cheat Day

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There's a perception that many people have about fitness fanatics and clean eaters - they think they eat healthy 24/7 and workout constantly. Ha! Little do they know every athlete, personal trainer and Instagram model has a dirty little secret... the cheat day.

After all, your will power is a muscle of sorts. Exercising it will make it strong, but use it too much and it becomes fatigued. The result? A binge of epic proportions!

So, keep your muscle in check with one cheat day a month, fortnight or even week, to start with. This way, you're in control, and your will power gets a well-deserved rest!

1. Be Organised

Thought itineraries were just for holidays? Think again! Planning out your cheat day in advance will ensure you make the most of each meal without going totally overboard.

Break it up into breakfast, lunch and dinner with no snacks in between (seriously, it's not like you'll need them!) or enjoy a day of grazing over five smaller meals.

2. Burn Some Calories in Preparation

When you know a fatty, sugary, artery-clogging blow-out is approaching, it doesn't hurt to make some room. While it's true that you can't out-exercise a bad diet, doing a decent workout before your cheat day can help alleviate those feelings of 'oh god, what have I done?' afterwards.

3. Line Your Stomach

Much like prepping for a bar crawl with your mates, lining the stomach pre-cheat day is essential. What do we mean, exactly? Fermented foods. According to Breaking Muscle, fermented food like sauerkraut will give your stomach the probiotic hit it needs to tackle all the deliciously greasy delights you're about to throw at it.

A glass jaw of sauerkraut on a white wooden table with bread and shallots

4. Don't Go Too OTT

Yes, it's a cheat day, but it's still important to listen to your body. You may have been craving that triple-patty burger earlier in the week, but if the day’s earlier cheat-tastic meals have totally destroyed your appetite, then listen to your body. Don't eat junk for the sake of eating junk.

5. Try a 'Semi-Cheat Day'

Want a cheat day without the regret? Try what we're calling a 'semi-cheat day'. Basically, write a list of the meals you're craving, whether it's a burger, pizza, freakshake... you name it. Now you're going to make it yourself.

Yeah, it's a little bit of extra effort, but it'll be better for you, taste just as good and you'll know exactly what's going into it. You could even substitute healthier ingredients, like lean meat instead of fatty patties, low-fat instead of full-fat cheese, sorbet instead of ice cream... you get the picture!

6. Drink LOTS of Water

Chances are you'll be eating a lot of salty, sugary, fatty foods. Yes? Well then, you need to drink a lot of water. Staying hydrated is the best way to avoid that gross, groggy feeling (or, as we like to call it, the cheat day hangover).

7. Don't Beat Yourself Up

Went a little crazy on your cheat day? Don't worry - sometimes, it just happens! However, punishing yourself is only going to complicate your relationship with food, so simply acknowledge what happened and move on with a view to keeping control over your next cheat day.

If all this talk of cheat meals has got you as hungry as it's got us, head over to Scoopon now to check out what delicious offers are on near you!

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