According to Men's Health, scientists put study participants on a diet that was limited to only 10,500 calories per week, but half of the dieters were allowed to eat anything they wanted on Sundays.
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After two weeks, the two groups had both reduced their average body mass indexes. While there was no significant difference in the amount of weight the two groups had lost, those who had taken Sundays off were happier and more motivated to continue working toward their weight-loss goals.
This proves that a little indulgence never hurt anybody. Plus, it gives you something to look forward to throughout the week, dropping pounds all the while.
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"The key is to plan ahead and designate a specific day for your rule-breaking," study author Rita Coelho do Vale, Ph.D tells Men's Health.
However, don't confuse "cheat day" with "binge day." The study participants kept their portions of pizza, ice cream, and other treats within reason so they could stay within their weekly calorie totals.