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Good News For Dieters - 'Cheat Day' Will Help You Lose Weight

We have some good news for those on a diet - cheat days do help you lose weight!

Scientists say that a once a week cheat day to eat sugary treats can make it easier for dieters to lose weight.

According to recent research, planned cheat days help slimmers to resist the temptation the rest of the time and makes dieting more appetising.

Researchers carried out three experiments.

In the first experiment, 59 men and women role-played being on a diet. Half imagined being on a traditonal diet, while the other half dieted for six days and had a cheat day on the seventh day.

At the end of the procedure, they had to imagine walking down a supermarket snack aisle when hungry and think of ways to avoid giving in to temptation.

The results found that those who had the cheat day diet came up with more methods.

In the second experiment, researchers observed the weight, mood and willpower of 36 men and women who actually dieted for 2 weeks. Half followed a strict diet of 1,500 calories a day and the others ate 1,300 calories a day - apart from on Sundays, when they could eat 2,700 calories.

Tests showed that those who had the cheat day had stronger self-control than those who had the conventional diet. They were also happier, more motivated and lost just as much weight.

The final experiment showed that the same theory can apply to other goals such as saving money, where the occasional spending spree can make it easier to stick to a budget.

Researcher Marcel Zeelenberg, of Tilburg University in the Netherlands, said: ‘The findings... show it is important to plan hedonistic moments in goal pursuit when it is “good to be bad”.

Sometimes it is good in the long run to be temporarily bad in the short run.’

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