Celebrate the rise of my cheat days

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CHEAT Day. Have more beautiful words ever been uttered? Ladies and gentleman, in this game we call ‘healthy eating,’ I’ve finally found the loophole we’ve all been looking for.

CHEAT Day. Have more beautiful words ever been uttered? Ladies and gentleman, in this game we call ‘healthy eating,’ I’ve finally found the loophole we’ve all been looking for.

Cheat Day, say it soft and it’s almost like praying...

For those not yet in the know, a Cheat Day is one glorious day a week when those of us in pursuit of a sleeker summer shape get to take our foot off the gas of our strict healthy eating regime. When we get to say ‘yes’ to dessert, ‘bonjour’ to bread and ‘hola’ to Hobnobs!

It might sound too good to be true but the theory, I’m told, is sound. Our bodies, being the incredible machines they are, quickly learn to adapt to anything new we throw at them, healthy food included.

A week or two of eating brown rice and chicken and our metabolism finally cottons on to the game plan. ‘I see, no more donuts and fried chicken huh?’ it asks with a knowing wink.

‘I know just what to do...’ and it begins to slow down as it tries to compensate for all the good we’re trying to do. That’s where our superhero, Cheat Day, comes to the rescue.

It bombards it with a healthy dose of sugar and fat that basically scares the living daylights out of it and stops it getting complacent, causing the metabolism to boost its activity and actually burn up more calories during the remaining six days of the week.

Plus it gives us something wonderful to look forward to at the week’s end!

“It is possible to have too much of a good thing when it comes to healthy eating,” confirmed personal trainer Colin McCurdy.

“You need to put some junk in there too, it’s good for the soul and keeps your body on its toes.”

What the trainer wants, the trainer gets.

As week two of the ‘Get Celeb Fit’ Challenge rolled to a close, I was dreaming of chocolate, white pasta with creamy sauces and glasses of rose wine.

But I was also worried by the concept of a Cheat day. I worried that by allowing myself to relax on Friday night, I might feel like I’d wasted my week, or even worse, be thrown out of the healthy eating cycle altogether.

In the end I decided to exercise some restraint at breakfast and lunch so I could really make the most of my evening off.

That Friday night, at a local Italian restaurant, I indulged in creamy Carbonara pasta, fudge brownie dessert and two glasses of wine. I even polished off my boyfriend’s coffee mint. Oh happy day - literally!

It turns out I’m a big fan of the Cheat Day theory, and not just for the obvious reason. The next day, far from seeing my will power crumble, I felt completely ready to get back to my bran flakes cereal with skimmed milk breakfast. It had only fired me up even more to carry on.

Plus, knowing that I was working hard at being healthy the rest of the week, I found I was able to really relax and enjoy everything I ate that night guilt-free. It was completely liberating!

“That’s exactly the idea,” Colin told me later.

“You don’t want to go too far and have a big blowout cheat day or weekend that completely cancels out all your hard work in the week, but relax, have a nice meal, order dessert, open a bottle of wine and enjoy yourself, then feel ready to get back to it the next day.

“It’s the best way to give your metabolism a kick and maintain your healthy lifestyle long-term.”

Well I’m a convert, but why not try it for yourselves this weekend? Break out the pizza, uncork a bottle of red and say ciao to some cheesecake! You won’t regret it - I promise.