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Indulging or “cheating” is one of the most misunderstood concepts in dieting. If you learn and master the method we’re going to teach you, it might just be the key to your success. Most of us have some problem with emotional eating. Does this sound anything like you?

You’ve been eating and overeating for long periods at a time and, at some point, decided to go on a strict diet. You’ve mustard all your willpower and motivation into this project, eaten cleanly for weeks, and gotten some pounds off your belly. But after some time, the motivation disappears or you counter some other obstacles or setbacks. So you have fallen back to eating like before. But this time, you're also overcompensating and eating even more than before. You eat until you can’t stand yourself anymore and go on another strict diet. It's a widespread story of yo-yo dieters and emotional eaters. 

The false assumption that we’ve gotten from bad television about weight loss is that you are either on a strict diet or a lazy overweight slob who eats everything. But it never works that way. Few people can keep up strict diets for long periods. But for most of us, it can’t and won’t ever be a solution. Instead, we have to learn to eat intuitively and plan our indulging ahead. This is the main principle of how to be successful in this. Don’t wait till it “happens to you,” plan your indulging or cheat meals ahead of time regularly. It is as simple as that. For example, have one meal per week, where you go to a restaurant or eat something out of the ordinary. 

There are many benefits to this:

1. When you know you have a cheat meal coming this week. You have so much more willpower to resist every other temptation which we are surrounded by in our daily lives.

 2. When you know that you have a cheat meal coming, you think more thoroughly about what you will eat and how much. This won’t be a binging act when you shovel whatever you can get your hands on into your mouth. You will try to make the most of this occasion and plan accordingly. 

Getting your weekly cheat meal is often enough for most people not to overeat and cheat in the times between. Some people do it twice per week and some once per month, but start with once per week and adjust from there. Instead of harmful emotional eating when you try to muffle whatever painful emotion you have by eating fast calories.  You will be mindful of the positive feelings you get from actually enjoying food. This is a skill in itself that you should try to develop. 

When you know what you will indulge in, you can prepare the exact amount and eat it.  Not the all-you-can-eat-meals that is described above. The take-away is the same as in previous chapters - plan ahead and you’ll be much more successful. If cheating on your diet has never been a problem for you, forget about it and do as you’ve always done. But if you are an emotional eater or find yourself easily distracted, you might get a life-changing tool out of controlled cheating.

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