Say goodbye to food guilt, because “cheat days”—or treating yourself to your favorite not-so-healthy-food (pizza, ice cream, potato chips)—is now officially a good thing, according to a recent study.ice

Planned-ahead diet cheating may help you stick to your healthy eating plan for the long haul, thereby leading to more weight loss, according to a study featured in the Journal of Consumer Psychology, completed by the Tilburg University in Holland and the Catholic University of Portugal in Lisbon.pat

 Eating Pizza Can Help You Lose Weight

Scientists studied two groups of participants: The first was limited to 10,500 calories per week with no cheat days, and the second was also limited to 10,500 calories per week, but were allowed to eat whatever they wanted on Sundays (within reason), according to Men’s Health.

At the end of two weeks, both groups lost weight, but only the second group was motivated to keep going and work toward their healthy eating goals.

And it all makes sense because really, because these findings simply stress the importance of balance and planning ahead. Treating yourself by enjoying your favorite foods on occasion will help you achieve long-term success, as long as it’s occasional and mindful, the researchers said. Choosing when and what you’ll treat yourself to ensures it’s not thoughtlessly happening all the time and that those pizza and ice cream portions are within reason. So go ahead and indulge in that cupcake on a Friday night after a long week—you deserve it!

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