The mini cheat
Best if: You’re constantly fighting cravings. If your diet leaves you fantasising about all things salty-sweet, a daily splurge of 800-1200kJ may help you stay on track better than white-knuckling it all week and then caving in a big way come cheat day.
The cheat meal
Best for: You feel deprived at social events. Factoring in a once-a-week indulgence allows your mate’s birthday dinner to fit into your plan. “A weekly cheat meal is beneficial for those who like to bond over food and feel left out – and are therefore more likely to overeat eventually – if they don’t partake,” says Varady.
The all-out cheat day
Best for: You’re sick of logging kJs. Taking a full day off per week can keep you motivated and stop you ditching your plan out of frustration. But if cheat days turn into weeks, one of the other strategies might be better.