Are diet 'cheat days' helpful or harmful?

If you've ever been on a diet you've probably heard of "cheat day."

It's one day to eat whatever you like, but is it helpful or will it sabotage your hard work?

Some say giving in to cravings like chips, pizza and ice cream can increase your level of the hormone leptin which will decrease your appetite

It may also help you burn more calories by over-eating which could boost your metabolism

But for some people, a full day to cheat can easily steer you way off course.

A day could turn into a week of over-indulging and then you're doing more harm than good.

Instead, experts say allow yourself a cheat "meal" every once in a while.

It will help keep your cravings down without going overboard on calories.

I say try to plan cheat meals around special events like if you're going to a birthday party or another kind of celebration.

As long as those celebrations aren't every other day.
Copyright © 2022 WPVI-TV. All Rights Reserved.