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Doughnut

At least I found a plain doughnut for today's "cheating" food.

Not 24 hours after I blogged about a personal resolution to lose a few pounds in the next couple of weeks, the boss walked in with several dozen doughnuts to celebrate St. Patrick's Day.

I love doughnuts.

After that, she brought in some fresh fruit, and called it to my attention. "See, not all sugar today," she said.

I had a conundrum. I looked for other signs to give me guidance: Take the fresh fruit like I should? Enjoy the doughnut as I want to do?

I looked closely at my Outlook account and notice a message, from the folks at LifeFitness, the exercise equipment company in Rosemont, Ill. This information offers several reasons why it's okay to cheat, at times.

Clearly, this is kismet. Here you go, to alleviate guilt on a sunny St. Patrick's Day:

It's okay to have a 'cheat' day

When it comes to a healthy lifestyle, nobody can be perfect all the time. We are human beings with cravings and behaviors that naturally make us want to diverge from a diet and exercise plan. The key to giving into the cravings without completely sabotaging all of your hard work is moderation. Here are a few tips to help you navigate "cheating" on food, drinks, and exercise in a healthy way!

Cheating On Food

• Every diet needs some wiggle room or you'll eventually burn out and revert to old habits. Just keep in mind that a weekly or monthly "cheat day" is not an invitation to binge. Eat the foods you want in normal portions and don't worry about counting calories. And don't forget to fit in a sweaty workout!

• A cheat day isn't a tried and true method for everybody. The 80/20 rule is another way to look at healthy eating mixed with indulging. If you work toward eating clean and healthy the majority of the time (80 percent), you can be more relaxed and loose with your choices the rest of the time.

• If you want to cheat but aren't looking to hit a fast food drive-thru, every food has a healthy copycat that keeps the taste but eliminates a lot of the junk and calories. Pinterest and healthy food bloggers are your best friends for this!

• When you want to enjoy an adult beverage that doesn't fit with your diet plan, choosing the right splurge and only having one or two is key. Skip the sugary margaritas and enjoy a glass of red, a vodka soda with lime, or a Bloody Mary instead.

Cheating On The Gym

• If you can't muster up the motivation to get to your group fitness class, sweat in a different way during the day. Take a walk during your lunch break, use a push mower instead of the rider, or go for an evening bike ride with the family.

• Last but not least, cheat on the gym once a week. Yep, we said it! A day off from a workout every once in awhile should never fill you with guilt. Your body needs recovery and rest to keep performing at a high-level without injury.

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