Even the most dedicated nutrition buffs have their moments of temptation. That’s where the ‘cheat meal’ comes in. But cheat meals can be a slippery slope. After weeks of sticking to veggies, complex carbs and lean proteins, one cheeseburger, or pizza night can set you off on days of indulgence. It can be harder to recover from this kind of pattern. Instead, it’s important to schedule and plan for your cheat meals for success. Cheat meals are a good solution to preserve your sanity and keep you motivated. They can also reset hormones and help regulate metabolism and insulin levels to burn calories and tackle fat, but you need to follow some simple rules.

The 90/10 rule.

With this plan, you eat clean 90 percent of the time and never skip a meal. The other 10 percent is cheat time. This method best suits people with desk jobs who burn a small, steady calorie level throughout the week.

Schedule your cheat meals.

It’s easier to behave yourself when you know you have a splurge coming up. Booking cheat meals into your calendar will enable you to plan ahead – to hit the gym that day and eat well before and after.

Find balance.

If you love cheeseburgers, for example, have one – but pass on the fries. Limit yourself to two pieces of pizza instead of eating the whole pizza. Also, remember to slow down and enjoy every bite. Try to chew slowly and not shove the food down because you're so excited to be eating it.

Don’t out-eat your workouts.

If weight loss is your goal, you need to consume fewer calories than you burn. Eat what you want until you're satisfied, not until you're stuffed. Enjoy your cheat meal, but try not to let it carry over into subsequent meals.

Listen to your body.

Since foods fuel your activities, your body will often signal what it needs and what feels the best. Use your intuition and listen to your how foods affect your energy levels and performance. Maybe carbs make you feel sluggish, or you get an energy drop after a sugary treat? This kind of holistic approach is more intuitive and natural and will help you understand what works for your body.

Definitely consult with a nutrition expert or dietitian to see where little improvements can be made. Even when you think you’re eating healthy, there are often small things you could be doing to tweak your habits for even better results.