If you’re eating clean for the majority of your week and staying active, you can reward yourself by indulging every once in a while.

Why they work: 
After several days of consuming fewer calories than you burn, splurging can rev up your metabolism while stocking up glycogen for your next workout. It should also satisfy any cravings you may have been having.

Planning to eat some of your favorite less-than-healthy foods like burgers, pizza, cookies or whatever else floats your boat permits you to enjoy your splurges rather than feel guilty.

Do not forget about moderation. This is not an invitation to binge. You have your cheat, you enjoy it and then you go back to your regular eating habits.  

Cheat meals and weight loss:
Researchers believe the reason for this is because interrupting a diet with “rest periods” (or the days when you’re taking breaks from dieting) prevents the metabolism from slowing down as a result of consuming fewer calories.

If you weigh yourself often, and find that the number on the scale has increased after cheating, there's no need to freak out. Your weight can fluctuate many times in just one day and that extra weight may be due to a number of things that don't involve fat gain. A few of those extra pounds may be the actual meal sitting in your belly. Some of that excess weight may also be fluid, especially if you cheated with a salty treat. Sodium causes your body to retain fluids, which can result in a higher number on the scale.

Different ways to ‘cheat:’

The single cheat meal plan:  
Once a week, plan a meal you love and crave. A single cheat meal is practical and easy for anyone with focus and self-control.

The 9/10 plan:
With this plan, you eat clean 90 percent of the time. The other 10 percent is cheat time.

This method best suits people who burn a small, steady amount of calories throughout the week. Heavier people, emotional eaters and people who have struggled with dieting should stay away from this cheat strategy as it may be too strict.

Figure out how many times you eat during the week. If you have three meals and a snack every day, seven days a week, then you eat 28 times. Therefore, you would allow yourself to indulge approximately twice per week.

Check out the infographic above and let us know the ways you 'cheat' in the comments!