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Good Cheat-Day Choice

When you’re dieting hard, you look forward to your cheat day. Taking a day off from your diet helps keep all of your hormones, like leptin, at optimum measures so your body doesn’t dive into starvation-panic mode. In other words, a moderate cheat day stokes your metabolism. It’s also good from a psychological standpoint. If you have a little of what you’ve been craving, all is well—as long as you don’t go berserk.

A good choice for a breakfast splurge is pancakes and maple syrup. Sounds decadent for a dieting bodybuilder, but if the pancakes are whole wheat, you get necessary fiber, something often missing on lower-carb diets. The fiber slows down the absorption of the sugar in the maple syrup. If you use real maple syrup, it’s not that bad for you. In fact, it’s darn good for you.

The Federation of Quebec Maple Syrup Producers cites a study from the University of Rhode Island that found 20 antioxidants in maple syrup that can delay free-radical-induced diseases such as diabetes and cancer. One quarter cup has as much antioxidant activity as one serving of broccoli.

So when your cheat day arrives, put your guilt on hold and have some hot cakes. You’re doing your mind and body good on a number of levels.

—Becky Holman



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