Carrie Underwood Doesn't Believe in Cheat Days—Here's Why
Carrie Underwood is truly America's Sweetheart, and I believe you'd be hard-pressed to find someone that actually dislikes her. She has an adorable accent, a singing voice that will bring you to tears, a precious family and, of course, world-famous legs. My theory for those who don't like her is that they're probably just jealous.
While Carrie is a fitness maven and even has her own line of athletic gear, she recently told PEOPLE that she's not as rigid as she may seem with her diet—especially during the holidays. Underwood told the publication that she wishes she could ban the term "cheat days" from our modern vocabulary.
"I don't like to call them 'cheat days'—you're just enjoying life," Underwood says. "I feel like holiday time can be stressful when it comes to health and fitness, but it doesn't have to be. You can just say, 'I'm going to enjoy myself on the holidays.'"
Underwood goes on to say that, to her, the holidays are all about enjoying time with loved ones, which means lots of food and parties, so it's all about "indulging responsibly" during the final month of the year.
"And when New Year's is over, get back on the horse," she says. "It's like, 'Okay, I've had my holiday fun. Now it's time to get back on my path.'"
We are big fans of Underwood's food philosophy here at EatingWell, as we are strong believers in letting yourself enjoy all the holidays have to offer in a healthy manner. In fact, research shows that telling your brain you can "never" have something or it is "off-limits" is only going to set you up for failure in the long run.
Lisa Valente, M.S., R.D. and EatingWell's Digital Nutrition Editor would also vote to ban the word 'cheat day.' "We all have days where we eat more vegetables and days where we at more cookies than normal. When you make it black and white and tell yourself you can only have certain foods on your 'cheat day' then it makes those foods more desirable and can lead to binges," Valente adds.
We're not saying you should say yes to *every* cookie or mini brie en croute available at your holiday office party—savor a treat you really want, and move on. Sip your cocktail slowly and follow it with a big glass of water (this will also help you prevent a dreaded hangover). But when you do indulge, remember that it's OK. It's not something you need to stress about. Like Underwood realizes, your diet will ebb and flow a bit, and eventually you'll get back on your path—however that looks like for you.
If you struggle to find balance during the holidays, check out our 10 Smart-Eating Strategies for Healthy Holiday Parties to help you navigate the rest of the season with less stress. Our Editor-in-Chief Jessie Price, recently shared with PEOPLE that she allows herself the freedom to enjoy her holiday meal and then just lightens up a bit on her intake and gets some exercise the next day.