Most people who try to follow a reasonably healthy diet will be familiar with the concept of a 'cheat day' – 24 hours when calories don't count, because hey, you havn't even looked at a square of chocolate in over a week.
One day off won't do any harm, right?
Well, not exactly.
As it turns out, just one day of binge eating can have a huge impact on your body's health.
Researchers from the University of Loughborough asked 15 heathy people to eat a diet high in fat for just one day.
They indulged in three high-calorie meals including, sausages, bacon and fried eggs for breakfast, sausage rolls and cheese sandwiches for lunch, followed by a pork pie snack, then a burger and a chocolate chip muffin.
In total, participants consumed about 78 per cent more calories then the recommended amount, and by the end of the day, their whole-body insulin levels has decreased by 28 per cent.
Researchers say this result in highly “significant”, as over time, the pancreas could become dysfunctional, leading to an increased risk of type two diabetes.
The study concluded: “A single day of high-fat, overfeeding impaired whole-body insulin sensitivity in young, healthy adults. This highlights the rapidity with which excessive consumption of calories through high-fat food can impair glucose metabolism, and suggests that acute binge eating may have immediate metabolic health consequences for the individual.”
So, perhaps it might be better to spread your treats throughout the week…