The idea of a "cheat day" is to allow for slacking off from your normal routine every once in a while. For those who start their days with workouts and oatmeal to stay healthy, this doesn't seem like a terrible idea. 

But the problem with cheat days is that when you let your guard down when there are no rules, it's easy to overindulge. 

And what most people don't realize is that they allot more cheat days and occasions than they think. 

Let's add up the numbers.

cookie, chocolate
Phoebe Melnick

In the United States, there are roughly 10 major holidays we celebrate with food throughout the year. Valentine's Day brings chocolate, Fourth of July calls for BBQs, Halloween hits and there's an excuse to buy candy, and Thanksgiving didn't happen if you didn't have to unbutton your pants after the meal, right? The list goes on. 

But then there are at least 15 other days of the year that we celebrate specifically for the food, whether it be a holiday revolving around food to jump on the bandwagon for or a national food holiday.

Cinco de Mayo means tequila and guacamole, National Donut Day means free donuts anywhere you turn, and National Ice Cream Day seems to give an excuses to eat ice cream for all your meals.

cupcake, birthday cake, chocolate, cake
Meredith Davin

Then don't forget birthdays of your 20 closest friends and family members that you bake a cake for and celebrate with. The events you go to for your college or on-campus organizations, potluck dinners, sporting events, weekends away, and random Saturdays that you want to treat yourself and go for brunch.  

Add all those days up, plus the leftovers from the holidays that last a day or two post-celebration, and we're talking about at least one third of the calendar year. You may be feeling like your normal routine is going great and you only splurge every so often, but it's easy to be misled. 

So here's a solution to keep the celebrations coming.

cake, pizza, coffee, beer, tea
Erin O'Neill

There is no reason to have to drop a few friends in order to save on the birthday dinners, skip out on the weekend trips away, and avoid Halloween like the plague. The best thing to do is to get rid of the cheat day mindset and be real with yourself and your eating habits.

Keep up with a healthy and mindful routine regularly, and then allow yourself to indulge in a piece of your favorite cake come a friend's birthday, or a bowl of ice cream when Valentine's Day comes around and you're spending it with your gals.

Start your day with a workout and go into the day with the mindset of celebration. Think of it less as a cheat day and more as a well deserved treat that fits perfectly into the balance of your routine, and you'll be more likely not to overdo it.