Cheat Meals: How to Cheat on Your Diet

cheat meals weight lossEveryone has a diet danger time. A time during the day or the week that you are most likely to stray off your diet. It could be mid-afternoon, after work or dinner, just before bed or on the weekend. Write down the danger times in your day or week (there may be several).

You need to have a plan to distract yourself with a different activity and have an alternate healthier tasty snack on hand that will limit the damage to your weight loss goals. It is also worthwhile to write down your top reasons for wanting to lose weight. Reading these just before you danger times will have a significant effect on your snacking.

These are some of the danger times to watch out for and avoid:

  1. Night, social and habitual eating
  2. Drinking alcohol during meals
  3. Eating when stressed or after emotional upsets.

If you had a lapse and gone through a phase where you’ve gone off track for a few days or longer, don’t beat yourself up about it. The only way you are not going to achieve your goals, is if you give up. As with everything else in life: get up, dust yourself off and move on. You’ve learned something. The beauty of having a good exercise regime is that if you’ve had a “cheat day”, you can simply increase the intensity or duration of your workout.

“When a thing is done, it’s done. Don’t look back.
Look forward to your next objective.”

George C. Marshall


For some people it is sometimes a good idea to relax and eat something you really enjoy once a week – provided that you do it in moderation. Please note, that if you are the kind of person who does not have trouble living “clean” then it isn’t necessary to indulge in a weekly “cheat” meal.  There is no point in teasing yourself with food that you don’t crave. Also, if you are the kind of person that  once they have had a little junk food gets the taste for it, rather than left feeling satisfied, it is probably best to refrain from cheat meals altogether.

The cheat meal serves one purpose: it helps satisfy psychological and physiological cravings and may therefore help prevent you from “falling off the wagon”. It may be the case that if you try to be too strict all the time that you are setting yourself up for cravings and binging. Depriving yourself of the foods you really love almost always ends in disaster.

If you have been living “clean” all week, one cheat meal is unlikely to do any harm. However, you do need to show a little consideration of what your “cheat meal” involves. Even your cheat meal should involve some moderation. If possible plan to have your cheat meal during the weekend, as a reward of a week of clean eating and following through on your workout plans.

If you want great results you need to eat healthy foods most of the time. Long term consistency is one of the most important factors in losing weight. Do not use your cheat day as an excuse to blow your diet. Save any “bad” foods for special occasions or enjoy them once a week as a reward for a job well don!