The Truth About Cheat Meals: Why They’re Good and How to Do Them Right


You’ve been working hard, sticking to your diet and exercise plan, putting in long hours at the gym, and saying no to your favorite treats and snacks. But don’t worry; you don’t have to be perfect 100% of the time to reach your goals. In fact, the occasional cheat meal can actually help keep you on track. Cheat meals, when done right, satisfy your cravings, boost your metabolism and motivation, and prevent feelings of deprivation—all without ruining your progress. The key is to enjoy your indulgence and then get right back to your regular healthy habits.

What Are Cheat Meals and Why Are They Important?

Cheat meals are indulgent breaks from your regular, healthy diet that serve an important purpose. Occasional indulgence helps you stay on track by preventing feelings of deprivation that lead to binge eating or giving up. But cheat meals need to be approached mindfully.

Cheat Meal
  • Keep cheat meals occasional, around once a week or less. This prevents them from becoming the norm and derailing your progress.
  • Choose your indulgences wisely. Have a slice of pizza or a burger and fries, not an all-you-can-eat buffet. Focus on quality, not quantity.
  • Continue to make healthy choices too. Have your cheat meal, then get right back to your usual balanced and nutritious diet. Don’t let one meal turn into an all-weekend binge fest.
  • Enjoy your cheat meal guilt-free. Do not feel bad about indulging occasionally. It’s all part of creating a sustainable healthy lifestyle where no foods are off limits forever. With the right mindset, cheat meals absolutely have a place and can even enhance your motivation to eat well the rest of the time.

So go ahead, schedule in that cheat meal and savor every bite. Your cheat meal is just one small piece of the big picture that is your healthy lifestyle. When approached properly, it will satisfy your cravings without sabotaging your progress. Now that’s having your burger and eating it too!

Setting Yourself Up for Cheat Meal Success

Cheat meals can be part of a healthy diet, but you have to approach them the right way.

Plan ahead and make it count

Pick your indulgence and look forward to it. Think about what you’re really craving so you can fully enjoy it without regret. Stick to your normal diet leading up to your cheat meal.

Be mindful while eating

Savor each bite. Eat slowly without distractions. Taste your food and appreciate the flavors. This will make your cheat meal more satisfying and prevent overeating.

Get back on track

The day after your cheat meal, resume your regular diet and exercise routine. Don’t let one indulgence spiral into a week of unhealthy choices. Stay focused on your goals.

With the right mindset, cheat meals absolutely have a place in your healthy lifestyle. An occasional reward for your hard work and discipline. Just remember, moderation and mindfulness are key. Plan for your cheat, savor it, and move on. Your progress will stay right on track.

Choosing the Right Cheat Meals

For the best results, choose cheat meals that you’ll really enjoy and savor. Opt for your absolute favorites, not just whatever’s convenient. Really think about what you’re craving to make it worth straying from your usual diet.

Some good options include:


With loads of melted cheese and your favorite toppings, pizza is always a satisfying choice. Keep portions moderate and avoid eating the entire pie!

Ice Cream

A few scoops of rich, delicious ice cream can satisfy your sweet tooth without going overboard. Stick to a small cup or cone instead of a giant sundae.

Burger and Fries

A juicy burger and crispy french fries are comfort food at its best. Select a smaller burger patty and reasonable portion of fries to prevent overindulging.

The key is moderation and mindfulness. Have your cheat meal and enjoy every bite, but avoid binging or feelings of guilt afterwards. Get right back to your usual healthy diet at the next meal. An occasional indulgence in moderation won’t derail your progress, but will make your diet sustainable and satisfying in the long run.

The Do’s and Don’ts of Cheat Days

Cheat meals absolutely have a place in a healthy diet, but only if you approach them the right way. Do:

-Plan your indulgence in advance. Choose one meal per week to enjoy something you’ve been craving. Knowing it’s coming up will help you stay on track the rest of the week.

-Make it count. Get exactly what you’ve been dreaming of, whether it’s pizza, a burger, or ice cream. Savor every bite!

-Get back to your regular routine immediately after. Don’t let one meal become an entire cheat day. Return to your usual balanced and nutritious diet at your next meal.


-Feel guilty. Having an occasional treat is part of a sustainable healthy lifestyle. Enjoy your cheat meal with a clear conscience.

-Go overboard. It can be easy to lose control when you finally give yourself permission to indulge. But eating way too much can make you feel sick and negatively impact your progress.

-Skip your workout. Keep up your regular exercise routine. It will make you appreciate your cheat meal even more and avoid significantly impacting your calorie balance for the day.

Cheat meals should enhance your diet, not derail it. When done right, they satisfy your cravings, bust boredom, and make your healthy lifestyle more sustainable in the long run. Keep them occasional, plan them, fully enjoy them, and then get right back to your usual good habits. Your waistline and sanity will thank you!

Getting Back on Track After a Cheat Meal

Getting back on track after indulging in a cheat meal is easier than you think. The key is not to be too hard on yourself; one meal won’t ruin your progress as long as you make the right choices afterward.

Shift your mindset. Don’t label it a “cheat meal” – that implies you’ve done something wrong. Call it an “indulgence” or “treat” instead. This small mindset shift will help you feel less guilty and more in control.

Hydrate and move your body. Drink plenty of water to aid digestion, and go for a walk or do some light exercise. This will boost your metabolism and energy levels, leaving you feeling refreshed and motivated.

Choose nutritious next meals. Have a healthy, balanced meal as your next option after indulging. Focus on lean proteins, high-fiber whole grains, fruits and vegetables. This helps get your nutrition back on track without feeling deprived.

Forgive yourself and move on. Don’t dwell on one indulgent meal – just get back to your good habits and consistent nutrition plan. Stay focused on your goals and the progress you’ve made. Everyone deserves a treat now and then, so be kind to yourself and keep working towards your goals.

With the right mindset, self-care, and balanced nutrition, you’ll get back on track in no time. Stay positive; you’ve got this!


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