To Cheat, Or Not To Cheat…

Cheating, we’ve all done this to one degree or another when it comes to our diet. There is nothing wrong with straying away from your normal eating routine once in a while; but when does cheating turn into pigging out and losing all self-control?

Some of us celebrate holidays with family; and family gatherings are usually cause for a feast of unhealthy dishes. The problem with these family recipes are that they taste awesome and for the most part have been in our lives for many generations. Since we eat healthy most of the time we convince ourselves to give in for this one day. We start with a scoop or two of macaroni and cheese (heavy on the cheese) and by the end of the night we’ve sampled everything available at least twice. We make our way to the couch stuffed to capacity and doze off. Our “cheat day” just turned into a full-on day of gluttony.

When we decide to step outside of our healthy eating routine we should attempt to do so in a more controlled manner.

Do you regulate your indulging moments? If you have a plan for your healthy days, why not have one for the unhealthy days? Don’t allow yourself to over indulge when consuming foods high in fat, sugar, or any other unhealthy ingredients. Have an idea of what nutritional value the “cheat foods” contain. Once you see these numbers in front of you, your mindset changes. With this information at the ready, you can decide whether or not to eat three slices of cheesecake. Well at least that worked for me this weekend. Bring on the holidays!!


  1. joranvar says:

    That is so like me this weekend… Well, not the guy in the picture, but I did eat way more than I normally do, and not just the healthy stuff. For those of you that did the same: this is not a reason to let it all go and give up. Maybe you can’t change what you did, but you certainly can change what you’re gonna do today. Personally, I’m gonna go put in just a little bit more effort on the bicycle today, just to remind me of the healthy things that I can do. Doing things that are beneficial to my fitness feels better than overeating.

  2. This was an excellent article! I still fall victim to the gluttony fest every now and then. But when I get the sugar cravings, I have a cup of green tea and I feel great!

  3. Kimberly / says:

    Great post! My dad and I just talked about this topic Friday. I’ve decided most foods really aren’t as great as we think or as great as we remember (especially once you get over that sugar addiction phase!) So, for holidays and celebrations, a bite of each food that has a sentimental value usually will suffice. For my birthday, I planned ahead. I knew there was a slice of chocolate cake that was totally worth the cheat, so I planned for it as I ate earlier in the day.

    • I like the idea of having a bite of each food. It does allow you to remember the good ‘ol days without feeling terrible about it. If you knew the cake was coming and properly planned for it….I’d have to say that was an awesome cheating strategy.

  4. WhitLikesFit says:

    I did not eat that great this weekend. But I decided I was fine with it. I eat good and workout 85% of the time so I’m cool with enjoying some delicious calories. But my rule is, if I’m going to indulge, I have to enjoy it. Can’t waste it on something crappy. And, I have to offset it with a workout.

    • Wasting a cheat day may possibly be one of the worst things ever. Offsetting a cheat every once in a while is alright as long as you rememerber that you can not out exercise a bad diet.

  5. Cara Olsen says:

    Oh . . . this is terribly convicting, I must say. Part of what enables me to get through a week of deprivation of sorts, is the knowledge that, come Friday, Saturday, and a teeny-bit on Sunday, I am allowed to cheat to the degree in which I want. My scruples during the week are contingent upon the permissible gluttony of those 2 meals. (A “cheat day” for me is one large meal, just clarifying.) If I were to moderate or set up restrictions, I don’t know if the payout would be worth the prize — to me; however, I happen to be fairly disciplined, so although I give myself a free for all, usually there’s a salad in there somewhere, some good protein, and lots and lots and lots and lots of bread 🙂

    This has got me thinking . . . thanks.


    • Having a cheat is not bad…as long as it is a planned cheat. We don’t want to negate all of the hard work we put in all week in two days. Now if you have a cheat-meal or cheat-snack, I don’t think that will do much damage…however, a cheat day, a WHOLE cheat day may not be so good.

  6. 1stjoeyanna says:

    I cannot eat all day, then 10-11p.m., I’m tired and hungry. I eat. I had an eating disorder for 13 years. I just will not eat if I’m not hungry. I know it’s not good, but I haven’t been able to break that cycle. I’m a night eater, and then I’m inactive. Just thought I’d share….. 🙂

  7. sweetopiagirl says:

    Reblogged this on Inspiredweightloss.

  8. travtrails says:

    Good advice…now what I need is ‘will power’ to not to cheat

  9. I epically failed in the food department this Easter weekend. I love this blog. 🙂

  10. Not cheating is hard! I usually find a recipe that is a mock or light version of what i am craving. sometime i just eat a little of the “bad” stuff but calculate the calories and then tell myself that this slice of pizza is a half hour on the treadmill so enjoy it and don’t have more because I don’t want to work out even more 🙂

    • There is nothing wrong wth a planned cheat…it’s the pigging out that gets people. Cheat-meals or cheat-snacks are fine…but when you have a cheat-day all day….that can negate a week’s worth of exercise.

  11. I try to keep my “cheats” (although I don’t really think of them that way) as meals/snacks/treats out. That way I have a limited amount served to me, no leftovers or extra ingredients, and the high price helps to deter too much indulging. The most important part? I make sure I really enjoy the food!

  12. That’s another great way to control a “cheat” meal. Limited portions, with no access to additional servings, and yes, you should totally enjoy what you eat! You deserve it!

    We simply need to remember our goals! Stay on target, and don’t give in to the temptation of over doing!

  13. quiddicqc says:

    This is an interesting article. Thinking about it i know my holiday eating is actually more of an emotional thing. Wanting to please the people who have cooked for you, living up to expectations (well you always had second helpings as a kid), and also food that’s cooked for you always tastes better and you want to eat more! When you’re aware of that it helps to moderate what you eat I think.

    • Living up to your old eating habits is not something you want to do. It is fine to say no in for the sake of health. I’m sure no one is going to cry because you didn’t eat their dish. Another thing that may help with that is letting people know that you’ve changed your eating habits. This way it won’t be a huge shock when you say no to first and second helpings.

  14. Sandra M. says:

    Very good points. What is that saying – failing to plan is like planning to fail.It’s too easy to use ‘not knowing’ (not wanting to know) to eat more, and worse, than you really realize.

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