• THE DIVE by Swann Cardot

The Cheat Meal - Making It Part Of A Healthy Lifestyle


One of the most difficult aspects on fitness and nutrition is motivation. Everyone struggles with motivation, especially over a long period of time. You may be all in for two weeks, then eventually you start wanting to quit.

Anything you can do to motivate yourself to stick with a diet and fitness regime is beneficial. A cheat meal can be something to look forward to, and help you get through a tough week of workouts or calorie restriction if your goal is to lose weight.


Sticking with healthy eating and a tough workout routine can be difficult. It’s not just motivation, sometimes we get mentally worn down by trying to be “good” all the time. A cheat meal can provide the break you need. The relief of simply not thinking about calories or the right food choices is a refresher.


You guys know that I don’t like strict diets and restrictions but some people want result fast, and some just simply do better under strict rules.

After a while, it may not be realistic to keep up to strict healthy eating with no breaks. It’s easy to get into a negative cycle trying to be perfect about eating. It can result in a binge or totally falling off the diet, then feeling like you failed, then trying to go back to an even more strict diet…

A more positive way to look at cheating is not as a failure but as a planned part of the diet. This can make sticking with a healthy eating plan easier over a long period of time. In other words, it’s more sustainable to include a cheat than to aim for perfection all the time.


If you are on a restricted-calorie diet, you may get fatigued more easily. An occasional meal that allows for more calories can give you a boost and prepare you to do a tough workout. We all can potentially feel run down by a regular exercise routine along with healthy eating, so an occasional cheat helps.


A good general rule when utilizing food and diet cheats is to stick with one meal. Setting aside a whole day can add a lot of extra calories if you go overboard and can really derail good eating habits.

I am not opposed to a cheat day , if you know how to control yourself and eat with moderation. I personal don’t plan cheat meals or cheat day but I allow myself to have a bite of everything whenever I want. I find it just as satisfying without packing on an extreme amount of calories. Everyone is different, but a cheat meal each week and maybe a day per month works for most.

WHEN NOT TO CHEAT? If you are on keto diet

The whole point of the keto diet is to get your body into a state of ketosis. This supports fat metabolism and weight loss and requires a strict, low-carb diet. One cheat meal can be enough to knock you out of ketosis if you do it too often. You may have to work to get back there. This is something you need to experience and get right for yourself.

If You’re at Risk of a Binge, or have a History Of Disordered Easting

Eating one, planned meal per week that goes over your calorie limit or includes foods not on your list of healthy options is not a big deal for most people. But if you have a history of bingeing it’s a good reason to stick with moderation and a steady, planned diet. Until you are mentally strong enough to eat two slices of pizza and not the whole pie.


Manage Calories

Don’t do an entire blowout for a cheat meal. You can get satisfaction and positive benefits from eating a hamburger and fries. You don’t need an entire large pizza or five servings of ice cream. Manage calories by making smart cheat choices and avoid going off the rails and undoing all the good work of exercise and counting calories the rest of the week.

Make a Plan and Include a Workout

Make sure that the cheat meal is a part of your overall plan. Make time for it or at least plan for the number of cheats per week to stay on track. If it’s part of your nutrition and fitness plan, it isn’t a failure to eat a high-calorie meal or a junk food snack. It can also help to make sure that a workout is a part of the plan. Schedule a tough one for the day you have a cheat meal to feel better about it.

Listen to Your Cravings

The most effective cheat meal will be the one you really want. This is why it can feel so liberating. If your cravings are for sweets, go for ice cream or cookies. If you really want something salty, eat those French fries. Don’t let a planned cheat food get in the way of your cravings. Change the plan to match what you will find most satisfying.

Consider Having a Healthy Feast

For those who cannot eat just one donut or stop at one piece of chocolate cake for a cheat meal, recommend a healthy cheat. Some people can have one junk food cheat and get right back on track; for others, it’s more difficult. For those who struggle with it, another option is to have a feast of healthy foods: forget calories and macros, and eat as much as you want as long as everything is whole and nutritious. This can be as satisfying as one piece of junk food and healthier.

Having occasional cheat meals is not just OK but beneficial. If you can manage it in the right way, a cheat meal can promote and encourage an overall healthy lifestyle.

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