To cheat or not the cheat. Cheat meals that is. Is it a treat? Or does it sabotage your weight loss goal?  Here’s how to tell if they’re right for you.

Cheat days can be tricky, but they do offer some benefits.

When you restrict calories, your metabolism can take a hit. Cheat days may help kickstart your metabolism to offset any slowdowns.

Let’s play out what too often comes from cheating.

You’re sailing along, pumped about your weight loss, feeling leaner and energetic. It’s time to celebrate! Enter the “cheat day.” What do you want? A juicy cheeseburger with a large side of fries? A slice of rich and  

Then the next day rolls around, and it’s time to get back on track. The tantalizing flavors of yesterday are still with you, lingering on your taste buds. You meet the day with every intention of being “good.” But there’s no harm in just a little more, right? And the downward spiral continues, turning a cheat day into a cheat week, which leads to frustration and giving up. 

So, let’s get to the bottom of what’s going on.

The first issue is your relationship with food. You’re categorizing foods as either “good” or “bad.” If you’re eating a bad food, you’re being bad, right? You tell yourself, “I can’t do this. It’s stupid to think I could. Oh, I give up! “Then there’s your childhood. You did your homework? Chicken fingers and French fries it is! You didn’t eat your green beans? No ice cream for you! How is the cheat day any different? The punishment is the “diet.”

So is a cheat day right for you?

Yes-but only, and I mean only, if you can do the following things:

  1. Keep guilt and negativity out of the picture
  2. Limit your cheat day to a day (not another bite of “bad” food on other days)
  3. Pick yourself right back up after a cheat day and never look back

You and only you can determine if a cheat meal works into your fitness goals, so be honest with yourself, stay on track and keep fitness first!