Cheat Meals: Should You Have Them?

As evidenced by this post, I’ve been on a mission to get fit recently. A few weeks ago, I even bought and started using the Kayla Itsine’s Bikini Body Guide as my go-to for daily workouts, and my next step will be to shape up and refine my diet to be even cleaner.

I’m looking forward to getting on the right track and sharing more healthy lifestyle tips and behind the scenes progress on this platform. It’s a topic I wrote about a lot more when I first started blogging, so I’m passionate about getting back to these roots, especially since I’ve noticed that health and wellness are topics that a lot of people seem to be interested in and enjoy talking about.

To start it all off though, I want to tackle a term that I think we’ve all heard, and probably used ourselves (many times).

Cheat meals.

There’s SO many different opinions on cheat meals, but it honestly never came to my attention until recently when I was reading over my new workout program. The author, Kayla, has an entire few pages dedicated to the topic of cheat meals!

So yes, it needs to be addressed. There’s lots of discussion around cheat meals, but basically this program that I’m doing recommends allowing yourself one “cheat meal” per week, which may be consumed in an approximately 30-45 minute time frame.

The Idea Behind The 30-45 Minute Time Frame Is So That A Cheat Meal Doesn’t Turn Into A Cheat Day.

Personally, I love this theory. I think the biggest problem most people have with cheat meals is that they feel they’ve ruined the entire day and that there’s no point in salvaging it.

Obviously this isn’t true, but we’ve all been there. We’ve all said f*ck it.


Let me be clear. There are valid arguments both FOR and AGAINST cheat meals, many from professionals within the health and wellness industry.

Here’s a quick breakdown:

Reasons Why You Should Incorporate Cheat Meals into Your Diet

+ Helps you not feel deprived, which makes a healthy diet more realistic and attainable

+ In moderation, they won’t ruin your diet and can help you stay on track

Reasons Why You Should NOT Incorporate Cheat Meals into Your Diet

+ You can end up eating too much

+ It can lead to a binge

+ It can become a cheat day instead of a cheat meal, or even derail your diet completely

Here’s the thing though.

The answer isn’t as simple as some professionals might make it out to be. In fact, as cliche as it sounds, there really isn’t a right or wrong answer. Everybody’s bodies and personalities are different. For example, cheat meals don’t work for me. If I have one cheat meal, it could spiral into a whole cheat week.

And what does this all come back to? A question I wrote about months ago, that everyone should read and figure out for themselves…

Are you an abstainer or a moderator?

For me, I’m an abstainer. I lose control when I indulge. Others however, might find that cheat meals work in their favor, because they’re able to moderate their behavior and still satisfy their cravings.

The answer really is to do what works for you. My favorite option though?

I like to modify my favorite “cheat meals” to be healthier. For example, instead of eating a full on cheeseburger and fries, I’ll have a turkey burger and sweet potato fries. Instead of having a heaping bowl of white pasta, I’ll eat spiralized sweet potato and zucchini noodles with just a bit of brown rice noodles mixed in to get my fix.

Now I know that there are people that this just won’t work for. Or, who just won’t stand for this, I should say. Many people would rather have the “real thing” if they’re going to have it at all.

I’m not one for black or white solutions however. I’m all about finding an in between. Meals that are satisfying, but that don’t really constitute as “cheating” are my go-to when I’m having a craving. I hate, capital HATE feeling guilty after eating, and I often find that I do if I splurge. That’s why I like to modify what would be a cheat meal and make it healthier.

It’s kind of like tricking yourself, ya know?

And we all need to trick ourselves every once in awhile, right? Sometimes you’ve just gotta fake it ’til you make it. A veggie burger is just as delicious as a Big Mac, right? 😉 Say it with me guys, and maybe we’ll convince ourselves it’s true, haha.

Anyways, if you guys are interested I’ll share some of my favorite modified cheat meal recipes here on the blog too 🙂 Just let me know what your favorite comfort food is in the comments, and it’ll be next up on my list to modify and share with ya’ll. 

So, What’s Your Favorite “Cheat Meal”? And Do Tell…What’s Your Take On Them? Are They Helpful In Keeping You On Track Or Are Is That Taste Of Temptation Enough To Derail Your Whole Plan (I.E. Me)?