Should I Have Cheat Days?

Should you include cheats within a diet plan? The cheat approach gives you permission to break diet rules for a day. The idea of this diet strategy is to give you a brief period of indulgence so that you're able to stick to your diet rules most of the time.

Most people think that the cheat strategy refers to a cheat day or a cheat meal. As the name suggests, a cheat meal often involves a meal that contains something, or many things, that your diet plan omits. Similarly, a cheat day allows you to eat whatever you want for a full day.

Let's find out if you should have a cheat day within your diet plan, as well as learn about related topics. 

How Often Can You Have a Cheat Meal or Day?

Experts don't offer specific guidelines as to how often you should have a cheat meal or cheat day. Often, dieters enjoy one cheat meal per week. However, this may be altered based on your weight loss goals and overall health.

Also, know that the cheat meal strategy doesn't work with all diet types. For instance, you can't have a cheat meal or cheat day if you're on a low-carb diet, like the Ketogenic diet (Askmen).

Strategies to Consider

If you want to make a cheat diet or a cheat meal to work for you, check out the strategies listed below. These tactics can also help you choose whether or not to have a cheat day if you're struggling to make a decision.

Being Mindful

First off, you should eat mindfully if you want to find success with the cheat approach. You need to be able to stop eating as soon as you're satisfied, or full, in order to keep your caloric intake in check. Also, the cheat approach requires eating slowly so that you can enjoy each morsel as much as possible.

According to many research studies, mindful eating can help you avoid binge and emotional eating, which can help you avoid weight gain over time.

Limit the Number of Cheat Foods Eaten At Once

Focusing on a few cheat foods, perhaps just one or two meals, is another strategy to make the cheat diet work. You don't want to eat a lot of foods that break your diet guidelines at once. For instance, instead of opting for dessert, a sugary cocktail, and a cheeseburger, you should choose just one or two of these foods for your cheat meal.(eatthis)

Have a Plan

The key to success is to be prepared. This will help you fight temptation, improve self-control, and stay on track. You can allow yourself to enjoy the foods that your diet restricts and have control over your temptations at the same time. For example, if your birthday is just around the corner, plan to have your cheat meal on your birthday (May Simpkin). That way, you won't be tempted to have a calorie-loaded meal on both your birthday and another day within the same week. 

Make Your Diet Enjoyable

If you want to have lasting control over cravings, you may want to incorporate your favorite foods into your diet. The key is to make sustainable changes that can satisfy your individual needs and tastes. You can consult a dietitian or health professional to put together an enjoyable and effective diet plan for you.


Cheat meals or cheat days give you the motivation that you need to stick to your diet. If you can maintain self-control and consistently practice good dietary habits, you can find success with cheat days in your diet.


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