Fat Loss Nutrition

Cheat Meal: 3 Reasons to Cheat on Your Diet

Eating healthy is a lifestyle, but do you have to be perfect with your meals?

We’ve all been there–you’ve had a few days (or maybe even a few HOURS) of making healthy choices and you’re tired.

You’ve noticed the yummy chips or the cookies in the back of the pantry or the checkout line at the store.

“I’ve been SO good,” you think. “I deserve this treat.”

All of a sudden, you’ve gone down the rabbit hole of treats and you’re eating every salty or sweet thing you can get your hands on.

It’s always so disappointing when the treat temptations win! I get it, I’ve been there.

There’s a super simple way to battle treat temptations while you’re trying to lose weight. Trainer Kami at IdealShape actually includes this method in her 15 Day IdealShape for Life Challenge, so we know it’s trainer approved.

Cheat Meal

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That’s right–one WHOLE meal dedicated to treating yourself. It’s a method you can build into your meal plan that won’t completely derail your weight loss progress.

Cheat meals are just that — one meal that isn’t on your meal plan! Some people take cheat days, but an entire day dedicated to treats could seriously throw you off your goals. One meal won’t do too much damage when you plan it in.

In the 15 Day IdealShape for Life Challenge, Trainer Kami tells us to keep our cheat meals to under 600 calories. She also reminds you to stick to the rest of the meal plan for the day, just switching out one of the meals for your cheat meal!

Cheat meals are so important. They help me stay on track with my weight loss goals. At first, I didn’t think it was possible to restrict myself to one cheat meal a week, but I’ve totally succeeded!

Don’t believe me? Here are the top 3 ways that a cheat meal helps me lose weight!


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Sticking to the same old meal plan for days on end can bring a girl down, ya know? It can get so boring eating the same thing every day!

Before I used a cheat meal, I would try to add variety with other healthy foods. I’d switch up my lunches every day to something else on a meal plan, but I was still a little bored!

Once I started planning my cheat meal each week, I was thrilled. There was something exciting to look forward to, something out of the norm!

We can’t expect ourselves to be perfect 100% of the time, because that will only make us sad and disappointed. No one is perfect, and you shouldn’t expect to be!

When I’m happy, I can work harder. Feeling happy helps me lift more, run harder, and feel better about myself. If one cheat meal per week is going to make me happy, you bet I’m going to use it!

Planning in a fun cheat meal is one way you can keep your spirits up during your weight loss journey.


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Can we talk about cravings for a minute? If I see a cute, decorated cookie or some delicious cake I immediately crave it. And then it’s all I can think about!

If I gave in to every single craving I had for treats, I would never be able to lose weight.

Cheat meals give you the opportunity to put your cravings into one meal. If you want to have a donut, remind yourself that you CAN have that donut later this week for your cheat meal!

I’ll listen to my cravings during the week and then plan a cheat meal that lets me have whatever I was craving (while staying under 600 calories, of course).

My cravings have been under control since I started planning a cheat meal in the week. You can do it, too!

Learning Moderation

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I’m the first to admit that I am not great at moderation, especially when it comes to food. Being on a meal plan helped me make better food choices, but it was too hard to eat the same thing every single day.

When I would get bored with my meals, I would try to treat myself. A small treat could quickly turn into an entire day of treats, and I would find myself back at square one. It was so frustrating!

Once I started planning a cheat meal, I learned so much about moderation. It’s helped me wait to eat a treat, and to keep it to one meal instead of an entire day.

Ready to Cheat?

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Stick to your weight loss goals by planning in a cheat meal! Instead of messing up your progress with a bunch of treats, plan in a time when you can cheat, keeping it under 600 calories.

I’ve seen success in my own weight loss journey by allowing myself a treat meal each week, and I think you can too! If you need some ideas or places to start, check out the IdealPlan! It’s got yummy meals, workouts designed for weight loss, and an awesome online community for support.

Finally Lose Weight & Keep It Off

The IdealPlan is your path to weight loss results. Try out the system that really works because a healthy lifestyle is sustainable! You’ll get delicious meal plans, fun workouts designed to burn fat, and exclusive access to an online support community.


Start the IdealPlan today!

Kami Price

Kami Price

Head Trainer & Nutritionist

Kami Price is the Head Trainer for IdealShape. She is a NASM Certified Personal Trainer, a Pn.1 Certified Nutrition Coach, and Certified Yoga Instructor. Kami has been in the fitness world for over 10 years and prior to joining IdealShape owned one of the biggest private gyms in Utah.

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