The Importance of Letting Yourself Cheat

Tell your spouse to relax. We aren’t preaching just any ole’ cheating. Instead, we’re talking about the good kind of cheating that is actually beneficial to you and your fitness goals. While some people may say that you should stick to a fruit, vegetable and meat diet religiously, they couldn’t be anymore wrong. Here’s why.

Deprivation is Dangerous

When it comes to your diet, depriving yourself of the things that you really want is really going to backfire on you. You’ll hate the way you’re eating and question why you’re even doing it in the first place.

So, instead of completely cutting out chocolate, give yourself a day to enjoy a couple squares of dark chocolate (yay for delicious antioxidants) and you’ll do much better in the long run. In some cases you can even enjoy a diet free weekend.

Two young females talk and laugh while eating chocolates outdoor

One of the primary benefits of cheat days is their effect on leptin levels in the body. Leptin is a hormone secreted by fat cells that is key to maintaining energy balance in the body. When leptin levels reach a certain threshold, it signals to the brain that you have sufficient energy stored, allowing you to push away from the table when you’ve had enough. However, when leptin levels drop, hunger signals go through the roof, often resulting in overeating – Dailyburn

You’re Less Likely to Cheat

Yes, this might sound weird but when you allow yourself to cheat, you’re less likely to actually do so. It’s similar to the concept of always wanting what you can’t have or the grass being greener on the other side.

When you know that you have set aside a Sunday to enjoy a meal of your choice, without worrying about the calories, you won’t feel the need to have a cheat day during the week; or at the very least, you won’t feel the need as much as you would if you didn’t allow yourself any freedom within your diet at all.

A Source of Motivation

Having a cheat meal will also give you an incredible source of motivation. You know that, as long as you follow your diet and fitness regime during the week, you can treat yourself to something on the weekend, without erasing all the progress you already made.

I love putting a little chocolate cake sticker on the calendar of my cheat day  or another healthy dessert so I always know what I am working towards; a nice, delicious bite of something I love… in moderation.

Chocolate cake

The Tricks You Need to Know

The only tricks you need to follow is to enjoy your cheats in moderation and still place importance on the quality of the foods and treats you’re eating. For example, fast food is never a healthy option.

However, a backyard-grilled burger with all the toppings you like is a possibility. You also want to try to give yourself a cheat meal, as opposed to a cheat day. Giving yourself an entire day to pig out can counteract the hard work you put in during the rest of the week.

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So, just make smart choices when you’re cheating and you’ll feel much better and probably be much more successful in reaching your health and fitness goals.


Feeling deprived is going to make you feel depressed, so you’ll eat worse and might not even move off of the couch to workout. Let yourself cheat once a week.

It’ll keep your progress going, and you’ll be happy with your healthy lifestyle choice well throughout the journey. There is nothing worse than feeling like eating and working out is a chore, so make it enjoyable with a cheat.