Why Eating “Cheat Food” is Actually Good for your Metabolism

Oh man. The last 2 days I pigged out like a food monster. I bet you wouldn’t believe how much I ate. I may seem small but my stomach expands like a balloon. It’s not a pretty sight but I can stuff it.

That above right there is an ice cream cookie sandwich from Diddy Riese right by UCLA. Vanilla bean premium ice cream smushed between freshly baked peanut butter and snickerdoodle cookies. OH EM GEE. Foodgasm. Loved. Died. Heaven in my mouth.

As you know, I spent Fri-Sun filming for my new show Pilates Bootcamp on Livestrongwoman. These were LOOOOOOONGGGGG days spent in the sun, basically working out the whole time.

Here’s a vlog I did showing you the crazy nice house we filmed at and I also talk about my dreams of having a Diddy Riese Cookie…hahaha.

Watch it!!

So to stay fit and trim for my 3 day shoot fest, I was eating very clean with lots of fruit and nuts for sustainable energy. I also had to carefully time my meals because I easily puff up (my lower abs) if I eat too much. So by Sunday night, I was beat and well, hungry in the soul. I promised myself that if I was going to be super duper good for work, I was allowed a crazy unrestricted fatty food bonanza Sunday night. And that’s what I did alright! As you read in my last post, I had a grand ole time at The Cheesecake Factory and ABSOLUTELY killed it.

And you know what?


First of all, mentally and emotionally you need to feed your soul every once in a while. I mean, there is no fair substitute for warm ooey gooey cookies, succulent cheesecakes, or a REAL juicy cheeseburger with slightly crispy french fries!!! There just isn’t. These foods also bring back happy childhood memories. (You know, because back in the day you could pretty much burn off anything you ate…plus you were growing so you needed those calories…ha.)

Feeding your soul keeps your mind and body at ease. Bad cravings can drive you nuts, so taming them by eating some of your fave “bad foods” is totally ok!

Secondly, if you’re eating clean all the time, having cheat foods is actually good for your metabolism! It keeps your body guessing for what’s next. It doesn’t get comfortable with how to burn calories – it has to continuously work hard to figure out new ways to function so that you don’t plateau. Much like with working out and how you should change your routine every 4 weeks to keep your body shocked, you need to do the same with your diet every once in a while. A lot of people do 1 “cheat meal” a week. I personally don’t plan “cheat meals” because I feel like I have “cheat snacks” here and there anyway, so I choose to eat clean all week as a baseline.

Lastly, having cheat meals helps you to have a more positive relationship with food. Making things forbidden or labeling them as “bad” makes you want them even more. It can even lead to some level of an eating disorder and even binging. By allowing yourself exposure and indulgence in such foods, you teach yourself how to react and handle being around tempting delicacies.

Just be careful not to completely overdo it. The calories still count and you can EASILY pack on an extra thousand or two calories in a sitting if you’re really going all out.

I think I actually overdid it because after Cheesecake Factory I had a sushi buffet the next day plus Diddy Riese. I can see it in my stomach, but you know what!??? OH WELL. I loved every single bite. It was so worth it :) I worked out a little longer at the gym today and ate clean.We all can clean up our messed and get back on track.

So there ya go POPstars! Tell me the truth – do you “cheat” once in a while? What is your FAVE “cheat meal”!!???

<3 Cassey

  • Connie

    I eat clean all week too! And walk 4-5 miles a day! Once a week I will feel depleted a bit so I will carb up! Skim milk bran cereal yogurt 2 oatmeal cookies cheese crackers non fat ice cream 240 cal in one pint and eat about 9 oz lean chicken breast! Water water water! Sleep hard! Next day get back on track! For about 2-3 days I have extra water weight bla! I usually eat around 3,500- 4,000 calories on that day!

  • Dana

    Love this and I couldn’t agree more! I’d say I eat clean 85% of the time, but for me, I watch my portions more so. I try to eat intuitively as well. I run and do strength training and am trying to get back into yoga at least twice a week. Last night the hubs and I had an awesome home-cooked meal for dinner around 6pm and it was a long/tiring day and we both felt a little off but he mentioned grabbing ice cream later. Around 8pm we indulged in friendly’s sundaes and OHHHHHH yes, they were worth every calorie. delish! When you don’t eat like that often, that sinful treat tastes even better!

    But for me, I try most days to go with how I feel so if I’m simply not hungry at breakfast, i’ll just have my coffee and water. Lunch to me can be anything, crackers and cheese, yogurt, apple and peanut butter. My favorite meal of the day is dinner so i try to not eat anything huge or too filling because I want to enjoy my meal. If I do a longer run, I do make sure I have water as soon as i get back and something small like tbsp. peanut butter or a yogurt for protein if I’m not too hungry.

    Loved this post!

  • Tara

    This is a very helpful article! I’m someone that eats clean the majority of the time, so when I do cheat, I panic. To read that it’s truly ok every now again is a bigger weight lifted than you know!

  • king

    I eat clean Monday to Saturday, Sunday I do cheat that good?

  • Kyla johnson

    This was extremely helpful and encouraging I’ve been eating clean for a while now and the last three day I have been on a craving frenzy and totally splurged with all things sugar, in the moment it was amazing but I felt really bad afterwards but this is an awesome reminder that it is okay for me to have my moments and not stress over it. ❤️

  • joanne

    I tend to eat cheat snacks and just eat really healthy meals id probs be size 8 if i didnt snack lol was a bit naughty tonight had pizza and totally had 4 slices ooops back on it tomorrow cant change it so why worry about it? Apart from the fact it took me a whole week to get my weight back to normal after Last time hahaha

  • Love my cheat meals! Check out my met recent one:

  • Emily

    I have a HUGE sweet tooth. I don’t really like the taste of fatty, fried things, but I absolutely love sweets. My favorite cheat snack is the diet frosted lemonade from Chick Fil A (IF YOU HAVEN’T TRIED IT YOU LITERALLY HAVE TO IT IS DA BOMB)- I had THREE of them this week. Feeling kind of guilty but it was HEAVEN on earth.

    • Emily

      Oh and it only has 240 calories and 6g of fat :)

  • Rainbow

    Yesterday my father in law had his 61 birthday party, and it was barbeque. It was really the cheat meal for me. I recently started cleaning eating and 30-45 mins cardio per day to lose weight.(for 8 days)it went very well so far, I lost already 1.8 kg. And yesterday I decided to cheat a little bit. But still I follow my eating routine for the dinner, a lot of veggies and fruits, then I ate more meat than I usually do. It wasn’t crazily more than usual, but I felt happier having some food I really like, until this morning I weighed myself again. I gained a total of 0.6 kg! What??? I’m really frustrating right now on my losing weight progress. It’s said to be ok to cheat one a while, but I don’t understand why one yolo meal made me that 0.6 kg more already! ); I swear I didn’t overdo it, was seriously maybe one steak more than I would normally eat……); anybody can help?

  • Dezi

    Eating clean is essential for your body to function correctly. It is this functioning that makes up the metabolism. Indulging on empty fuel is not essential but in small amounts is fine, your body can filter and restore it’s self when it’s high functioning. So stick to your routine, enjoy your cake, and love yourself

  • shini007

    I’m already 1 kg from my weight goal and I try do do sports (insanity, elliptical training and you workouts ;)) around 3-5 times a week, depends how busy I am. Clean eating is really a part of my lifestyle now but I dont have cheat days I have small snacks (a small cookie or praline) or rarely a piece of cake nearly every day. Not much I still eat the kcal amount I have as a goal but it helps me to not go into binging or craving so much that I think about it all the time. Beside we have a coffee time tradition at home where we drink coffee/tea and a small treat. So this is really a nice thing of the day . I hope that is still considered clean eating.