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

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

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

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  1. Marc says:

    My favorite cheat meal depands I love butter tarts as one of my cheats and sometimes I just eat anything that’s not in my diet. But today I eat butter tarts a hole package it’s about 2400 calories from the butter tarts but then I just go back to my diet and go on a lower calorie diet on Sunday and Mondays

  2. Heather says:

    Are cheat meals allowed on the 90 day challenge?

    1. Cassey says:

      Yes! Life happens so if I eat “off plan” I just get back to it! Consistently overall is most important.

  3. Maya says:

    The most important part of my health journey is this – learning to love “cheat meals”, not being deathly frightened of them. You’d think it’s easy to just enjoy pizza and ice cream evenings, but if you have an unhealthy relationship with food they can be a mixture of shame, guilt and fear!! (As well as tasty goodness :p)
    Truth is, to make a healthy lifestyle sustainable, you gotta have fun every now and then. It’s really only top bodybuilding competitors who are literally getting shredded for being on stage that can’t really afford cheat meals during their prep time. But everyone else who is after a sensible, strong body is allowed a lot more leeway than we think!

  4. Vaibhavi says:

    I can’t believe what I just did. I’d been eating clean for like 2 months and doing workouts (abs), athletics, football and yoga. I still do all those activities, but I sure a cheat meal like after so long!

  5. Connie says:

    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!

  6. Dana says:

    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!

  7. Tara says:

    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!

  8. king says:

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

    1. Marc says:

      What ever works for you is always the best I go from Sunday to Saturday on Saturday I have a cheat meal or day depending on the week and what I’ve accomplished

  9. Kyla johnson says:

    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. ❤️

  10. joanne says:

    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

  11. Nicola says:

    Love my cheat meals! Check out my met recent one: bit.ly/loveroc

  12. Emily says:

    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.

    1. Emily says:

      Oh and it only has 240 calories and 6g of fat 🙂

  13. Rainbow says:

    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?

  14. Dezi says:

    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

  15. shini007 says:

    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.

  16. Adam says:

    I lost 160 pounds in 15 months, and I have always had cheat days once or twice a month. Some people do need to stay strict though. If you feel yourself slipping, it may be time to go back to what was working. I feel it is better to strictly plan your cheat days. If you don’t you may end up falling off the rails completely at spontaneous times.

  17. Kat says:

    Love your message and tone. Just found you. Please keep inspiring us. Love Kat in Fremont

  18. Anita says:

    Thank you for posting stuff like this it really helps me personally stay positive about eating right and having cheats. Keep doing this 🙂 thanks

  19. Kayla says:

    So nice to see someone really fit advocating this. To some, any kind of ‘cheat’ is a no-no. I agree that it seems a if derailing once in a while can actually HELP weight loss (off track- not pig fest). As someone new to clean eating, I’m planning on one cheat meal a week. Today I tried one of the homemade energy bars I made for my family. It had brown sugar in it (gasp)! I had planned to throw back a Smirnoff or two tonight, but I don’t really feel like it and I had that bar, so I won’t. If I really wanted a Smirnoff, I’d have it. I plan to skip bday cake on my kid’s bday this week, but I also plan to indulge in some take out next weekend- probably Chinese. If I just rolled with my cravings, I’d be totally off the clean-eating wagon, so better I plan ahead. I can ignore the occasional craving during the week and stay well on track if I know there’s something good at the end of the week! I eat pretty clean, but I don’t panic over little things once in a while like this morning, when I had some salsa on my eggs. It had sugar listed as an ingredient, as well as citric acid. Oh well, I’d rather have a smidge of those two things than pass the salsa I was dying for. It was a better choice than risking feeling totally deprived over a smidge of sugar and a bit of acid in my 2 or 3 tablespoons of salsa. Great article!

  20. Helen says:

    Good ideas in this post, i really love this post and really happy to follow this post. thanks for this post!

  21. Also I weigh 124 lbs I dont know if it is bad!

  22. Hey us it bac of I eat diabetic food all the time too loose weight I do eat iy everyday and I go to mcdonalds once every two months is that bad im not diabetic I just eat it too loose weight!

  23. afonso faria says:

    I Have a cheat day every now and then. Try to have it once a week. Sometimes I don’t last 7 days without having one. Yesterday started with some biscuits and oreos and this morning finished with more biscuits and mars bars. When I do have a cheat meal it needs to fill me. I need to feel full or I won’t stop. Chocolate buscuits.bars.crips.cheescakes.anything will go in. After that I fill full. Full filled most of all… more focused to get back on track… lower stomach blows up like a balloon.. back to my routine tomorrow…. until the next indulgence cheat day…

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  25. I say f**k it every once in a while and have a serious amount of ice cream…it seriously is good for you once in a while! gotta replenish those glycogen stores…and ice cream just makes me happy 😉

  26. diabetic 1,800 calorie diet

  27. My heart broke when they zoomed in on Nando’s face at the beginning from the match. He looked so sad. I honestly assumed he’d come in after the 70th minute or so. I’d enjoy for him to see some action in Munich.

  28. Amy says:

    So i have been keeping track of the things i eat through out the week for a very long time now..i used to occasionally have a cheat meal on a friday or saturday night and a sugar free chocolate bar with dark choc sesame snaps..I also do about 3 hours of exercise a week. I started loosing a bit at the beginning but now have stopped and have found that i am so hungry lately and cant stop eating..this has been going on for a week straight..large proportions of the wrongs food like pizza thn half a block of chocolate and fries..I have made a strict dieting plan for the net 4 weeks, where all i am having is 2 celebrity slim shakes and a salad throughout the day..with allowance for a sugar free cho bar wednesday lunch and a cheat mean on saturday. Do you think this will help? and do u think that unhealthy eating may have given me a kick..and possibly helped?

    1. Eidolon Chase says:

      Hiya Amy, apologies for just barging into your conversation, just thought I would share some of my personal experiences. I have been putting up with my sweet tooth for years, I just could not stop eating unhealthy things. For some reason it just gave me a good feeling, only problem with that is the feeling fades rapidly. Increasing my rate of consumption per day just to get that good feeling. Diet after diet, advice after advice by PT’s, nutrionists, Blogs I just kept putting on weight (hit 119kg at 5ft 10 with 49% body fat). So I decided to do my own research reading books on everything and anything to do with nutrition and working out. The conclusion was simple, eat clean and high intensity work outs. But as expected I thought I would have a cheat day and the kick was something else. Took me right of point, just could not stop eating for a week. So I decided to stick to a simple rule – On training days I would consume high protein and complex carbs (quinoa, brown rice etc) in very small portions, 7 times a day – calculating and accounting for every gram; on non training days I would consume 6 meals a day of protein and vegetables (starting and completing my day with a cup of green tea). On the seventh day 😀 the cheat day, I would cheat with low fat products, high protein and carbs. I know your thinking that is not a cheat day, but it so is :D; eating small portions every two hours of my little desires (i.e. morning oats with teaspoon of almond butter (gorgeous), 2 hours later melted dark chocolate with banana slices wrapped in low fat pancake and so fourth) then when the cheat day comes to an end, a cup of green tea and back to the beginning of the cycle :D. (eventually you will enjoy being creative on your cheat days and the pounds will keep shredding) Kept this routine up for 4 months and by then I was 89kg, 21% body fat and had lost 7 inches from my waist. (Of course your exercise routine is important as well). Anyway that is my story.

      Kind Regards 😀

  29. Marley Rachel says:

    I love cakes,sweets,bread,fried chicken,french fries,magnum ice cream,i work hard during the week and i spoil myself on weekends,it feels so gooood!

  30. Charlotte says:

    I love to indulge in this handcrafted cake from the health food store. Its loaded with bad fats and empty calories, but you cant forget the taste! The thing is, I get into a couple bites every few days! I wonder if thatll make me fat!! I know when to stop.. Most people cant. Also my metabolism is very fast, and Im pretty healthy. For the most part I eat clean… I just couldnt resist seing it. Never shop hungry.

  31. Charlotte says:

    I love to indulge in this handcrafted cake from the health food store. Its loaded with bad fats and empty calories, but you cant forget the taste! The thing is, I get into a couple bites every few days! I wonder if thatll make me fat!!

  32. Jai says:

    I completely find this article insensitive and extremely a one sided view on unhealthy foods. Many overweight people are addicts.. Just like a crack head, or alcoholic. One little sip or one little hi can make it difficult to stop. What you are referring to is a person that doesn’t have an addiction but chose to smoke pot everyone now n then or have a drink every now and then and then quit pot n drinking all together. Food obviously is a choice for you but many of us dieters are addicts. One bite of sweets triggers your glycemic index and those memories of those emotional battles you have overcome. You say bad food triggers good child memories for many of us it triggers bad child memories. I are excessively throughout adulthood because we were poor as kids n never had food in the house so when the first of the month came (food stamps n welfare check) that was the only time the fridge was full n yes that was a good feeling but a week later it would be empty n this is part of many of the emotional reasons I always saw food as a reward, not as a necessity to live. Your view is very ignorant for the masses.

    1. Stephanie says:

      I’ve got to say I loved this article. Jai I’m sorry you had to deal (or are currently dealing) with a lack of self control, but that’s just it, it’s all about self control. Trust me, I was the 5’6″ 250lb geek in high school. I’d down a 1/2 gallon of ice cream and not think twice about it. However, after joining a gym, losing a few pounds and doing a combination of Paleo Diet, The Four Hour Body and Leangains, I’ve found the self control to allow myself a binge meal and am able to move on. I look better, feel better and sleep better now that I’ve found out what works for me. I suggest that you do the same.

  33. Mike says:

    Have to say, I’m really not a fan of the cheat meal concept.

    The idea of eating “clean” and categorizing certain foods as “cheats” is outdated and encourages disordered eating. (IMO of course.)

    Basically, ,ost folks just don’t do well with cheat meals – http://www.healthylivingheavylifting.com/cheat-meals-the-rocky-road-to-a-crappy-physique/

    1. Meme says:

      Some of us need yummy yummmmyyyy unhealthy food
      I’m not about health, I’m about weight loss, there’s a difference.
      If I don’t get my unhealthy food once a week I’ll end up binging. If I can’t look forward to that one day, I’ll die.

      But whatever floats your boat bra. 😛

    2. Emily says:

      I agree, it encourages a bad relationship with food. Categorizing foods as bad and good makes people feel guilt during eating, which is a special time for many to bond and nourish ourselves together. Many people lose touch with this part of their lives and creates a feeling of discomfort when eating out with friends, at birthday parties and even at your own dinner table. It can transfer negative thoughts to your children as well. It doesn’t encourage moderation and listening to your body. Contrarily, it encourages deprivation, losing trust in your own body signals and instincts, and unhappiness most of the time. Using food as a reward is just an unhealthy way to live.

  34. Josh Barry says:

    I eat clean all week training 6 days a week with Sundays off, and I have a cheat dinner every Saturday and Sunday night, so Sundays are like heaven, ironically! I’m a 190 lb. MMA training weight lifting young buck, so I eat a lot. A cheat meal for me can range from a large pizza to fast food. My favorite is 3 McDoubles, 1 McChicken, Large Fries, Carmel Sundae, and a large water. It is a cheat meal but I am weird and love water.

  35. Victoria says:

    This post made me feel a lot better about myself. I’ve lost about 28 pounds all together and I never thought I could do it but hey, here I am at 5’2 and 104 pounds! I’m always scared of gaining weight and I think I have more of an unhealthy relationship with food but I’m definitely working on it! I used to weigh myself everyday and I unfortunately let the scale dictate my mood for the day… I’m trying my best to weigh myself every week and remind myself that the scale doesn’t mean everything! Tonight my favorite TV show is coming back so my family and I are eating out at McDonalds because well, fries are my favorite cheat meal, and their mcflurries! I might over due it but I have to remember that one cheat meal isn’t going to ruin my life or make me gain 20 pounds! It’s not even possible to put on a pound of fat in a day. I’m going to work extra hard today (on Monday, Wednesdays, and Fridays I usually run 1.5+ miles anyways) and I’m going to work on the blogilates calendar (today is cardio!) and make sure to eat clean the rest of the week.
    Thanks Cassey, this article made me feel sooo much better and now I know that I shouldn’t be scared of “cheat” foods because hey, #YOLO

  36. Aaron Ott says:

    I like cheat days when I fuck around on my wife, is that wrong?

  37. Lois says:

    I don’t even think about a “cheat meal” until I want it. I don’t think about it ahead of time as a weekend reward for eating clean and working out. What I do is, when I have that rare craving for a cheeseburger and fries, I let myself have it – don’t feel guilty – and move on. It has worked for me for years now. In the beginning, when I thought I had to reward myself with a cheat day, I ate stuff I necessarily wasn’t even craving, but ate anyway because it was “my cheat day”. Over time, I just put the idea of a cheat day out of my mind and when the craving hit, just went with. Fortunately, I can go months without craving “bad food”. I agree with you 100%, it is healthy for the soul to let yourself indulge once in awhile.

  38. Sharon says:

    I think the whole idea of a cheat meal is really motivating. I only recently started to change my diet to clean eating and its wonderful, I’m losing weight slowly off my stomach and getting more toned. I think having one cheat meal motivates me more to work harder for the next. I just love pizza !

  39. Johanna says:

    Hey Cassey,
    My plan for this year is to have 300 days of eating clean and 65 where I can eat cheat foods. In a diary I’m going to keep track of how many days I’ve eaten cheat foods by numbering them eg the first day I eat something bad I put a ‘1’ in the corner and the second day I’ll put a ‘2’ etc so I can keep track of how many days it’s been and if there is too many I know to not have one for a while.
    Does this sound like a good idea to you? I thought it would be easier than having a planned cheat day a week and it helps me not just think ‘Oh I want to eat healthily’, I’ll really think about reaching for a bad snack or popcorn at the movies!

    1. Aimee says:

      Wow that sounds like a good idea. Basically once a week plus some holidays and vacations!

    2. Britney says:

      Hi! I like your idea and just wanted to offer some friendly advice: be careful not to overdue it! I struggled with an eating disorder for several years and one of my biggest problems was obsessively documenting my food intake. Obviously I don’t know you and you probably don’t have the same problems; so take it or leave it Good luck 🙂

  40. Lulu says:

    Hi, I have a question for all the people who’ve commented on this thread, I have been in a huge dilemma about having a cheat day ( I’ve been on a low carb diet 3 weeks) I’ve been really good and focused about my goal and I’m seeing really good results. However I really want to treat myself to meal and not count all the calories etc. what I want to know with the cheat meals are you all still losing weight?.. I really don’t want to undo all my hard work.. I’m not desperately craving things I’m pretty disaplined but would be nice to have something a bit naughty haha… Any advice would be great!!

    Thanks xxxx

    1. Lana says:

      yes you are, because your body doesn’t know what your eating so it burns it quickly its kinda like tricking your body

  41. Margaret Hoar says:

    Hey! This post encouraged me so much. I work so hard to eat right all week and then cheat once on the weekends. But I guilt trip myself out over it so much its hard to enjoy. I’m so glad to know that you cheat once in a while and you stomach extends and gets puffy too! You are human. 🙂 🙂 Thanks Cassey!

  42. Alysha says:

    OMG so glad I saw this post because I major cheated today, pizza is my weakness. And I miiight have overdid and felt so bad but then read this and thought hey, it’s okay once in a while! So long as you know you’ll work to burn off those extra (hundred) calories! 🙂

  43. LouLou says:

    Oh man, do I have a hard time resisting chocolate. Chocolate chocolate chocolate.

  44. Tracy M says:

    I eat clean for the most part and workout 5x/week for 2 hours. I am trying to get my tummy back after having my two boys. My cheat food though is Poppycock original popcorn. I love it!!

  45. Carey says:

    I eat really clean from Monday to Friday but every weekend I binge badly which prevents me from ever losing any weight. I have started to realise that once I get started I feel like ‘Oh well now the diet is wrecked I might as well go mad!”. I think that I need to wait until Sunday to have my cheat meal because I am really strict in the week so Monday wouldn’t be an issue. What are your thoughts?

  46. alyssa says:

    i eat pretty healthy, but everyday i have a serving of fat free soy ice cream or fat free almond pudding. it seriously feels like I’m cheating but i don’t think its too bad 🙂 if you can find better options comparable to things you love you won’t feel like you need to cheat 🙂

  47. sandra says:

    I am very clean eater, but at weekends (maybe twice per month i drink some wine and then i go crazy). I like to eat ice cream and french fries and some bread and salami. Not all together!

  48. Melly says:

    Sweets. Cookies, cakes, brownies, ice cream, chocolate…sugar heaven.

    I struggle to keep it in moderation. I am just now trying to eat healthier.

  49. Lotti says:

    Oooo it’s got to be a peanut butter and banana toastie made with fruit bread with butter on the outside (so it goes golden) and a tonnnnnne of thick crunchy PB. Alternatively raisin scones with strawberry jam and cream Nomnomnom. For desserts I looooove cornish creamy vanilla icecream with a dash of golden syrup, raisins and mixed nuts on top.

    1. Nicole says:

      Hey guys I’m eating clean as a diet for myself its my first week on it and its been going well for the most part, but this weekend when my fiancee decided he wanted to go to buffalo wild wings I was trying to find something on the menu to eat and nothing… unless I wanted a plain salad lol. So I ended up ordering just veggie sticks I started to feel a bit nauseous being around all this food “that’s bad”. Is it too early in my experience to have a once a week cheat but not including change of my drinking water only as a beverage? Thanks.

  50. Katy says:

    I totally agree with this post. If you aren’t training for a competition and just trying to live a healthy lifestyle, you shouldn’t have to follow a strict diet with so many restrictions. That’s already a red alert for failure because your temptations will eventually give in or you’ll go crazy. I live to eat so I made the change to my lifestyle so I CAN eat as much as I want… exercise more.. and eat more. 😉

  51. Gabi says:

    I do cheat every once in a while like on date nights or whatever. My fave cheat meal is…honestly any type of fast food burger or sandwich with fries and then a couple scoops of neopolitan…omg! 🙂

  52. kate says:

    Hey Cassey,
    thanks for the advice! I definitely know that I cannot control myself with cheat foods in the house.. so I just don’t keep it at home. Instead if I have a craving, I go out to eat it and it definitely helps me stay clean.
    I also wanted to ask you about weight loss, I have been working out and seeing results, but now I feel and look so bloated! And I don’t know what to do.. I have been counting calories (1200 a day) and eating smaller portions and trying to eat healthier.. but I feel like I’m gaining weight! I’m trying to lose the last stubborn 15 baby weight pounds, what can I do to make it go away faster! (Going to Mexico in a month, help!!!!!)

    1. Adanma says:

      You are probably restricting your calories too much to the point where your body is in starvation mode. Instead of losing weight, your body is trying to preserve any fat that it can get.

  53. Sara Hamil says:

    Heck yes I cheat from time to time! No shame 😉

  54. Oh girl, it happens to the best of us. 🙂 My fav cheat meal usually involves pizza, but I had some amazing cheat ice cream last night. Yum!

  55. Natasha says:

    I am a HUGE chocoholic! That’s probably been the hardest thing to kick since starting a clean eating lifestyle, but I think I’m doing pretty well 🙂 I never go out of my way to buy anything chocolatey, but if it’s in the house then I’ll have a few squares, or a few Hershey’s kisses, or a slice of cake 😉 As long as I don’t overdo it, there are never ANYYY regrets!

    1. Grace says:

      If you’re a chocoholic, check out this website! It is the only way I have managed to survive dieting! She creates heaps of vegan, low carb, super healthy versions of the classic cheat foods. Its amazing!

  56. Keisha says:

    I don’t consider it cheating because I eat waffles for breakfast every day…and always have haha. I think by now my body is used to it and I only eat one and don’t pour a ton of syrup. But I cut out stuff like soda, and have it only on rare occasions. Same with a lot of other stuff I love. I found it was easier to eat at least one sweet thing a day than cut out everything I love all together. I do eat a lot more fruit and veggies than I did before though.

  57. Stacie says:

    I eat a piece of dark choc everyday! and dont really plan cheat meals either, like yourself i plan to eat clean everyday and then if i feel like a tiny naughty something i dont deprive myself. However i do try to set aside once perweek upping my calorie intake by around 200 cals to try keep my body guessing, not necessarily with cheat foods (coz i actually more enjoy healthy food anyways) but some of that always involves something chocoaltey or Froyo like. I have the biggest sweet tooth so i probably consume way too much sugar/artifical sweetened food.

  58. Viktoria says:

    I def cheat waaaay too much. About twice a day, with frozen yogurts and pasta. I also def eat too much fruit, to satisfy my sweet tooth. Its all yummy though!!!

    I realized, that if I season my veggies enough, and eat enough protein daily, I can go without any cravings for a day or two.

    I think cheat food should be once a week, or every other week for me. HAAARD!

    Great post, thank you so much!

  59. Blair says:

    I am definitely a “seasonal splurger.” When it’s summertime I love froyo…when it’s the holidays you’ll definitely find me with a piece of apple or pumpkin pie! I think that just as long as you can find some sort of balance, life is too short NOT to enjoy that last piece of cake 🙂

  60. megan says:

    Great article! My cheats…Chic-fil-a, a juicy cheese burger (with bacon!) and ice cream. I allow myself this things at least once a month. I eat so good most of the time so I treat myself and make it up the next day with a nice workout. Though sometimes when I cheat, I have to remind myself to not be so tough on myself. Guilt is not good!

  61. Estefania says:

    Love this post! I don’t have cheats days either, I cheat more than once a week, when my body asks for it, especially sweetie food, ice creams, smoothies, frappuccionos, cakes… I need them in my life, I eat healthy but I don’t have forbidden foods. Everything in moderation, including moderation 😉

  62. Kara Mitchell says:

    I just want to say that I really appreciate this post. It’s nice to know that even super disciplined people can still enjoy indulging. It’s funny because my sister and I also call it “feeding our soul”! Sometimes my soul just needs chocolate to be happy 🙂 thanks for this!

  63. jennifer cortez says:

    Hi Cassie,
    Can you a blog about what you eat in a typical day/week?

  64. Megan R says:

    I have at least 1 cheat meal every week, just because I know I’ve worked hard and earned it. I’m a sucker for pretzels, starbursts & smiley fries, oh my goodness lol

  65. Yes – but I did have an issue with “cheating” for a while and it became pretty much an everyday thing for me. Now – I have to earn it AND I have to cheat in moderations (one meal v. one day)
    I do agree it’s healthy mentally and physically to cheat, but I just need to keep my cheating in check!

  66. Alicia A says:

    I cheat snacks too. I recently made a pumpkin pie without sugar and instead with agave, which its still a snack but a touch healthier. I find when I eat those ‘cheat’ foods I’m more inclined to workout more to burn off the additional so it can be really inspirational for those slacking off.

  67. I find I crave fats mostly, like nut butters, nuts, and chocolate; I think my body needs that extra fat sometimes. But if I start eating refined sugar, it hits me hard and I end up over-doing it big time! Sugar is like crack for me, so I have to really watch myself with it.

  68. Emily says:

    My favourite cheat food is ice cream! But I have to get a little cone, because if I get a pint, and I am eating it late at night, my self control goes out the window and I will eat half the pint at absolute minimum. Most likely the whole thing, which makes me feel absolutely wretched when I wake up the next morning. I used to eat sweets every single day, and it was like a horrible addiction. My body would literally crave chocolate for six hours straight. But since I have become gluten free and eat organic and a lot more fruits, I find that I get enough sugar in the day through fruits where my body doesn’t crave sweets anymore. This is the best feeling in the world because I seriously thought my situation was hopeless. Now, I don’t plan cheat foods, I just take them when the mood strikes, which is maybe once every week or two. I also have found that when I am eating really well but my body stays the same, and then I eat a really filling meal with dessert, the next evening or the day after I have actually trimmed up. Does that happen to anybody else?

    1. Tanja says:

      How much time did it take that you stopped craving? Why you decided for gluten-free diet, because of intolerance?

  69. Kathy says:

    First off, I’m really shocked to not see any comments here condemning cheats…

    I used to plan weekly cheat meals, but I would get so worked up over them that they would turn into cheat days. So now I just have a small treat here and there. I don’t call them cheats anymore because there are no bad foods, although those naughty chocolate chip-oreo-brownies come really close. I can only imagine someone battering them up and deep frying those puppies.

    I have clean treats throughout the week, then I allow myself to relax a bit one day a week and have whatever I want– clean or not. I am trying to lose weight, so I make sure it fits into my daily calories, and that I work out that day. This has been the best way for me to stay sane while losing weight.

    1. Kathy says:

      Oh! And my all-time favorite cheat meal varies, because I really like to eat LOL. I love savory desserts, like cheesecake. Mmm… 🙂

  70. Alexandra says:

    Isn’t it good to have a “cheat meal” to stabilize your hormonlevels as well? Thinking about leptin etc? If you’re on a diet your leptin levels will sink and you need to raise them back up?

  71. Agreed! I have a little dessert (around 150 cals) every evening. I have a crazy sweet tooth, I’d eat 5 more desserts a day if I could! But if I stay on track with my diet all week, I also have a “cheat day” where I eat pretty much whatever I want. Without having those “allowances” built in to my diet, I’d fall off the wagon all the time!

  72. Mari says:

    I made cupcakes today – I looove the baking process!!! but then someone has to eat them… 😉

  73. Adrian Ye says:

    I cheat when I eat out with friends, like a burger or some asian stir-fry. But I don’t lean towards the chocolate bars, cream cheese frostings, or chips at all because they just make my body feel terrible!

  74. Santia T says:

    Its good to know it okay to cheat, my favorite cheat meal is some good fashion warm chocolate chip cookies with some ice cream yumm 😀

  75. Elle says:

    For me, it is sweet stuff :/ I am fine without candy and Nutella and that kind of stuff as long as I STAY AWAY from it….but if i take one bite, or a family member buys me ONE jar, i can go all night eating Nutella or a carrot cake, red velvet cake with cream cheese frosting OOOOOHH goodness I can see it now 🙁 I have never gone all night eating it though, for the record…. 🙂 Salty foods don’t really appeal to me, accept nuts….because nuts I can just eat and eat and eat and eat, but i have to limit myself BIG TIME on nuts!

  76. Sej says:

    My favorite “cheat” food would be ice-cream with hot brownie’s and lots n lots of chocolate sauce! Anything sweet around me, and I have to run away from there as I am total chocolate/dessert lover! :p
    I have fruit salads to curb my sweet-tooth cravings :p

  77. Shari says:

    im happy we can cheat! whew! it makes me feel better lol i love sweets in general but man do i love myself some pizza or a good burger when im cheating 😀

  78. Marquel says:

    I totally take time for cheat meals. My favorite “cheat” is a big juicy hamburger and homestyle french fries. YUM 🙂 I practically never go out on my own to buy these, but save them for when I’m on a date or something. Guys like to see a girl down a burger, and I like downin’ them (once in a while)!

  79. Maja Milosevic says:

    I am probably the worst among all of you because I eat sweets every they, although in limited amounts, for example chocolate cookies not more than 2-3 pieces or 20-30 of chocolate, or ice-cream and chocolate milk.This is kind of every day ” reward ” after busy day and hard, hectic work. Besides these “little sins”, I workout
    approximately 5 times weekly, around 45 min, and I am trying to eat “clean” as much as I can.So, eating unhealthy food on daily basis is my choice, but veeeery limited amounts, and as far as I am concerned ,it works. By the way, since I discovered POP PILATES 3 months ago, my body responded amazingly, I have never looked better in my whooole life(bearing in mind that I workout my whole life), and it is just beginning I hope so, so THANK YOU CASSEY, KISSES…..

  80. Abby says:

    Breakfast food!!!! I loooove breakfast food..especially waffles or pancakes with chocolate chips or blueberries..plus biscuits with jelly…mmm..and definitely sweets. Sweets are my absolute weakness!

  81. Valerie says:

    I couldn’t agree with you more, Cassie! I try to “keep it clean” throughout the work week so when the weekend hits, I don’t feel as guilty eating some of the pleasurable foods I love! (Although after a second trip to Coldstone, I do feel slightly guilty :-p) The great thing I need to remind myself about is that I can always work off those extra calories, and I’m happy to hear that “cheat foods” aren’t actually horrible for you. Sure, they may put a mild dent in healthy eating routines, but our bodies need a break sometimes! Thanks again, Cassie! You’re the BEST <3

  82. Erika Foster says:

    I totally cheat, but it’s not every week, only when I crave something. Actually, I usually cheat when I go out with my friends, cause I don’t want to be the only one not eating in the table.
    Usually my cheat food is sushi (not the healthy kind hahaha, the ones we have here in my country, which have loads of cream cheese in them, and some of them are even deep fried!)

  83. Lydia says:

    I live in Greece and I don’t know if you ever been here but the food is trully amazing. It is so hard not to eat fatty foods especially when my boyfriend is naturally skinny and eats ALL the time around me. I always have to discipline myself but when I give in, I usually have crepes with chocolate sauce or peeta with chicken gyros. Those two are my favourite!

  84. Caitlin says:

    I’m trying to get away from defining things as “cheats” or “treats”, but I can say that there are certain foods that I rarely eat, and when I do eat them I feel bad about it – like desserts. I have heard that throwing a dessert at your body out of nowhere is a good thing though just like throwing a new workout at it! You may do HIIT every day, but if you do yoga one day all of a sudden, your body will probably gain NEW strength from that new workout. A guessing body is a calorie-burning body, even when it’s guessing what desserts you ate!

  85. De'ja says:

    This was just what I needed because I too have those moments when Im looking at the cookies on the counter and I have to tell my self “No, you did so well today. Do you want to throw all that hard work away over a minute of chocalatey goodness?” Sometimes it can be physically too hard to walk away. But now I know that a little cheat snack is okay here and there as long as I don’t over do it I feel so much better. Thx alot cassey for the info!

  86. Rachel says:

    I don’t cheat too often but when I do it’s like yours.. a snack.. I do love my sweets :p

  87. Sunny says:

    This post could not have come at a better time. I was in a bit of a circular pattern of binging for the last few days. I started off the month feeling super excited about the new workout calendar and then got discouraged when I went to my bf’s parents house and couldn’t work out without being awkward. I also ate a lot of ice cream. It made me feel poopy, which started a cycle of eating poopy. But ok, forgiveness time. Back on track starting NOW.

  88. Kendra says:

    I live in the south, so on Sundays I usually let myself eat a really good “southern” meal- sweet tea, corn bread, collards, sweet potato soufle (is that how you spell it? haha, not sure) and occasionally dessert (cheesecake, pleeeeease!) if I’ve been eating really clean. No fried chicken though…it’s just kinda messy and I honestly don’t like it that much. But whatever I eat, it’s awesome to just relax especially after working hard all week. 🙂

  89. Olivia says:

    We had a huge party this past weekend with the family. Tons of desert like cupcakes, “white trash”, and tons and tons of candy!

  90. Em says:

    Oh god looool.
    I’m the worst with ice cream (especially mint chocolate chip), anything with peanut butter in it, and froyo. Korean BBQ is also my weakness… I always end up eating WAY too much of that LOL
    but you’re so right; as long as we keep working hard, one cheat meal or even a cheat day won’t ruin anything. It’s alright to indulge once in a while ~ everything in moderation 😉

  91. Jessie K says:

    I allow myself to have Sundays off from everything, working out, dieting… everything. Then I’m back on track for the rest of the week. However, when it’s that certain time of the month, I HAVE to have chocolate, so I allow myself to have some chocolate as a snack.

  92. Melissa says:

    I cheat here and there. Not too often. My fave cheat is a box of chocolates!! (whatever’s on offer)

  93. Britt says:

    I cheat like every other day it seems like… One night this week it was 3 ice cream sandwiches… Last night I ate two chocolate cream cakes…. I do so good ALL DAY and then night comes and I just can’t stop myself. I have like a mental illness or something !!

    1. Kelly says:

      Britt- Your body may be lacking nutrients! I found that once my body was getting what it needed, I really did stop craving sugar. See this article:


      1. Alisha says:

        Thanks so much for this link! This looks really helpful 🙂

      2. Britt says:

        Thank you !!! Next time something is tempting me I’m going to try an alternative food first ! I never thought of this !!

    2. Emma says:

      I have an issue with letting go at night too and I just get to the point I go oh well doesn’t matter and eat whatever I want and go to bed feeling bad.
      I usually try to eat something healthy-ish if I really am hungry then brush my teeth/use mouthwash, it helped me not give in to the cravings.
      Eventually I stopped wanting to eat so much a night. I believe it’s all just habit!

      1. Alisha says:

        I agree, mouthwash is a life saver! Also, sugar free mint gum helps a lot. Thanks for the reminder! I need to curb my night snacking too!

      2. Emily says:

        This is my problem exactly!! I do so awesome all day and then 11:00 pm hits and I’m like well maybe I will just have a little piece of fruit or something. Maybe I will just eat a little oatmeal with brown sugar. Maybe I will just stuff my face until I slip into a food coma… It’s awful. But, I have to say the cravings have waned quite a bit. All it took was time. And the extra motivation this blog and community give me.

  94. Vera McDonnell says:

    Too many to name, but I am doing really well watching what I eat. Thanks for the motivation and the truth!

  95. Ellen says:

    My go-to cheat meal is a bacon-cheeseburger from a bar on my campus. They have a Friday special for the burger with an order of fries for $5 flat. After eating clean AND studying hard all week, it’s the perfect reward, but don’t worry, I’m back on my game starting Saturday morning with a high intensity workout 🙂

  96. Camille says:

    I let myself cheat every now and then. Totino’s pizza, hot fudge sundae pop tarts, cheese fries, Gushers, and oatmeal cream pies are my “dirty little secrets”. 😉 It does the body good to eat junk every now and then!

  97. jerome says:

    CURRY!!! best cheat in the world ever!!

  98. Sandy says:

    I cheat when I make my little girls Oreida French Fries in the oven!!! Oh and some serious Katchup! Ummmmmm!

  99. Marie says:

    Oh man, what a nerd I am. I cheat on dried fruit like some kind of lame tropical animal. Dried paw paw, dried mango… and date and coconut rolls. I never thought I would love something more than chocolate, but those damn date rolls got me baaaad.
    Liquorice allsorts and yoghurt balls are also prime for cheatin’.

    Oh man, now I have mega cravings!

    1. Emily says:

      Marie, you are hilarious. I actually laughed aloud for your whole post. I guess you could say I “LOL-d”

  100. Michelle says:

    I love this post too! Cheating now and then helps me stay sane because I’m focusing on my mental/emotional health rather than counting calories.

    I try to cheat when my body/mind feels as though it’ll collapse if I don’t have what I’m craving…usually peanut butter in mass quantities…or in peanut butter cookies. It happens about once a month for a few days…the only food remotely appetizing in peanut butter or sweets. As long as I’m not overdoing it everyday, who cares? It makes me happy and doing Pop Pilates will help me burn off some of it anyway. 🙂

  101. Johanna says:


    They’re amazing and totally worth every calorie, and there are many many many of them! Which is why I only eat them, maybe once a month or two months.

    Also, I have a cheat DAY when I go to the state fair! Cheese curds, beer, corndogs, kettle corn, how ya doin’?

  102. Kerry says:

    Hard to answer, bad cheats that leave me feeling guilty & sometimes even ill is bread, cheeses & crisps (potato chips) but love eating them at the time.

    Good cheat is chocolate, I don’t feel bad as I am able to control how much I eat, I allow myself like 2 mouthfuls of plain chocolate a day & feel ok. Also, marshmallows! & skinny hot Chocs…..and….one more, promise, skinny latte with a syrup (sugar free where poss) of vanilla, caramel or hazelnut. My foodgasms Cassey :). Again, limited cheats.

  103. Sarah D. says:


    I wish every day could be a cheat day with those bad boys.

  104. I totally agree with this. Cheating is totally necessary for emotional health.

    I like to really build it up. Plan my cheat days in advance, save up for it, and really, really enjoy it.

  105. christina says:

    I really like your youtube and your blog Cassie – I read it daily but rarely comment. But this post raised a lot of red flags to me. It sounds like you’re majorly restricting when you’re filming/photoshooting and leads me to believe….are you portraying an unrealistic image for people that want to get as lean as you? I’m just not sure this is the message you want to say is “ok” to your readers – that they should majorly restrict their food for big events and then eat a huge cheat meal after. Or maybe I’m just misinterpreting your post.

    1. blogilates says:

      I wasn’t restricting calories, I was just eating super clean. Trust me you can’t go through 10 hour days of working out in front of a camera on no food. I just wanted something that tasted fatty and good after. A nice treat.

      1. christina says:

        thank you for responding and clarifying. I understand what you mean now.

    2. Emily says:

      I didn’t really get that impression, I think it is just the differences in how everybody interprets the words on the blog. Even something written very black and white can mean different things to different people. But it is always good to bring things like that up because Cassey will generally clear things up, leaving everybody happy instead of somebody feeling not so great about what they just read. That is another reason this community is so awesome.

  106. Carrie says:

    Oh Diddy Ries!!! One of my FAVORITE cheat spots!!

  107. I love this post! I do cheat occasionally too and think it is totally fine once in a while! That Ice cream thing looks amazing and totally worth the cheat 🙂 Congrats on finishing up filming too! Can’t wait to see the boot camp videos!

  108. Sally says:

    I usually don’t plan my cheat days, I sometimes wake up in the morning and I feel like “ooh sally, let’s cheat today” and then I think :” just forget about everything, ENJOY whatever you like.” And then I have my favourite candys, or I eat some fast food or cake – it helps me to continue clean eating. And after a “cheat” day, I follow my clean eating diet. I would say, I eat pretty strict about4-5 days a week , and the other days I just enjoy or I don’t count calories. On this way, I maintain my weight of 113 lbs 🙂

  109. Nina says:


    I usually cheat with ice-cream or cheesecake 😀 and sometimes Pizza

    What do you mean by ‘changing the workout routine ever 4 weeks’ ?
    Is it only about what I do, like not the same moves for certain body parts over and over again, or even changing on which days I do them ( like mondays training the abs, tuesdays cardio and so on… ) ?

    1. Emily says:

      I also think this would be a good topic, maybe even to do a little post about it or something. Because I was reading this comment and was thinking about it wondering if I could anwer it, and I too wonder about the specifics for changing a workout routine. I do pilates and cardio six days a week now, so it would be nice to be able to get the most out of my workout. Thank you Nina for bringing this up! I am sure a lot of people would love to learn more about it.

      1. Nina says:

        I never really thought about any of this changing thing before.

        I would really like to know about it. I usually have karate classes two times a week so I couldn’t change that days, but fortunately our instructors are really open about new things and change our workout and warm up routine every once in a while and are even open to learn about new ways of training certain muscles, like Pilates especially for the obliques and the thighs.

        I also try to do Pilates 3 to 4 times a week and an hour of cardio once a week as well.
        But I do these things almost always on the same days as a kind of ‘routine’ so I don’t start strolling off from working out again.

  110. Cathy says:

    It was SO nice to come across this post because I have been feeling particularly guilty about indulging once in awhile. You are SO right! As long as we work out hard at the gym later on and don’t over do it, it will be all right. We are still human!!

    Cathy Trails

  111. Stacie Mayer says:

    When I do occasionally cheat, it’s usually chocolate that I’m craving, like some Tim Tams or a Crunchie bar. Other times it’s pizza.
    But now that I have found so many delicious clean eating recipes I feel like I’m cheating all the time even though I’m not.