Top Three Tips To A Successful Cheat Meal


A reader emailed me this week asking about cheat meals and how to stop them from spilling over into cheat days or even weeks.

I replied via email, but then thought that other people, like yourself, could benefit from the information, so here goes.

I just wanted to say that I like your idea of a cheat meal.

So I wanted to ask, What kind of things did u eat for your cheat meal?

What’s reasonable for me to do? (Lol I had to ask cuz I ate 6 slices of pizza for my cheat meal once. It was supposed to be 3, but I couldn’t stop myself)

And how do u keep it at just a meal. I tried a cheat meal and it lasted 2 days while telling myself, “this will be the last time”?? (I really struggle with this)

Before getting into my top 3 tips, I wanna say right from the beginning, I’ve been there. I’ve had times when I’ve fallen off the slimming wagon and hit the takeaway menus harder than a dieting fat kid hits cake!

It happens to the best of us, and when it finally ends and you come up for air, nine times out of ten you swear off junk food forever, “never again” you mutter to yourself, deep down knowing, you can’t live the rest of your days without any junk food.

Whatever takes your fancy!

What you have for a cheat meal is entirely up to you, after all, it’s your reward so make it count an have what you want. That doesn’t mean have a KFC, a burger king and a pizza hut, because let’s face it that’s just being a pig! But if you really want a large pizza, a massive kebab, large cod & chips or 20 chicken wings & chips (a personal favourite) then have it!

Before I get accused of condoning weight gain on a weight loss blog (that’d be real smart would’nt it!) let me say like I have many times before, use your head. If you’ve been good, and stuck plan for a week, two or three then treat yourself, you deserve it. If, on the other hand, you haven’t, then don’t because it’s not gonna to benefit you in the long run.

Top cheat meal tips – getting back on plan

Junk food and cheat meals don’t have to be a gateway to the dark side, there are a few things you can do to minimise the chances of the above and having a successful cheat meal while on a diet/living a realistic, healthy lifestyle.

1. The day after the night before

Prepare what you’re gonna eat the day after your cheat meal. You could just make a mental note of what you’re gonna eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner, but it’s 10x better to actually make the meals ready so you’ve got no excuse to eat them; your brain hasn’t got to think about anything apart from, “I’m hungry…must eat” and when that happens off you trot to the fridge, job done.

I know this isn’t always the easiest thing to do, but at the very least I would get breakfast and lunch ready, there usually the most hectic, at least for me they are.

2. Feed the dog!

This one is CRUCIAL.

Don’t keep ANY of your cheat meal leftovers, not in the fridge, the freezer, for hubby, the missus or even the kids. If it’s in the house and you know about it, you WILL eat it. The last thing you want to do is leave your leftovers in the fridge, wake up the next morning and think “ahhh well I might as well finish it,” before you know it you’re in a McDonalds or KFC for lunch with the reasoning “I’ve already ruined the day so why not!”

Don’t do it to yourself, it’s unnecessary torture. So, only order/cook what your gonna finish, if you don’t finish it give it to the other half, the kids, the dog (mine love me on cheat night!) or the bin, that night, there and then.

3. Dinner is best

The best time to have a cheat meal in my experience is dinner time. Eat, enjoy, chill out, relax and then sleep. Cheat meal all done and dusted. If you have it for breakfast or lunch, you’re much more likely to continue that way the rest of the day because you’ve either got “the taste” for it or, like above you’ve think you’ve already “ruined the day”.

Nothing more, nothing less

This isn’t so much as a hint or a tip, but rather advice (that I’m still learning myself). Try to accept the cheat meal for exactly that; a rewarding meal, every once in a while, that you have to earn by sticking to plan and eating healthy for a week or two. If you haven’t stuck to plan and earnt it, then you’re only cheating yourself at the end of the day.

There my top tips for sticking to plan after a cheat meal, now it’s your turn. Leave your own hints and tips for cheat meals in the comments below 🙂

    Darran Mansfield

    Hi! I'm Darran Mansfield, I've been on the Slimming World diet for about 10 months, and I've lost 5 and a half stone (74lbs/34kgs), I'm by no means a weight loss expert, but I do have first hand experience, and that's what I'm here to share with you. I'm looking for a healthy, sustainable lifestyle that's enjoyable yet maintainable in today's modern life. If that's what you want, you should stick around, I'm sure you'll find something helpful and don't forget to say hi to me on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or Instagram.

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