To Cheat or Not to Cheat … We Answer the ?

While cheating is a no-no in many circumstances (from high school history tests to marriage) there are some instances where cheating is not only okay but absolutely essential for your success. Specifically, allowing yourself to cheat may actually help you stick with your diet plan and lose the unwanted weight you’ve been trying to shed.

Believe it or not, everybody cheats–even professional bodybuilders and fitness models. They list the fabled “Cheat Day” as an absolute necessity. But why? It seems counterintuitive to cheat while dieting. How can straying from the game plan be helpful?

The Benefits of Cheating on Your Diet

There are several physical and psychological benefits of cheating on your diet that can make this no-no an important part of your health and wellness routine.

1)  Decrease Your Risk of Binging

By allowing yourself an occasional indulgence, you no longer feel as if you’re constantly deprived. Indeed, it’s that sense of deprivation that leads most people to give up on their diet. Mentally, dieting becomes more of a hassle than the anticipated future rewards are worth. That sense of freedom you get when you cheat a little bolsters your willpower to resist the urge to totally binge on bad-for-you-foods when it arises.

2)  Special Occasions are Special Again

how to be balanced when cheating on your dietSocial support is one of the best resources to draw upon when you’re trying to lose weight. But dieting, by its very nature, can exclude you from your social groups. How many of your interactions with family and friends take place over the dinner table or with a cocktail or other tempting treat in your hand? How awkward do you feel declining that invitation for a night out or ordering Plane Jane salad when everyone else eats steak?

And the holidays! All those family meals with heavy foods and desert—torture; not the pleasure they should be. But when you schedule yourself some cheat time you can enjoy these special occasions again without derailing your progress.

3)  A Sense of Control

By cheating consciously, you retain control over your body and your diet. That’s important because control is empowering and power makes you feel as if you can do anything. That positive outlook is an essential tool for long-term weight loss success. So empower yourself to cheat—but do it the right way.

Be a Little Naughty in a Good Way

You must cheat consciously. Simply allowing yourself to give in to every indulgence whenever it pops up (like when walking by the bakery display window) is a recipe for disaster. Balance is essential. You can’t succeed with a diet if you’re constantly deprived nor constantly cheating. Use the following two tactics to regulate your cheating and use it to your benefit:

conscious cheating1)  Schedule a Cheat Day (once every other week) where anything goes—but just for that day.

2)  Schedule a cheat meal every three or four days—something indulgent, like mac and cheese or mashed potatoes, that packs a tasty punch to eliminate those cravings.

Once you’ve set the date, stick to your schedule. If you let things slide—even a little—you’ll begin to lose that control and your willpower will erode. So stay strong and diet on!

Let Us Be Your “Cheat Buddy”

Learn how The Hollywood Diet® line of juice cleanses and meal replacement cookies can help you stay strong between cheat days (or help you recover after them). We’re also constantly updating our blog with motivational tips and tools to help you succeed – so visit often.