Cheat Days? Good or Not? Best Practices for Using Cheat Days

Cheat Days?

Free Days?

Binge Days?

Whatever you call them, do you have them?

I have definitely had my share of them only to feel terrible after I have them, guilty, let down, bloated and regretful.

Sound familiar?

Cheat days are terrible.



I mean here you are, you worked hard eating clean all week and then you “supposedly” give yourself a day or meal to enjoy and indulge in something you like or want only to feel terrible after you eat it or do it.

What kind of fun is that?

I thought it was supposed to feel good?

Well, after many many many years of doing “CHEAT DAYS” differently, I came to a realization.  I finally found a way to make it happen.  A way that doesn’t make me feel bad about it, a way that doesn’t negatively affect my body and results.  A way that doesn’t make me OBSESS over food.  A way that feels good.

It’s been over 17 years of playing around with this thing called the cheat day, and I finally figured it out.  So, I want to share with you my experiences with hopes that it will help you.  Because it certainly has helped me and all the clients I work with.

I definitely have been through many different stages in life, and one of them was definitely with CHEAT DAYS.

Let me tell you what would happen………

I would eat as “PERFECT” as I possibly could all week and as soon as Friday rolled around, the “cheat day” started.  I remember getting home from work excited to have something that “wasn’t on plan”.  It wasn’t necessarily a huge cheat meal, just something I “Thought I knew I couldn’t have”.   

So for example, I would have a bowl of cereal.  Not even like Fruit Loops, more like a “healthy cereal”, but my mentality still wasn’t right.  It was like I couldn’t wait until that moment until I “allowed” myself to indulge in something I wanted.

It had been a week of depriving myself, saying no to all kinds of foods and opportunities that were tough to say no to.  

It left me basically obsessing over it.

Say for example that a friend was eating some oreos and though I wanted one I said no.  

High Five for me, I did it!

Well, not so much, because all I thought about the rest of the week, was that moment on Friday when I could “CHEAT” and have some Oreos.  Only to then have way too many Oreos since all I had done was think about the dang Oreos.


This would lead me to eat so bad on the weekends.

My mind just wasn’t right!

I was trying to eat clean Monday-Friday and since I deprived myself so much those days, when the weekends came, all I wanted was to feel good, to enjoy something I wanted, to cheat, to indulge……………

Results = Mediocre

Sanity = Not so good

Emotionally = Not so stable

Then, at one point in my life, I decided to COMMIT to just ONE CHEAT MEAL.

So then again, the cycle started, I ate as “PERFECT” as I could all week, until that cheat meal came.

Ugh, here came another OBSESSION.  

Spending all week thinking of what I would be able to enjoy on that “cheat meal”.


Not so much!

We are not supposed to obsess about food, that is not a way of life as people call it.

Again, I would deprive myself all week and when the cheat meal came, I of course, OVER-ATE!

I mean, all I could think of is this is the only opportunity I have to actually enjoy food. The only chance I have to eat something that is not “optimal”, that is not “on my program”, “to have fun”.

Who wouldn’t over-eat?

So, is that what the Health/Fitness Industry calls healthy?

To sit down in one meal, in one sitting and eat as much CRAP as you possibly can?

I don’t know about you, but I soon came to the realization that, that is no way to live.

That is not a “LIFESTYLE”.

To sit and BINGE in one sitting to then spend another week depriving myself and counting the days until that next BINGE FEAST?

Results = Mediocre

Sanity = Not so good

Emotionally = Not so stable

So, the years went by and I continued to experiment with different ways of treating this CHEAT DAY/FREE MEAL thing until the AHAAAAAA MOMENT.

The Discovery!

Well, what if I just commit to eating as clean as I possibly can ALL THE TIME.  

And what it if when I want something that isn’t so “healthy” or so “optimal” or is “off the program”, I just eat it.

What if I can control myself and just have a few bites?  

What if I don’t put so many RESTRICTIONS on myself? 

What if I focus on practicing CONTROL?

What if I don’t spend all week DEPRIVING myself?

So I decided I would give this a try.

No “cheat day” in my head.  No “free day” in my mind.  No “binge feasts” scheduled.

No saying NO all the time, meanwhile I wanted to say YES.

And guess what happened?

Results = Amazing

Sanity = Great

Emotionally = Total and complet control

My body transformed!  

I got better results than I ever had.

I couldn’t understand at first.  I mean I wasn’t really “DIETING”.  I wasn’t saying “NO” all the time.  I wasn’t “Depriving” myself all the time.  

I felt like I could eat anything.

Ohhhh Emmmmm Geeeee!!!! it was the most FREEING feeling ever.

I finally felt like I could eat like this forever.  

I didn’t feel like “oh man, will I ever not care about what I eat”, “will I always care so much about food”, “will I ever just be able to eat what I want”.

That’s no “LIFESTYLE” as us trainers like to call it.

I was LEANER and more TONED than ever before.  And by this point I had already started having kids.

It was unbelievable.  It was amazing 🙂

What I did:

  • I learned MODERATION.
  • I learned CONTROL.
  • I learned what a true HEALTHY LIFESTYLE is.
  • I learned to ENJOY myself.
  • I learned to not be OBSESSIVE.
  • It was such a great feeling.
  • I felt so in control.

So, this is what I do to this day on a daily basis.

I don’t have a cheat day or cheat meal or a free day or a free meal.  I just eat clean all the time.  I make the best possible choices I can.  And when I’m presented with the opportunity to eat something that isn’t as healthy or as clean, if I really really want it, then I have it.  Just a bite or two.

But here is the kicker…….  I don’t consider that “CHEATING”.  I don’t beat myself up about it, I don’t think about it beyond that moment.  It doesn’t set me up in a spiral to continue eating bad because I do it in a controlled manner.  

I know that if I want another bite or something else that isn’t perfectly healthy, that I can have it.  So why SPLURGE?  Why OVER EAT it, when it isn’t going anywhere.  If I want it, I can have it.

I can’t tell you enough what this does in your brain.

It automatically helps you eat healthier MORE CONSISTENTLY.

What good is it anyhow to eat perfectly for X amount of meals per week, when you can out eat those meals in terms of calories in one “cheat day” or one “cheat meal”.

I actually ENJOY  my healthy lifestyle.

I can finally truly say that I will eat this way forever.

I don’t have to not go out with friends or my family because I can’t eat this or that.  I just make the best possible choices and when I want something “bad”,  I have it in moderation.

And guess what?

I bet my life, that the amount of CALORIES that I eat throughout the ENTIRE WEEK of “bad food” is way less than that “CHEAT DAY OR MEAL” you are having.

It feels so darn good to feel IN CONTROL and to LOVE it.

I want that for you!

Will you give this a try?

I hope you do.


I’m a busy mom, I don’t have time to workout every day.

I don’t have time to prep for hours.

I love food.

I can’t do diets that limit my food so much (this busy mom needs energy).


So, I created FIT MOM FOR LIFE, to be able to have something that is realistic for a busy mom.  Something that is more livable and sustainable.

But also something that would help me get in the best shape of my life.

Why not?

Why should we limit ourselves just because we got pregnant and had kids?

It’s still possible to get in even better shape than before you had kids.

I did it, and I have helped thousands of women do it too.

Click here to check it out:  FIT MOM FOR LIFE


Good luck, and feel free to let me know your thoughts here on the blog on cheat days or go to My Facebook Page and tell me your thoughts there.  I am there connecting with people more than here, so its easier to have a CONVO there.

Also, be sure to find me on PINTEREST.  I organize all my content (recipes, workouts, exercise videos, motivational quotes, and lifestyle strategies) there for you.  If you don’t have an account, its free and so easy to start and use. I am obsessed with

Pinterest so of course, I encourage you to get the benefits of it as well.

Huge hug!

Your Friend,

Michelle Marie




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