Cheat Day… How Does It Somehow Turn Into “Cheat Week”?

Marlyn McLaughlinLifestyle30 Comments

Cheat Days? Lets Break This Down…

Cheat day… Are you tired of that term or are you wondering what the heck it means? I’ve got you! It’s basically a day of your choosing that you “treat” yourself to a meal or dessert that you normally wouldn’t have. If you are really trying to stay on track with your fitness goals, you are most likely choosing the route of having a cheat day versus treating yourself every now and then with a little something. Some people go as far as treating themselves for the full day or just having one treat. For myself, it’s usually a meal or dessert. I’d probably get sick if I tried to go a full day eating anything my heart desired, either way do you boo! Now that you know what cheat days are, let’s dive right into why cheat days usually turn into a week or sometimes just falling off of the wagon.

Cheat days turning into a “cheat week” is not something that only happens to YOU, I promise. I have several people come to me saying “It all started after I had my cheat meal…” I’m like, “Same” It has happened to me several times and I’ve learned some tips and tricks on how to realize when this is happening to you. But first let me tell you something, if you’ve gone further than a week and it is more of a “cheat month”; DO NOT GIVE UP. DO NOT. It’s never too late to turn that page and start a new journey, trust me…

Almost every time this happened to me, I would get so frustrated with myself and wonder how I allowed myself to get to that point of just “giving up”. Each time I wondered how I went wrong and if I could ever retrain my palate to eating the way I did before I let that ONE cheat meal ruin my whole week. I used to think “maybe my body just needed to start over”, “maybe my body felt as if it needed to be challenged”, “am I just tired of eating clean?” etc etc.

Here’s the moment of realization I had that changed everything…

The more that you try to cancel a certain food out of your diet, the more you want it… Right? Its kind of like when you tell a child that they can’t have something, they want it even more. It is crazy how that works but it is so true. My weakness is dark chocolate and the way I used to cure that sweet tooth before was with a  protein bar. I knew that if I wanted something sweet that I would have to work for it. With protein bars being made more for on the go kind of snacking (and also Quest bars aren’t cheap enough to have 3 times a day, just saying) I tried to only allow myself to have only one a day or two MAX. On days when I felt that the sweet tooth was hitting me hard, waiting to eat my protein bar until after a workout would motivate me crush my workout.

Now I get it, for people like my Husband this may seem silly because he rarely ever has a sweet tooth. I on the other hand could have the same food every day at the same time and not be bothered by it. Take away my dark chocolate and I don’t know if we can be friends anymore. Well, I got to the point where I did just that. I would only “treat” myself every now and then… maybe once a month. Now I’m not going to play the victim card here and say that I was miserable. Having my protein bar or protein shake totally took care of any sweet tooth moment that I would have. It was perfectly enough. However, I did notice that once I would treat myself just that ONE time a month, I would continue to do so and use excuses like “well it is still the weekend, I’ll get back to it Monday” or “just one more treat won’t hurt, it’ll be a month until I have another cheat meal”. This happened to me for months until it all just clicked for me. As a result to restricting myself so much, the most common outcome would be this same pattern of having a cheat meal repeatedly until I noticed they weren’t a “treat” anymore.

Scheduled Cheat Meals?

Whether you like the idea of having a routine or not, it is usually the easiest way to keep yourself on track. What used to be a cheat meal for me before becoming Vegetarian has changed now. My favorite thing to do would go on a date night with my Husband and eat my favorite burger and fries at Hopdoddy’s. I would have their turkey burger which was amazing but served as a perfect cheat meal for me then. Now, a cheat meal would be something more like a dessert. Maybe a slice from Whiskey Cake? Or a delicious protein packed dessert that my Husband made for me once.

My Secret Sweet Treat!

What you’ll need:

  • Quest Bar: Cookie Dough Flavor
  • Arctic Zero (Or Nadamoo as a Vegan option) “Ice-cream”
    *My favorite flavor for Nadamoo is their Birthday Cake Cookie Dough.
  • Cocoa Powder
  • Miniature Dark Chocolate Chips (totally opt.)
  • Honey
  • Small bowl & plate
  • Spoon
  1. Make your “Cocoa Drizzle” before everything else because it all has to move pretty quick once you’ve heated that bar up. You don’t want it to get too hard since it’ll cool off pretty quickly. To a bowl add 2 tbsp of honey, slowly stir honey while adding 1/2 tbsp of cocoa powder little by little. If you add it all at once, the cocoa powder will clump. Once its reached your desired thickness, set it aside.
  2. Take a cookie dough Quest Bars and flatten it out to the thickness of a cookie, Add a scoop of the Nadamoo “Ice-cream” once you’ve warmed up the protein bar for about 10 seconds. If you warm up the bar for too long, it’ll get hard and super chewy like taffy… don’t OVER HEAT.
  3. Add your prettiest version of a drizzle with the Cocoa Drizzle you made in the beginning and sprinkle a few dark chocolate chips on top.
  4. Enjoy this protein packed dessert that’s kind of healthy. A lot healthier than what you could buy at a store or restaurant for sure and it only took a few minutes to make.

Just remember this…

What it boils down to me is just finding healthier alternatives to things that you hate to love. It makes life so much easier to continue to enjoy the things that you love but know that it isn’t going to hinder any goals you have for your health journey. For example, if pasta is a food group that you just can’t live without well I’ve got a solution for that. With technology and creativity we’ve gotten pretty far with finding healthier alternatives. Just to mention a few we have Whole wheat pasta, Lentil pasta, Spinach pasta and more from brands like POW! Pasta and Simply Legumes. Sure it will not taste the exact same, but your palate is truly trainable and you learn to love the new things. Besides, would you rather have to cut it out of your diet as a whole or make a few adjustments here and there?

Let me know what you think of post like this one! I’ll be more than happy to help you find healthier alternatives for food groups and recipes that you love. Ninety percent of the time there is something out there that is just as tasty and a lot better for you.


Thank you for taking the time to stop by, see you on the next post.



30 Comments on “Cheat Day… How Does It Somehow Turn Into “Cheat Week”?”

  1. I’ve always admired you on this journey! You’ve helped me so much in ways as simple as being positive in my everyday life. Btw I related to this post like 200%, reading it was as if I wrote it myself. Besides the delish dessert recipe, totally stealing it btw. Keep it up, you are a true inspiration 😘

    1. Your words are so kind, as always. I’m so glad this post was relatable! Thank you for allowing me to be a part of your life 🙂

  2. I definitely relate.. I find myself saying just 1 day and it end up being the entire week of cheat meals.. when instead I could have just found healthy alternatives.. I think this post is extremely informative and love what your doing!

    1. It happens to all of us girl, this is why I felt it was so important to share my experience with it all <3

  3. I can relate to this 100% in fact my cheat day has sadly turned into cheat months.. I can continue to do my work outs but the foods I take in each day are destroying me.
    But I’m honestly telling my self right now at this very moment enough is enough! You are so inspirational! Crossing paths with you is exactly what I needed and I’m so excited to follow you in this journey as a restart mine!

    1. I’ve been there so many times Brittney! Its all about not letting it get the best of you and not letting not even ONE more day go by without you crushing those goals girlfriend. I’m here for you!!

  4. Okay I am for sure trying that recipe out this weekend! We usually have a cheat meal on the weekends, but for instance, this past weekend we had a pool Party. I now have all the leftovers in my house… cookies, brownies, chips, dips… it is torturous for me to look in my pantry everyday. So last night I have 5 chips with dinner. I wanted to, but gave myself a small portion where I wouldn’t be totally breaking my diet. I felt satisfied and not guilty at all! Now I’m throwing the rest out and will make this recipe because I was drooling just reading it 😂😂😋 thanks for sharing!!

    1. Ahhhh I can totally relate girl… no one likes to waste food!! You did SO good by allowing yourself to treat that craving but keeping it at only 5 chips. Now that is self control right there!!! *whoop whoop*

  5. “Take away my dark chocolate and I don’t know if we can be friends anymore.“

    I had a LOL moment. I can totally relate!

    This Blog is very informative and helpful. Thanks girl.

    1. I’ll live by that quote forever lol. I’m so glad you found this blog post helpful, friend 🙂

  6. Yep, that is exactly the mentality. I might as well…Ironically, I just left a cheat “day” turned week with all sorts of justificationsand seemingly no consequences. Then, this morning my pants were tight. #cheatfail
    I’m glad you addressed this reality for us. As always, I am sucked int your journey and inspired!

    1. I always felt so guilty and felt as if I’d come across as weak for admitting that one cheat meal would turn into a cheat week for me. That maybe my small following would view me differently but from what I can tell, I’m not the only one and it has only helped other women realize that as well! I’m glad I swallowed my pride and shared. We’re all humans wanting to be healthier <3 Thank you for taking the time to read my post, Sarah!

  7. I just had a cheat weekend 🙁 BUT I picked myself right back up and started eating healthy again within a few days!! SO yesssssss it does happen, quite a few times. Haha but mmmm that treat sounds delicious… Make it for me when I come visit you!

    1. Yes girl!! That is all that matters. You picked yourself back up, never let it get the best of you. Sometimes I’ll have a perfect couple of months and then just give myself a little break with not being extremely strict. That is why I prefer flexible dieting, leads to higher success rates!

  8. I was told recently about the 80/20 rule! 80% of the time I’ll eat what’s good for me and 20% of the time I’ll enjoy my bad-for-me guilty pleasures! This way, I don’t think of my food as a reward/punishment system but as a balance overall – getting what I “need” plus a little of what I want!

  9. Love this blog post, Marlyn! I can definitely relate to “cheat week”…definitely gets the better of me sometimes. I’m a pizza fiend and I have found that cauliflower or zucchini crust is an awesome, super tasty alternative! Can’t wait for the next post!! Xoxo

    1. That’s a great tip Leksi! I’ve heard so much about cauliflower being the new craze. I tried cauliflower rice and it was pretty good. I need to make it into a crust though!! One alternative that I have tried is slicing eggplants and topping it off with pizza sauce, fresh tomatoes, basil and vegan cheese!! *drooling* It taste nothing like actual crust but is super tasty. Thanks for sharing your cauliflower tip!! <3

  10. I don’t think I’ve seen anything more relatable! One cheat day can push me back farther then I expected. I heard this saying on one of my favorite TV shows, Friends, and it was “A moment on the lips, forever on the hips.” And I couldn’t agree more. Once you have that one cheat meal that turns into a cheat week your body starts to slow down and feel pretty weak/bad. A little here and there isn’t bad, we don’t want to shock our bodies but just don’t over do it. Love how you explained everything! Thank you Marlyn for being an inspiration! (:

    1. Aw thanks you so much for stopping by Anastasia! I’m so glad that this blog post was relatable and helpful. That quote from Friends is LIFE lol!

  11. I finally had the time to read it and I can totally relate to this post. I always do good during the week and when the weekend comes I tend to cheat on day and then just do it the whole weekend and say I will start Monday again. Lately, I have been trying to stay a little focus and not cheat so often. Thanks for the post Prima I loved it. 😍

    1. Awesome, I’m so glad that you got a chance to read my post. I’m going to make sure I post more relatable literature like this one. I’m proud of you!!

  12. This is all so true! I definitely prefer to reach for dark chocolate vs. milk chocolate because it is so much more satisfying. I will find myself eating way more if I reach for milk chocolate. You are doing so great! Keep up the awesome posts! ❤

    1. Yes, I agree girl. Dark chocolate is just so pure, I could’t see myself going overboard before getting a stomach ache. Milk chocolate however just doesn’t give me that same satisfaction! Thank you for taking the time to stop by my site. I appreciate you <3

  13. I think this is the perfect blog for a lot of people helps them acknowledge the FACT that cheat days can turn into cheat weeks, and maybe even cheat months. At that point it would just turn into a broken diet, which leads downhill from that point forward. I really love this blog and I think personally that it will speak out to a lot of other people in the future!
    P.s. I love how you included the “secret treat section”.

  14. That is the appropriate blog for anybody who needs to search out out about this topic. You notice so much its nearly exhausting to argue with you (not that I really would need…HaHa). You positively put a new spin on a subject thats been written about for years. Nice stuff, just great!

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