Cheat Meal Ideas to Keep You on Track

Cheat Meals You Can Feel Good About

Coveted Cheat Meals You Can Feel Good About
Modify Your Cheat to a Healthy Treat. Paper Boat Creative/Getty Images

 When it comes to cheat meals, enjoying a few of the coveted comfort foods in healthier versions still satisfies the cravings we all succumb to from time to time except without all the guilt.  Check out a few cheat meal ideas that can fit into your once a week eating plan without breaking the fitness bank. 

Pizza is a Top 10 Coveted Cheat Meal

Pizza is a Coveted Cheat Meal that can be Made Healthy. pidjoe/Getty Images

 Pizza is definitely in the top 10 coveted cheat meals.  This slice of heaven can be modified and remain taste bud satisfying.  Simply make or request pizza with whole wheat thin crust, add lots of veggies and stay away from the white sauce.  Healthier pizza is a fabulous good carbohydrate choice.  Add lean meats like chicken breast or nitrate free Canadian bacon for additional protein on cheat day.

Burgers Rank High on the Cheat Meal List

Healthy Hamburger
Healthy Hamburgers are a Great Cheat Meal. Robert Linton/Getty Images

 Who does not enjoy a good burger? Try a very lean ground beef or turkey variety, skip the mayo, use a whole wheat or grain bun, add lots of veggies and try spicy mustards for a twist.  This cheat meal is full of muscle building protein and plenty of carbs to fuel that body. 

I Want French Fries!

Sweet Potato Fries
Sweet Potato Fries are a Healthier Cheat Meal Option. TheCrimsonMonkey/Getty Images

 Craving French fries? Opt for sweet potato fries over the typical russets and increase the nutritional value of the cheat meal adding fiber and antioxidants.  When accompanied with a lean beef burger you will also gain protein for a wonderfully delicious cheat meal.  

Granola Makes a Great Breakfast Cheat Meal

Granola Makes a Great Breakfast Cheat Meal. nicolebranan/Getty Images

 Enjoy a large bowl of granola for cheat meal morning.  Select a healthy variety filled with nuts, dried fruits and add yogurt or enjoy with low-fat dairy, soy or almond milk.  Granola is typically made with oats, a good carbohydrate, and the nuts will provide healthy fats for a powerhouse cheat meal sure to satisfy.  

Bran Muffins are a Sweet Cheat Meal

Bran Muffin
Bran Muffins Make a Sweet Cheat Meal for Breakfast. Lauri Patterson/Getty Images

 Bran muffins made with quality ingredients like honey, blueberries and walnuts make another good carbohydrate cheat meal.  Bran is high in fiber and the added fruits and nuts provide antioxidants and healthy fats.

Chips are a Craved Cheat Meal

Baked Chips and Guacamole
Baked Tortilla Chips are a Healthier Cheat Meal Option. Premium UIG Universal Images Group/Getty Images

 Looking for a little salt and crunch? Try baked tortilla chips and fresh guacamole over fried as a healthier option.  Adding the avocado for healthy fats and antioxidants will be an added bonus.

Pancakes are a Morning Favorite Cheat Meal

Healthy Pancakes
Whole Wheat Pancakes make a Great Breakfast Cheat Meal. Donald Erickson/Getty Images

 Morning breakfast is definitely a great time to splurge and enjoy good tasting healthy carbs.  Fresh off the griddle whole grain or wheat pancakes topped with organic maple syrup are sure to scratch that itch. Cook up a side of nitrate-free bacon for added flavor and ​protein, along with some fruit for a morning breakfast just like Mom used to make. 

Chocolate Makes a Great Cheat Meal Snack

Dark Chocolate
Dark Chocolate Makes a Great Cheat Meal Snack. (C)Andrew Hounslea Moment/Getty Images

 Desserts are another coveted cheat meal food with chocolate leading the pack.  Make it healthier by selecting dark chocolate over milk varieties. Dark chocolate is full of antioxidants that provide health benefits.  That does not mean sitting and eating a whole box of dark chocolate truffles is recommended but enjoy a few ounces of dark chocolate on cheat day without guilt. 

Wine is Included as a Cheat Treat

Red Wine
Red Wine is a Cheat Meal Treat. Don Farrall Digital Vision/Getty Images

 Reaching for that glass of wine on the weekend? Selecting a healthier option is important with this limited intake splurge. Make it red instead of white for better digestion and loaded with antioxidants.   Drinking too much is never a good thing so watch it here enjoying no more than one to two glasses on cheat day.  Make sure to enjoy plenty of water with your wine. 

Pasta is a Highly Desired Cheat Meal

whole wheat pasta
Enjoy Whole Wheat Pasta for a Cheat Meal. Micah Young/Getty Images

 Pasta is another “want” on cheat day.  Who does not enjoy a fabulous plate of spaghetti and meatballs?  Make it healthier using whole wheat or quinoa pasta topped with a fabulous red sauce.  Stay away from creamy white sauces and saturated fats. Another great option is to use extra virgin olive oil as the base sauce and build your plate from there.   Add in sautéed onions, garlic, and vegetables for additional good carbohydrates filled with fiber and antioxidants.  Lean proteins are a great idea and can come from lean ground turkey meatballs or fatty fish like salmon.  There is no going wrong here and a nice glass of red wine to accompany the meal makes it a cheat meal winner.


Source:, healthy weight – it’s not a diet, it’s a lifestyle, healthy eating for a healthy weight, 12/6/13

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