Select Page

If You’re Going to Cheat, At Least Make It Worthwhile

If You’re Going to Cheat, At Least Make It Worthwhile

As I typed out the title of this article, I realized it could be used in several different circumstances … I’m talking about weight loss today. 🙂 

The kids had a sleepover Saturday night and we said they could have whatever they wanted for dinner. They chose hamburgers. Sounded fun: BBQ, beers, fries, even Oreo cookie milkshakes and popcorn for their movie. A regular feast. It was a beautiful evening out.

I used to like hamburgers, I really did. I’ve just grown away from them. But for the kids, for the party, the BBQ, all that, fun, let’s do it. I said they could have whatever they wanted. Of course, I didn’t have to eat them. But we all ate together and it was fun.

But afterwards, I had that feeling that I often have after eating something heavy, especially red meat. Just sluggish, full, bloated, as if there’s a pound of flesh in my stomach. Oh wait, there is a pound of flesh in my stomach. But hey, it’s a party, it’s a special occasion, right? The next morning, I thought of the line:

Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels.

I can get pretty serious when challenged. I stick to my guns, I don’t back down, I’m going to go the distance. I’m currently not on any kind of special diet, but I want to eat healthy. I’m trying to do a “Five Two” diet or a “Six One” diet with five or six days on the healthy and two days or one day without any restrictions. But I’m relaxed about it, what I truly don’t want to be is the guest who says, “Yeah, that burger, could you surgically remove the enzymes and replace them with purebred grass blades and put the organic soy mayo on the side? Oh, the rest of the dinner? Yeah, I wouldn’t let my dog eat that.” I refuse to be that person. But that’s going to be easy, because I’m just not that person.

If I’m going to cheat, I want it to drip taste, ooze flavor, and make me moan.

But the burger just didn’t do it for me. It wasn’t even that good. I’m allowed to say that–I cooked it. If I’m going to only Go Off the Reservation a few times a week, I want fireworks. I want award winning. I want it to be worth it. Because I’m going to “pay for it” the next day or when I hit the scale or don’t feel well, it better just be that good.

My sister likes sweets. She’ll have a cookie at a party, but what she’s been doing lately is throwing away the rest of the cookie if, after the first bite, the rest of the cookie just isn’t worth it. I could have applied this technique to my burger. In fact, the calories in my first bite (in combination with my dreamy Hefe Weizen … ) probably would have been enough calories to keep me going until the next morning anyway. Add a sip of 87-calories-per-sip Oreo milkshake and I’m good ’till Tuesday.

But I’m not talking about calories tonight. I’m talking party. I’m talking enjoyment, savoring the delicate spice and silky cream. Fine, I’ll admit it, I just wanted Indian food. I don’t always want Indian food, wait, scratch that, I do always want Indian food. Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels except vegetable korma. Nothing but what you love, what you long for, what’s on your mind when you can eat whatever you’d like. But that’s OK, then it’s worth it, then you deserve it.

Have your cake and eat it too.

Just have cake less often. Enjoy it more when you do. I think it’s a mathematical certainty that if you have something less, you’ll enjoy it more. It just hasn’t been working for hamburgers.



  1. MP MacDougall


    I did this last week – I’d been very careful about calorie intake for two straight weeks, and then one day I had a bunch of calories leftover at the end of the day. My wife had made some peanut butter chocolate chip cookies, and I figured that for 160 calories, I could have one. I hadn’t had anything sweet or fat for two weeks, and I can tell you that when I bit into that cookie, my knees almost buckled. If enjoying a snack that much takes two weeks away from snacks to build up an appreciation, I’ll take it. My taste buds woke up, and now they REALLY appreciate the occasional treat. Cheat days are a good thing…


    • Bradley

      ” … my knees almost buckled.” qualifies as Cheating That’s Worth It. Thanks for the note!

      When you have something all the time, it’s just not special anymore … by definition!


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.