Cheat (definition) -​ to deceive or trick.⁣

Choice (definition)  –  Select something as the best of two or more alternatives. ⁣

Which definition sounds better to you? ⁣Cheat or Choice?

The answer seems simple when we don’t think about either definition in the context of food. We know that cheating in sports, a relationship, or any type of game is “bad.” Cheating is inappropriate behavior that can be illegal or, at the least, immoral.⁣

When it comes to food, we hear clients, friends, and even strangers, say, “I had a “cheat” meal” or “I cheated on my diet today.”⁣⁣

No wonder dieting is hard for people. If we refer to eating as cheating, in any context, we will likely feel ashamed or guilty.  That’s not helpful at all!

How do these two phrases sound to you?

“I chose to eat a delicious piece of Key Lime Cheesecake today because it is my favorite dessert.”


“I cheated today because I ate some Key Lime Cheesecake.  “I was “bad.” “I don’t know when I will be able to stop eating cheesecake.”

It feels empowering to say you chose to eat something.

It feels disempowering to say you cheated by eating something.

You chose to eat the cheesecake the same way you chose to eat a chicken salad for lunch. They are both choices. Food is not “good” or “bad,” and you are not “good” or “bad” for eating any food.⁣

If you restrict yourself from eating certain foods, you are likely to crave those foods even more. Again, not helpful in any way.

Include some cheesecake into your life. If you eat healthy foods 80-90% of the time, you can still lose weight. How great will it be to give yourself permission to eat the cheesecake and still lose weight?

Give it a try.