I Cheat Every Day

Of all the questions I get asked, there is one that is asked FAR more often than the others: “Do you ever eat ?cheat? foods yourself?” Ladies and gents…I proudly admit that yes, I do. Every single day, in fact. BUT (and that is a huge “but”) it is NEVER off-plan. I have custom created my own meal plan that works for me to include my “morning hug.” It helps me stay on track, fight cravings, and eat healthy every other second of the day…just by allowing myself this one little daily reward. Watch the vid to find out what my daily cheat is, and how exactly I work it into my diet in a way that keeps me moving toward my goals…not away from them.

Depriving ourselves of anything, whether it?s that delicious rocky road ice cream calling our name in the freezer, or that perfectly-glazed donut in the donut shop window, will only lead to us wanting it more!!! Oftentimes, this leads to us obsessing over those dang foods. And we should NEVER give food that power over us!

My key to success? Indulgence…in moderation. By creating a plan that allows me the freedom to occasionally enjoy the foods I love has proven to work miracles for me. This has helped my relationship with food turn from one where it controlled me, to one where now I?control it. While this may not?be the key for everybody, it sure has worked for me, and I invite you to give it a shot if you are one of the MANY attempting (and most likely failing at) the “deprivation game.”

Sounds frightening, I get it. Think of it this way (Chris’ and my favorite way to put it): Try living the 90/10 rule. Ninety percent of the time eat perfectly, and I mean perfectly (NOT to be confused with imperfectly). Then the other 10% of the time, eat imperfectly :). It balances out and makes the perfectly imperfect lifestyle (NOT diet) for people like ME!!!

Do you have a “cheat” or “reward” plan that works for you? I?d love to hear about it, so let me know in the comments below!



66 Responses

  1. I cheat everyday too. I eat healthy most of the day, lots of greens, veggies, protein, etc. Buuut my favorite snack is ice cream, so I get two small scoops I’m a small bowl (makes it seem like more). It’s a reward to myself for giving my body the nutrients it needs and my exercising. Honestly it makes me workout harder knowing I have that reward to look forward to.

  2. Heidi- I hope you and Chris know how much people love you because you are honest, real people. Thank you for sharing- this is exactly how I feel about eating!! I have to have chocolate every day, so a little bite size one does the trick. Thanks for being genuine. My husband, and I love you guys!

  3. Friday is my splurge day, I work out everyday except Friday and I let myself have a reward meal usually for dinner. I don’t go crazy, but I will go out with friends and let myself indulge more then I do on other days. Sometimes I will even have some frozen yogurt or something like that.

  4. I go off IIFYM! “If it fits your macros” which I am sure you have heard of. It’s awesome and literally allows me to eat anything I want as long as it fits my macros! I am actually trying to gain weight/muscle so I am allowed to eat a ton of carbs and a good amount of fat. I do eat clean most of the day and usually allow my cheat meals at night…however I am 24 so it doesn’t affect me eating “bad food” at night!

    1. I have not heard of this. The only macros I know about are to do with computers! I suppose I could Google it, but can you explain and/or direct me to a website that explains it?


  5. Hey Heidi! I have loved watching you on Extreme Makeover and I enjoy reading/watching you clips on your blog! I find everything very helpful and encouraging!! I have a question about total calories I should eat every day. I run 4 times a week with an average of 15 miles per week right now (off training) and I do three strength workouts a weeks that are usually 30 minutes long and not high intensity. I rest on Saturday to recover. I am 33 years old and weigh about 157 pounds right now. I want to become stronger and be able to run faster half marathons and lose about 5 pounds. I have a hard time knowing how many calories I should be eating and I haven’t lost weight. Any advise?


    1. HI Tennille: Check out Chris and Heidi’s carb cycling program in their book, “Choose More, Lose More for Life.” The book contains their complete nutrition and exercise program, and it’s the same one they use on the show. It will teach you everything you need to know and do (including how many calories to eat each day) to achieve your health and fitness goals! And it can work no matter how many pounds you’d like to lose. Learn all about it here: https://heidipowell.net/9060/how-to-begin-your-transformation-journey-step-by-step/. 🙂

  6. Hi Heidi! First off- I absolutely love you and Chris! Now that that is out of the way, I have a question about carb cycling. I have read Chris’ carb cycling 101, but I cannot grasp the concept. I don’t know enough about food to know what to eat. Is there anything that wasn’t touched on that you could tell me? I want to try it, but I just dont get it. :\

    1. Here’s another post that might help (pay special attention to the graphic): https://heidipowell.net/4514/carb-confusion/. And you can get an approved foods list at http://www.chrispowell.com. Enter your email address in the “Join the Transformation” section, and when you hit “Join,” the next page will have the link to download the list. You can get an even more extensive list, as well as their complete carb cycling program in their book, “Choose More, Lose More for Life.” Check it out!

  7. Hi Heidi,
    First of all you and Chris have been a true inspiration to me. I been all my life struggling with my weight but finally accepted that I will always have more proportion than others. However I have been doing kickboxing for about a year 2-3 times a week and include some spinning and jogging on the other days. I am planning on becoming a nutritionist and I am in my last 1 1/2 years of studying Biology. I also work 25 hours a week as a nanny and planning to create my own buisness. I love to cook and eat healthy and like you said it’s a pleasure for me as well. But how can I have a good workout routine and be able to prep a good week of eating and not falling off the plan?
    Also do you have any advise on natural organic and plant based protein powders? When to take and so on.
    Btw. I am 5.3 and weigh 166lbs I am trying to lose 20-25 lbs.

    1. You can find lots of awesome tips on meal planning, recipes, workout routines, etc., in Chris and Heidi’s book, “Choose More, Lose More for Life.” Learn about the nutrition basics here: https://heidipowell.net/2713/carb-cycling-101/. As far as protein powders, Chris and Heidi love their Vemma Powell Perfect Protein Powder. You can learn more about this product by contacting Bob Brenner (one of our amazing season 3 transformations) at [email protected]. He’ll be happy to help you! For protein powders in general, they recommend whey protein, with less than 5 grams of carbs and between 15-20 grams of protein/serving. Hope that helps! And good luck in school and with your busy life! 🙂

  8. Love your blog! Its helping me so much since I’ve changed my way of eating and have been working out every day. What a change my body has gone through, physically and I’m loving it so much. My question I have for you is what kind of protein do you use for your morning drinks? I have celiac disease so it has to be gluten free so if yours isn’t could you recommend one that is? Thanks so much!

  9. I currently don’t have a reward “plan”, but I LOVE this concept and the fact you do so early in the day — thanks for the great tip, I’m always so inspired when I read your blog and/or watch EWL. Keep up the great work!


  10. You two are the best! When I head to Starbucks I always get a Venti Iced Coffee (black, unsweetened) but today I switched it up and added the one pump of mocha you suggest! What an awesome Friday treat in between lifting and spin class 🙂 Thank you for being so real! XOX

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