The Truth About Cheat Meals

Kristin Shaffer Cheat Meals

“Cheat Meals”… what a polarizing topic this is.  

Many individuals, with a lot of fat pounds to lose, mistakenly look at successful bikini/figure competitors who post a photo of themselves, huge smile on their face, consuming their latest “cheat”, and think by consuming “cheats” on a frequent basis that’s how we get our bodies.

The post usually goes something like, “I love to indulge once and awhile.  It’s all about balance!”.  But “balance” is subjective.

With a raging metabolism that comes with consistent clean eating, hard and consistent training, and a built-in discipline that has likely been in the making for years, us competitors can get away with that with minimal effect to our bodies, ONCE in awhile.

But for most that “cheat meal” turns into a self destructive pattern which turns into days, weeks, months and sometimes years.

So when individuals come to me with a long way to go to reach their goal, and one of the first questions they ask is, “what are your thoughts on cheat meals?”… I ask them to reconsider a lot of things, including how they view food and the goals they are setting for themselves.

Because the truth is most successful competitors eat clean 99% of the time.


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  • Hi Kristin–yes, you are right! Those cheat meal consumption photos can be misleading, the same as seeing someone with a figure you aspire to have eating junk food. They can set off years of unhealthy eating–no exaggeration. It’s nice to hear the plain straight truth: that to get highly fit like a competitor, eat clean 99% of the time. For someone like me who is not aspiring to be a competitor, but will have more than ten pounds to lose (I have baby weight to lose in spring when my baby comes) one will need to eat clean the vast, vast majority of time to let that unhealthy weight go–upwards of 95%, and the higher the percentage the faster progress will be made. Thanks for the plain talking.

    • Katharine you are so right! Thank you for your comments.

      Congratulations on your pregnancy… how wonderful! My “baby” just turned 14. The years go by WAY too fast.

      With love ~Kristin <3