I Keep Cheating on My Diet: Reasons Why + How to Stop

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Written by Megan Ayala. Last Updated: September 16, 2021

Diets are wonderful but it’s common for people to cheat when on one.

Millions of people go through this ordeal every day. It’s normal for a person to get started with a diet plan, follow through with the changes for a few days, and then cheat by eating something bad for them. You might relate to this too.

What can a person do when they cheat on their diet? Does this mean all hope is lost and now it is time to give up completely?

No, it simply means you need to get down to understanding the root cause of what’s going on. This is the best way to make sure you are not always cheating on your diet and you do make a lifestyle change for the better.

Here is a breakdown of why you are cheating on your diet and what to do about it moving forward.

Top Reasons People Cheat On Their Diets

1. Laziness

Studies show people cheat on their diets 50% of the time during a 7-day period [1].

This is simply one of those facts that are hard to deny because it’s a part of life. It is not easy to go through a diet because it’s natural to want to stick to your instinct. Most people get used to the idea of finding the lazy way out because it’s optimal.

To get out of this mindset, it’s important to understand you are being lazy. When this happens, you can begin to work on correcting the issue.

To do this, you will want to structure everything and make it easier to turn off your mind while still eating healthy. This includes set meal plans, strict eating schedules, and making sure you are mixing things up from time to time to stay happy.

2. No Meal Planning

A real issue people deal with has to do with a lack of meal planning.

You need to meal plan because it’s the only way to have food ready for the coming days. Otherwise, you are always going to be playing catch up, and eventually, you won’t have the energy to do so.

Only a good meal plan is going to allow you to do what you want to do.

3. Junk Food is Easily Accessible

Studies show almost 37% of all people eat junk food regularly [2].

This is a staggering amount and a lot of these people are on diets too. This is a real concern because it’s easy to get persuaded by junk food that is in the pantry or somewhere nearby. You will want that dopamine hit and it is hard to resist.

One of the biggest concerns has to do with bringing junk food into the house. When you go grocery shopping, is it necessary to fill your shopping cart with junk food? This is a mistake people make and it comes back to bite them later on.

Get rid of that junk food as it should not be easily accessible for a late-night snack.

4. Hanging Out With Friends and Family

A lot of people make the mistake of turning off their brains when it comes to socializing. They simply want to have fun, drink alcohol, and eat as much as they can.

This is possible when you are strict on other days of the week. However, when it starts becoming a habit then you are slipping back into a routine you should not be following.

Hanging out with the people you love is a must psychologically but you do need to learn how to structure your experiences with them. This includes what you are eating and how much you are eating.

5. Being Impatient

This is a common mistake because people want to see results as soon as possible.

It is important to note, you are not going to see results immediately. It is going to take a bit of time to manage and that’s normal.

If you are impatient, this will become a real concern that is hard to deal with later on. Take it day by day and follow your diet to a tee. This is how the results are going to come. If you cheat, you will be taking one step back.

6. You’ve Following a Fad or Crash Diet

Following a fad or crash diet can often be an easy way to set yourself up for failure. If your diet plan isn’t easy to follow, or is unrealistic over the long-term, you can pretty much guarantee that you’ll cheat at some point.

An easy solution to fix this?

Find a plan that offers a healthy way of eating that you can follow over the long term. Noom can often be a good place to start – here’s our Noom review if you want to learn more about their program.

Top Tips for Sticking to Your Diet

1. Create a Meal Plan

It’s always recommended to create a meal plan in situations such as these.

Dieting is good as long as you have a structured solution in place. It’s not easy to be in a situation where you are not creating a meal plan and it’s not easy to handle the changes that are happening with your eating.

You want to take the time to have a complete meal plan that keeps eating as easy as it needs to be. This is when you are not going to cheat.

2. Make Gradual Changes

It’s normal to want to jump in headfirst with dieting.

It can work but it can also cause you to cheat more often. The goal should be to start dieting gradually and work your way up to a complete transformation.

This means looking to implement changes that are doable during the first few days. Get the body used to those changes and then add another day into the mix. Over time, you are going to end up with a full-fledged dieting schedule where cheating doesn’t even cross your mind.

3. Don’t Be Afraid of Cheat Days

Cheating is often looked at as a major sin in the world of dieting.

Yes, it is not good to eat junk food all the time. However, it is possible to have one snack each week that is all for yourself and has nothing to do with the diet.

This is allowed because one snack is not going to ruin your results. It won’t even make a mark. It is when you start doing it all the time that things get messy.

If you do need that snack on a Friday then feel free to eat it. Just don’t mix it with everything else you are doing during the week.

4. Build a Complete Routine

It is important to have a complete routine when it comes to dieting.

You don’t want a situation where you are eating the wrong way because that is when things go pear-shaped. You have to create a routine that is easy to follow and looks at all aspects of your life including your family and work.

If you don’t build a routine around these things, you are always going to feel overwhelmed. This is a lifestyle change and it should be treated as such all the time.

5. Don’t Bring Unhealthy Foods into the House

The one mistake you will have to eradicate as soon as possible is your grocery shopping.

Do not bring chips, pop, and/or any other junk food that is full of empty calories into the home. This is how mistakes are made because you get tempted by those accessible snacks.

The goal should be to keep those unhealthy foods as far away as possible. It’s the only way to make sure you are not eating poorly and are making adjustments along the way.

If you don’t do this, you are eventually going to make mistakes.

Final Thoughts

These are the reasons you are cheating on your diet.

Take the time to go through the solutions and make sure you are implementing them over the long haul. These little changes will go a long way in providing peace of mind.


  1. https://www.womenshealthmag.com/weight-loss/a19953718/how-to-not-cheat-on-your-diet/
  2. https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/products/databriefs/db322.htm#:~:text=In%202013%E2%80%932016%2C%2036.6%25,adults%20aged%2060%20and%20over