This Blogger Just Gave Picture Proof of Why You Shouldn’t Feel Bad About “Cheat Meals”

Updated: Mar. 30, 2022

Consider this your official invitation to eat dessert tonight.

No matter how clean your diet is, we’re willing to bet you’ve treated yourself to a cheat meal—heck, maybe even a whole cheat day. Still, as great as our favorite junk food tastes, it’s easy to let the guilt sink in afterwards, even though there’s evidence cheat meals can actually help you lose weight. But one blogger just shared a powerful message why you shouldn’t beat yourself up over the occasional pig-out.

Fitness blogger Anna Victoria says she likes to follow the 80/20 rule: Eat healthy food 80 percent of the time and give yourself permission to indulge the other 20 percent. “The 80 percent is about long-term enjoyment and satisfaction while the 20 percent is short term. We need a bit of both,” she writes in an Instagram post. So junk food isn’t off limits, as long as you eat it in moderation.

But Victoria knows no matter how balanced you are, it’s easy to feel guilty about a cheat meal—especially if it goes a bit over that 20 percent. If your guilty pleasures leave you feeling, well, guilty, Victoria’s got picture proof that you shouldn’t let a little indulgence get you down.

During a day at Disneyland, she and her family chowed down on all kinds of not-so-healthy food, from bread bowls and churros to ice cream and caramel apple. In another post, Victoria admits she “felt like crap (physically) after but that doesn’t mean I would take it back.” Instead, she just recommitted to a healthy diet and moved on. Back at home that night, she drank “a ton” of water and had some protein. Find out what else you can do to burn off a cheat meal.

Victoria took a picture of herself before heading to the theme park, after getting home, and another from the next morning. Our jaws dropped when we saw the results.

Sugary, fatty foods can clearly leave you bloated, but the good news is it’s totally temporary. “I woke up this morning looking the EXACT same pre-cheat meal/cheat day,” Victoria writes. Watch out for these habits that cause belly bloat to help flatten your tummy.

Bottom line? No matter how bloated you feel afterwards, feeling so dang guilty, just enjoy those occasional treats. After all, what’s the point of treating yourself if you don’t even enjoy it? “In the moment of a cheat meal or shortly after when the bloat struggle is all too real, we let our minds go into a downward spiral and think we’ve just ruined weeks of hard work. No, you haven’t,” Victoria writes.

Amen to that. We’re going to eat some ice cream to prove how much we agree. And nope, we won’t feel even the teensiest bit guilty about it. If you can’t stop beating yourself up, use these tips to stop feeling so guilty.

[h/t Delish]