Cheat meals are a super-fun way to incorporate all your old favorites into your diet. For many people, they provide motivation to stick to a diet’s rules to the letter because they know they will be able to eat whatever they want on a specific day of the week. After all, the idea that you can eat carrot sticks for your snack all week, then eat a whole medium-sized pizza for dinner on Saturday is awesome, right? Especially if you still lose weight.
That said, as sad as it sounds, cheat meals may not be as beneficial as we’ve been led to believe. Many weight loss experts and a growing body of research is indicating that this technique does far more harm than good. The reason this technique stuck around for so long is that its downside is a tricky one. It has been very hard for scientists to measure.