How to stop cheating and start eating to weigh less

Cheating seems to be a pesky problem for people who want to get thinner.

Some people say they start cheating as soon as they begin a weight loss plan. Others say it takes a few weeks. One thing for sure, cheating is not a productive method of reaching your weight goal and nobody wants to cheatCheating is something that can happen regardless of your determination not to cheat.

Why should eating pepperoni pizza cause guilty feelings?

Why should eating pepperoni pizza cause guilty feelings?

Why doesn’t cheating work?

Plenty of people get ahead by cheating! They cheat on tests, spouses, taxes, and sports; they cheat and they win. Cheating when losing weight, however, doesn’t make thinner winners. The problem with cheating on a diet is your body is tracking (and reacting) to every cheat you make.


Why would anybody need, indeed, even consider cheating to lose weight? Cheating is breaking rules to gain something. You will gain something if you break your weight loss rules. The thing you’ll gain is weight.

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The problem is your rules. Get rid of them. You don’t need them; you need goals! You need “eating goals!”

Rules are not the way to lose weight. Rules are meant to be broken. Instead of rules about what to eat, how much to eat, when to eat, what you can’t eat, when you can’t eat, etc., create goals.

When you get rid of your rules and start making goals there is no more cheating because you simply can’t cheat. You can’t cheat because you have nothing on or with which to cheat.

Eat this!

Eat this…

Feel like this!

Feel like this!

Goals are simply identifying what you want and what steps you will take to get what you want. There are short term goals and long term goals. Start with the very short term. They builds steps that lead to your long term and ultimate goal.

I’d like to suggest your ultimate goal.

This goal, by the way, is only about eating, although we know that physical activity also aids in weight loss. Moving more is beneficial in many ways. The thing I like best about it is if I move a little more, I burn more calories and that means I can eat a little more. In other words, I don’t have to be so restrictive with my eating to maintain a slight calorie deficit necessary for losing weight.


I want to eat well so that I will reach and maintain a weight that supports my health and makes me happy by my personal measures.

Now let me break that goal down into two smaller goals.

Part 1: I want to eat well:


This is an excellent video! It’s worth your time to watch!

Here is the secret to eating instead of cheating!

  • They’re not bad food or junk food – just TREATS! And what makes them treats is eating them sparingly.

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Part 2: I will reach and maintain a weight that supports my health and makes me happy by my personal measures by doing my best to:

  • Monitor my food
  • Track my food
  • Control my portions
  • Pay attention and respond to signals of fullness

Remember, eating is okay. If you feel the need to cheat, make an adjustment to your weight loss strategy. Get rid of the rules and make more little goals.


Jackie Conn

About Jackie Conn

Jackie Conn is married and has four grown daughters and four grandchildren. She is a Weight Watchers success story. She's a weight loss expert with 25 years of experience guiding women and men to their weight-related goals. Her articles on weight management have been published in health, family and women's magazines. She has been a regular guest on Channel 5 WABI news, FOX network morning program Good Day Maine and 207 on WCSH.