Nutritionists are on the fence about the concept of "cheat days." While some think "cheating" is a natural part of a healthy diet, others question it. As certified nutrition coach Candice Seti says, "The idea of 'cheating' on your diet … makes your eating habits seem like a restricted, temporary diet rather than an optimal healthy way of eating. Feel free to indulge in a treat now and then—it will help keep you from feeling deprived—but don't have a regularly scheduled day to 'cheat.'"
This makes perfect sense—but the phrase "cheat day" has a certain ring to it that dieters just can't quit. Take it from a new survey by Defend Your Health, which analyzed over 500,000 Instagram posts tagged #CheatDay and #CheatMeal to find out more about how Americans are cheating on their diets. After crunching the numbers, they discovered some pretty fascinating (mouthwatering) info about which states cheat the most—and what dieters are cheating with. Keep scrolling to read about it.
As a resident of diet-obsessed California, I could have sworn we'd be the top #CheatDay state. But as the survey shows, "New Yorkers used #CheatDay and #CheatMeal on Instagram more than twice as much as other users." Perhaps Californians are simply less open on social media about their diet indiscretions than New Yorkers, who value pizza and pastrami over green juice.
Cheat days also resonate with Instagrammers in Nevada and New Jersey, homes to Las Vegas and Atlantic City respectively, where buffets and booze runneth over. Beach states Florida and California also made the top five.
As for the specific foods these cheaters are choosing, burgers were by far the number one food tagged #CheatDay and #CheatMeal on Instagram. Cake was a distant second, followed by pizza, chocolate, and donuts. (I totally thought pizza would have been number one, no?)
What is your favorite #CheatDay food? Tell us in the comments below!