10 Ideas for Your Next Treat or Cheat Meal

Even people who have their eating habits dialed in need a treat now and then! If you’re looking for some new cheat meals to incorporate into your repertoire, here are 10 delicious options that won’t sabotage your hard-earned fitness goals.  

1. Coffee

As long as you’re avoiding extra sugar, coffee can be a soothing and flavorful option for a daily treat. The antioxidants in coffee may even soother some after workout inflammation. Try adding creamy oat milk or delicious flavored MCT oil to satisfy your sweet tooth. 

2. Smoothies or Acai Bowls

healthy acai bowl with fruit

Acai bowls and smoothies offer a sweet treat that won’t derail your day. Acai is packed with antioxidants, while other fruits like bananas offer fiber and potassium. Some recipes also incorporate peanut butter, which is loaded with protein. Whipping up an acai bowl or smoothie at home is your best option  — some smoothie shops add extra sugar or use processed juices.

3. Pancakes

If you’re craving a morning treat on your next cheat day, flipping a batch of pancakes is an excellent choice. There are plenty of ways to make a classic pancake healthier! Consider making the batter with oat or almond flour or using a whole-grain mix. Dark chocolate chips and a monk fruit-sweetened syrup are toppings you can feel good about indulging in.  

4. Peanut Butter with Bananas

Bananas smothered in peanut butter are a rich snack and a must-have in your cheat meal line up. Bananas are an excellent source of potassium and simple carbs, and peanut butter offers healthy fat and proteins — making this meal a great go-to for your post-workout snack. 

5. Nut Butters

Alternative nut butters — such as almond, cashew butter, and macadamia nut — are a delicious and satisfying treat. Full of fiber and healthful fats, nut butters provide a luscious snack and can be spread on breads, rice cakes, and more.

For those with allergies, sun butter — made from sunflower seeds — is a delightfully sweet and savory alternative! 

6. Turkey Burgers

healthy cheat meal turkey burger recipe

Turkey burgers are a guilt-free alternative to the classic cheeseburger. Turkey is much leaner than beef and can help cut down on unhealthy fats, making this a satisfying cheat meal you can look forward to. 

7. Sweet Potato Fries

Sweet potatoes offer a slightly better-for-you treat than french fries. Both are typically deep-fried and high in calories, but, fortunately, sweet potatoes are nutrient-rich. These fries are a salty and sweet treat to enjoy on occasion! 

8. Chicken Wings

This comfort food is often made unhealthy by its sauce, which is typically dripping with heavy butter. If you bake your chicken wings and use a lower-fat sauce, chicken wings make for a feel-good cheat meal. 

9. Sushi

Sushi may be delicious, but it hardly qualifies as a cheat meal. It is largely healthy — sushi is primarily made of high-protein, lean fish and wrapped in rice and veggies. 

10. Dark Chocolate

dark chocolate for a cheat meal

For dessert, consider dark chocolate, which is rich with health-boosting antioxidants. Enjoying dark chocolate covered nuts or strawberries is a decadent way to enjoy your hard-earned treat meals. 



Before enjoying any of these treats, remember to consult with your physician as you would with any changes to your diet.

Whether you’re a treadmill and elliptical warrior, a strength-training fanatic, a devout rower, or a spinning pro — you work hard for your fitness! After your at-home workout, you deserve a mouthwatering treat meal that won’t throw you off your game. Reach for any of these 10 snacks and feel good about your choices! 

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