The Cheater's Diet

In the Cheater's Diet: Lose Weight by Taking the Weekends Off.

By Kathleen Zelman, MPH, RD/LD
WebMD Weight Loss Clinic - Feature

Reviewed by Charlotte Grayson Mathis, MD

What It Is

Most people think cheating is a bad thing, but in the Cheater's Diet: Lose Weight by Taking the Weekends Off, it's the secret sauce to successful weight loss. The idea is that all dieters cheat on their diets at some time, but what really matters is not whether you cheat, but how often you do it.

Author and weight loss physician Paul Rivas, MD, thinks if you are physically active, eat healthy meals the majority of the time, and cheat only on weekends, you will lose weight permanently.

The Cheater's Diet allows dieters to have their cake and eat it too -- but only for 36 hours of sanctioned cheating time from 9:00 am Saturday to 9:00 pm Sunday. From Monday through Friday, dieters are expected to eat healthfully and get as much physical activity as possible.

If you like the idea of regular exercise, a little "cheating" on the weekends, and following a Mediterranean-style eating plan, the Cheater's Diet could be the plan for you.

What You Can Eat

On the Cheater's Diet, you're encouraged to eat a Mediterranean-style diet that includes plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, low fat dairy (especially yogurt), peanuts, and unsaturated fats.