How Effective Is the Cheater's Diet for Weight Loss?

The Cheater’s Diet was created by weight loss physician Paul Rivas. The overall concept isn’t anything new or out of the ordinary: you watch what you eat during the weekdays, and then indulge in treat foods on the weekends. It follows that classic “work hard, play hard” mentality that some people have with substances other than food, like alcohol, for instance. Be mindful and studious during the week, but you can let go on the weekend. It isn’t a free-for-all, though. Here’s some more information about the Cheater’s Diet and its effectiveness when it comes to weight loss.

Will Power and Healthy Eating

Most of us are not capable of eating all healthy foods 100% of the time–we’ve all caved for a bowl of ice cream or a bag of chips at one time or another. The fact that the Cheater’s Diet gives you the freedom to let loose on the weekend after a week of earnest healthy eating efforts can be a positive reinforcement for the average dieter. No foods are forbidden; they’re simply limited to the weekend. The only cheat foods that are off limits are those that will lead to a food binge. If you can’t eat cheese pizza without eating the entire thing, stay away from it altogether.

Calorie Restriction

The Cheater’s Diet isn’t adjusted to each individual. Rather, the calories are generalized and may be too few for men or physically active individuals and too high for a petite female. The range is between 1600-1800 calories a day. The prescribed diet is largely full of clean foods and leans toward being Mediterranean–expect to eat lots of seafood, whole grains, olive oil, fruits, veggies, yogurt and lean meats. The diet during the week, other than the calorie restriction, is in no way odd or unhealthy. You consume plenty of the foods that are good for you in moderate portions.


Expect to engage in regular exercise on the Cheater’s Diet. You should be as physically active as possible on this diet.

Its Effectiveness

Most diets are effective when there is some wiggle room. The Cheater’s Diet definitely allows you to enjoy some of your favorite foods, even if only on the weekends. The overall concept of the diet could lead to effective weight loss, especially since there aren’t any dangerous suggestions or gimmicks. You eat healthy during the week and enjoy treats only on the weekends. While the Cheater’s Diet is effective for weight loss, it may eventually cease to be so. Enjoying a small treat every day may be more effective long term.

All things considered, this diet is effective. It comes down to a matter of preference to the individual. If you have the will power to limit your treat foods to the weekend, this diet will be effective. If you’d prefer a more balanced seven day plan, there are better diets for you.


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