I want to start this post by saying we are not on a "diet" in the short-term-yo-yo sense. "Diet" merely means: "The foods eaten, as by a particular person or group." It's just our lifestyle (as you hear us say often on MMM)!
That being said, cheat days are still in question. I hate the word "cheat" because it sounds like I deprive myself of things on a daily basis. This could not be farther from the truth. I do not deprive myself, I just choose not to eat certain things, that I know are bad for me, on the reg. BUT, I am only human. I still get cravings. Sometimes they are very hard to ignore. I know there are a lot of suggestions to help curb cravings, specifically sweet cravings. While they are all fine and dandy, sometimes an apple just doesn't fulfill my deepest desires for chocolate cake.
Another question for "cheating" is: Cheat day or cheat meal? A whole day seems a bit overkill, but at the same time, it sounds like a stressless day where you don't have to worry about reading any labels. Eating merely one meal sounds like it would do much less damage to all the hard work you've put in.
There are conflicting views on cheat days. Some people think you should never eat fried, highly processed and/or sugar laden foods. Others will argue that throwing in a "cheat day" every now and then is good for you. I believe this would be more of a mentally-good-for-you kind of thing as opposed to a has-excellent-health-benefits sort of thing. I can see where this would be true. If you allow yourself the things you normally don't consume, you may feel better that you allowed yourself the treat. Which in turn may make it easier for you to stick to your good eating habits, knowing that next week you will allow yourself one more indulgence.
Let me tell you why I think "cheats" are a good thing. When the hub and I do indulge, no matter how good it may taste at the time, we immediately regret ever putting that fried/greasy/sickeningly sweet food bit in our mouths and bodies. We never feel good afterwards! Sluggish, stuffed, and often nauseous. These "cheats" ALWAYS remind us why we do not consume these junky foods any more!! After we eat whatever it may be, our craving is gone and it's usually quite some time before our brains tell us they want that crap again.
I'm not going to tell you that you should have a cheat day/meal in your diet. But for us, it's always that reminder that the good foods we put in our bodies fuel us and our bodies crave those proper nutrients.
Either way, a cheat day/meal/falling off the wagon is not the end of the world! If/when they do happen, just get up, dust yourself off and get back on track.
One of my favorite quotes, that really hits home is, "You don't know how bad you feel, until you don't". This is 1000% true. I am living proof.