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9 Cheat Day Foods That Are Actually Good for You

Here are nine deliciously tantalizing treats to keep that conscience of yours guilt free.

What’s the best day of the week? No, it’s not Friday or Saturday. It’s Cheat Day! Dieters of all sorts know what I’m talking about. Cheat day is the one day of the week where you can eat whatever you like, whether or not it adheres to your demonic diet restrictions.

But for those of us who don’t even want to cheat on cheat day (I applaud your commitment), you might be looking for snacks that taste like a cheat but don’t carry any of that dieter’s guilt.

Here are nine deliciously tantalizing treats to keep that conscience of yours guilt free.

1. Whole Wheat Veggie Pizza

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The internet’s love of pizza is vindicated. Image: @chloelouiseflint / Instagram

Pizza has a bad rap for being the king of junk food. But there are clever ways to make pizza your cheat day friend. Start with a whole wheat or grain-based crust – the thinner, the better. Throw on some heart-healthy veggies and you’ve got a deliciously healthy snack worthy of cheat day.

2. Fonuts

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Healthy donuts? I’ll take four! Image: @frankie.jr / Instagram

Never heard of fonuts? Oh. Just wait. The name, as you may have guessed, comes from “fake donuts”. These baked-not-fried, gluten-free, vegan donuts TASTE like regular old donuts but are a million times healthier. No need to be tempted by those pesky normie donuts anymore. Now you can indulge to your heart’s content.

3. Protein Milkshake

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Just look at this glorious heathen of health! Image: @barbiethatlifts / Instagram

Nothing’s better than a rich, chocolatey milkshake – unless you’re on a diet. Then it’s the worst possible thing. Seriously, milkshakes are one of the most calorie-dense foods out there.

Instead, make your milkshake with chocolate and peanut butter protein powder with low-calorie, yet still creamy, almond milk for a healthy lift to this traditionally refreshing dessert. It may not be McDonald’s, but it’s pretty darn close.

4. Gluten-Free Chocolate Cake

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Don’t limit yourself to just one slice. Image: @thebakingkat / Instagram

The ultimate cheat – chocolate cake. But this chocolate cake defies all logic of cheat day. Using gluten-free flour instead of white processed flour makes this a low-carb treat that’s edible for our gluten-free friends, too.

Using honey instead of regular sugar and throwing in some chocolate protein powder gives added health benefits without taking away an ounce of the incredible chocolatey taste.

5. Cajun Shrimp and Quinoa Casserole

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Because sometimes a savory cheat calls your name. Image: @paper_sail_boat / Instagram

Shrimp is an excellent source of lean, low-calorie protein and quinoa is a super grain that we all know and love. Bake them together and you’ve got a “comfort food” that requires no guilt. Want to take it up a notch? Top that ish with sriracha sauce. Yuuuum.

6. Acai Bowl

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You may not be in vogue, but you still have a place in my heart, acai. Image: @epicsilf / Instagram

While no longer the hot new trend in the foodie world it once was, acai bowls still have the antioxidants of your favorite berries and the fat-burning properties of chia seeds that make this the best milkshake substitute you’ve ever seen. A delicious dessert with all the goodness of fruit.

7. Chicken Pad Thai with Zoodles

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“Zoodles” – who comes up with this stuff?! Image: @erika_marie72 / Instagram

This take on the infamously greasy takeout food will have you abstaining from ordering in. The secret? Replacing flour-based noodles with “zoodles”, or zucchini noodles.

This low-carb veggie substitute has healthier nutrients than regular Pad Thai. And throwing on some chili flakes not only makes the dish yummier but adds a metabolism-boosting factor.

8. Puttanesca

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More like puttan-YES-ca, amiright? Image: @anthonyshocklife / Instagram

Literally translated to “spaghetti in the whore’s style”, this pasta dish was thought to have been invented for patrons waiting at Neapolitan brothels. But don’t let that deter you. When else can you eat pasta without feeling guilty?! The trick is that you’re pairing some whole wheat pasta with the right things, like tomatoes, garlic, capers and anchovies.

9. Zucchini Chips

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Once you pop, you just can’t stop (and now you don’t have to). Image: @jezikah1 / Instagram

The painful thing about chips is that you can’t eat just one. All of a sudden, you’ve emptied the bag and you’re in a chip coma. But with these zucchini chips, you can eat all you want with zero guilt and all the flavor.

Want an even more delectable treat? Dip zucchini slices in egg and light breading, then bake them for some healthy, flavorful snacking.