The dieting term “cheating” is the philosophy of the Clean Eating Approach. Studies have shown that trying to always “eat clean” is not sustainable long term. These diets are restrictive and very unpractical to modern living.
What we do need to understand when eating less favorable foods is that you can’t go the entire day “cheating” and expect not to go over some calories that will cause weight gain.
Everyone’s calories needs are different. Using a macro calculator will help you set a baseline for weight loss, gain, and maintenance.
If you plan on going out to dinner with the family and have two beers. Log it early in the day so you can account for it. Want a cup of Ben & Jerry’s Ice-cream for dessert? Sure eat it but realize you’re going to have to eat much lighter for breakfast and lunch in order not to go over your calories to maintain your weight loss.
This is the true meaning of moderation. This can only be done by quantifying your food intake consistently on a scale and recording it. Otherwise, you are left to guessing which will only cause frustration because of inconsistency and inaccuracy of not knowing how much you are eating.