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How Americans Cheat on Diets

Life comes at you fast, and sometimes, that means you need to go on a diet. You’re not alone—most Americans have dieted at one point or another. South Beach. Atkins. Mediterranean. And no matter the diet, people will tell you the same thing. The best part? It’s the cheating.

To learn about how Americans cheat on their diets, we surveyed 1,000 people and asked what foods they love most, how often they cheat, whether they follow rules, and, of course, what went down in some of their most memorable moments of cheat eating.

The most popular cheating food? Cheesy, buttery, bready, meaty—yup, it’s pizza! While it’s no surprise pizza is popular, it’s the degree to which it’s popular that surprises even us. The amount of people who mentioned pizza (53 percent) far outnumbers the amount who mentioned the second-most popular cheat category (40 percent said salty snacks). So don’t get it twisted: pizza reigns supreme. Also receiving hefty percentages (20 percent or more) were deep-fried foods, tacos, soda, cookies and brownies, chocolate, and ice cream.

We also covered cheating preferences based on gender, generation, and geography. Are you wondering about cheating preferences based on age? Don’t worry we compared boomers, Generation X and millennials to see what their favorite anti-diet meals are. Where people cheat (delivery, dining in?) and how far they will go is even more interesting.

What is your favorite cheat meal and just how far would you go to get it? Happy Cheating!