I read an interesting article by Dr. Casey Butt, an olympic power lifter trainer, talking about the human response to overeating. Basically if you take someone who has a balanced diet and then increase their calories by 60%, they will grow a lot of muscle as well as fat for a short period of time until their insulin sensitivity goes down. Then if they keep overeating they'll just get fatter, so it's just temporary. The same thing happens when you go on a diet to lose weight. You always have rapid progress at first and then it slows down to a crawl and becomes tougher. So what he recommended and what I did is this:
For 3 weeks I do cutting and I keep a very controlled diet and exercise plan. For those 3 weeks the fat comes off very quickly and reliably. Then after 3 weeks I start bulking and I increase my calories by 60% while eating the same kinds of foods. I don't eat total junk. Usually I just throw in an extra meal so I'll have two dinners or something. The first week I'll put on some fat pretty quick and it's hard to eat that much because I won't even feel hungry. Then the last two weeks my appetite will really increase and my muscles will grow bigger while only gaining about half as much fat as I did during only the first week. Then I switch back to cutting and burn that fat off plus a little more since I'm still losing. So it's back and forth like this for me. Everybody does cycles, I just do mine really short. I tried 6 week cycles, but the effect is lost after 3 weeks. If I diet for 6 weeks straight, I'll only lose half as much fat in the second 3 weeks as I did the first 3 weeks. If I try bulking for 6 weeks, I'll start to put on a lot of fat in the last 3 weeks.
So what I'm basically saying is that cheating is designed into my diet and I lose weight rapidly even though I'm only dieting half the time. I never cheat when I'm cutting though. Actually I don't feel hungry at all (usually) but if I start cheating, then I really lose discipline and start having cravings. So cheating and eating a bag of chips really just makes you more hungry. What keeps me motivated is the fact that it's only for three weeks, I still eat 2,100 calories per day so it's not like I'm starving and I don't get hungry, lose energy or feel light headed.