I'm looking for the shortest word that can capture the idea of guilty pleasure, limited to the products we consume (it doesn't have to be extended to activities).

For example, you would say "no xxx for me today" when you resist an impulse or desire for products like junk food, drinks, sweets, or maybe even cigarettes.

Ideally, this would include any activity involving the consumption of a product that gives you pleasure but that you consider bad for some personal reason (health, environment, finances...).

The best I could come up with is "treat".

These things may be too ordinary to be considered treats, but I think that's only because they've become very affordable in recent years. You still "treat yourself" a little bit when you give yourself one, and part of the guilt comes from the fact that you give yourself one without deserving it. Or is it just my perception?

  • 4
    I'd say that treat works as well as any other word. Commented Dec 9, 2020 at 9:02
  • 1
    I’m not giving in to temptation today!
    – Jim
    Commented Dec 18, 2020 at 22:13

2 Answers 2


Maybe vice

A vice is a habit that is regarded as a weakness in someone's character, but not usually as a serious fault.

Or while longer, indulgence can be similar in meaning as well

a pleasure, habit, etc, indulged in; extravagance fur coats are an indulgence

  • 2
    Isn't vice a bit too judgmental?
    – doe
    Commented Dec 18, 2020 at 16:30
  • 2
    Yes however the part of the question "that you consider bad for some personal reason" implies that you're already placing a judgement on it, thus allowing vice to work. Vice may imply something to be a little more habitual than you're asking for though in which case indulgence would seem appropriate (though probably longer than you'd like). Commented Dec 18, 2020 at 19:00

I would use the slightly pompous gourmandise (Collins):

a love of and taste for good food

which would add a spicy little self-irony to the statement

No gourmandise for me today!


No gourmet food for me today!

Another word referring to the activity involving the consumption of a product that gives you pleasure would be:


I agree that these words rather emphasise the rarity and exquisite quality of the food, but guilty pleasure goes with it and the word you gave, treat, directed me this way.

PS: You do know that there is such a phrase as guilty pleasure foods? Chewing gum is on top of the list of the most unhealthy ones.

Addition: Just thought you might be able to use delicacy, or even better the very simple and unpretentious goody that says it all:

No goodies for me today!

  • 1
    Thanks! It's too long, but definitely a word I will use for related content.
    – doe
    Commented Dec 18, 2020 at 16:33
  • 1
    Also, your link to the "guilty pleasure foods" article made me smile because I opened it a couple of days ago. We can say we're on the same page.
    – doe
    Commented Dec 18, 2020 at 16:43
  • 1
    Mm, I visited the site only for linguistic reasons :) !
    – fev
    Commented Dec 18, 2020 at 16:45
  • 1
    The question specifically asked for a term for junk food, while this answer is mostly about the opposite of junk food.
    – jsw29
    Commented Dec 18, 2020 at 17:31

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.