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Do you take days off? or meals off?

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Old 01-06-2006, 05:04 PM   #1
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Question Do you take days off? or meals off?

I know I have takens weeks, months and years off... but what about a day or meal?

if so how often, and do you still record it?

DH and I have been perfect for 2 weeks now and want to order food from our local pub. I've order quesadillas from there before and guessed as to the calories 260 for 1/4 of one. It's hard to guess food like this.

I'm not asking for permission.. I'm still ordering I want to somewhat plan to cheat but want to hear what works for you.
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Old 01-06-2006, 05:18 PM   #2
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I have sort of changed my mindset to look at weight loss and maintenance in a different way, balancing out the short- and long-term aspects. Think of it this way: having one quesadilla certainly won't destroy your weight loss efforts, provided (and this is the REALLY important part that requires being honest with oneself!) you incorporate your treats into an otherwise healthy lifestyle. This means things like keeping treats delicious but rare, counting them in your weekly calorie expenditure (yes, definitely log it!), maybe even increasing your exercise a little before and after. I choose not to look at it as "cheating" so much as one less-healthy meal in a long-term healthy life.

Does that make sense?
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Old 01-06-2006, 05:31 PM   #3
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That's kind of what I'm going on.... basicly.. live life... but don't be a pig. Weird.. today I'm only at 442 calories and it's 4:30 in the afternoon. (I'm hungry... but an hour ago I wasn't) So I can have a "treat" and may still say in plan. (calorie range for me is 1800 - 2100)

I don't want to "go wild" b/c then I'm afraid that I might just say - oh what's the use, I blew it.. and quit (I'm really good at that )

I also don't want to not "treat" myself - b/c I'll start to hate my diet/lifestyle change and then want to blow it.

It's a fine balance, eh?

Thanks for the advice teapot
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Old 01-06-2006, 05:57 PM   #4
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I agree with Jennifer. First off, no matter how bad, I would dEFINITELY log it. Otherwise it's too much of the "out of sight, out of mind." I think when we decide to make less healthy choices, we have to at least do it consciously. Which brings me to the other excellent point Jennifer made--the concept of "cheating." I would definitely NOT think of it as cheating. Instead, it is one day in the grand scheme of things where you have decided to have a favorite food or meal, but it is contextualized in an overall eating (and exercise) plan that is designed for health. I often have a day where I eat more during the week, but with the exception of Christmas, "eating more" means that instead of consuming at a 1,000 calorie deficit level, I will eat up to my metabolic level (what I burn off). Since that's a whole 1,000 calories more, I can pretty much eat whatever I might be craving. For me, that means that I log what I ate, I know that I probably didn't burn any fat that day, but I also didn't ADD any either I think moving away from the concept of cheating also means that we move closer to a full understanding that the changes we're making aren't temporary, but are permanent.

BTW, my excursions up on the calorie count are usually not "planned" days as much as a day when I might be really hungry or a day like today when I'm PLAGUED by PMS cravings so I go ahead and honor both my body and head hungers and eat more. I guess I sort of feel that planning a "cheat meal" or "cheat day" is too much like rewarding yourself with food which is exactly how so many of us got here in the first place.
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Old 01-06-2006, 07:34 PM   #5
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Every friday! Hubby and I have a "date lunch" and I can order what I want. The weird thing is, the more time goes by, the less I want the "bad" stuff. I don't feel good when I eat it. My body isn't happy with fried food, for example, and sugar puts me to sleep. So we'll go out for mexican food, say, and I'll have a pollo asado plate (chicken breast, beans&rice, a cheese enchilada). I've also noticed that I eat far, far less. I'll eat half of it and just not want any more.

Example: the friday before Christmas I wanted to get dessert. I ordered a brownie sundae. It came (it was HUUUUGGGEEE!!!) and I had 4 bites. Then I didn't want anymore. So I packed up the brownie part...and threw it away when I got home. Just didn't want any more of it.

I once read an article written by a fitness professional about integrating "treats" into your diet, and it talked abut the concept of eating foods along with your healthy foods that your body can use, rather than instead of. Let me see if I can find it...here, this is it.

http://www.t-nation.com/findArticle.do?article=293def2

Interesting stuff. So I eat 4 of my 5 regular meals and have one "treat" meal on fridays, and don't worry about compensating for the "extra" calories. It balances out, over the week, and my body gets the nutrition it needs even on fridays.
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Old 01-06-2006, 08:01 PM   #6
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I have days when I'm more relaxed with my eating - but I ALWAYS log it into fitday. I don't think of it as cheating though. More often than not they are planned days in that I know a particular event is coming up. But, sometimes, I get up, get going, and for whatever reason don't follow my plan. I still don't consider it cheating or a treat - it is just a day I didn't eat as well as I should have.

Personally, I don't like the idea of a "cheat" day as it is often referred to. In fact, I think the notion that a person will eat well for 6 days and then have a day of eating everything they want and as much as they want somewhat defeats the purpose (although many people say it works for them). I suppose I believe that losing weight is as much about gaining control over our relationships with food. It seems to me that thinking of any meal or day as cheating reinforces the idea that we aren't actually changing our lifestyle but finding a way to lose weight without having to change our overall behaviors at all. Even if that mentality leads to weight loss for the short term is it realistic for a lifetime? I don't know - but I know it would never work for me.
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Old 01-06-2006, 08:59 PM   #7
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Yep, I always log food, but I sometimes go out for a nice meal and then just try to eat reasonably the rest of the day. Starving myself beforehand to 'make up for it' almost always backfires, so I don't try to do that. But I had numerous days like this in December, and still managed to lose 5 pounds.

I think it depends on how much weight you normally lose. If you normally lose 2 pounds a week, you're cutting 7000 calories out of your diet each week. Suppose you ate 3500 calories extra of food. That means you'd lose only 1 pound that weight. Now, you might not lose as much because of water retention. And obviously if you do this too much, you'll gain. But one meal won't sabotage a week for a lot of people.

If you're down close to goal, and only lose about half a pound a week, then that might stop you from losing.

The 90/10 plan, which I read over Christmas, talks about having a treat each day -- cookies, a chocolate bar, candy, whatever. As long as it doesn't trigger a binge, if you factor it in, you can still lose. The idea is that you eat 90% healthy, and 10% 'fun foods' to keep from getting burned out. I had a chocolate bar 3 days in a row this week, because I wanted chocolate. But it factored in, and I ate nutritiously elsewhere, and still expect to lose. Neither do I want to go consume the other 4 ounces of dark chocolate in my fridge now. I had my chocolate, I ate it, I accounted for it, I know how it fits into my day, and I'm satisfied.

Of course, it's not always this easy, since I do have a tendency to binge eat. Luckily it's been easy lately.
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Old 01-06-2006, 10:44 PM   #8
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Thanks guys.. I ate 3 Chicken Quesadillas... (filled with chicken.. not much cheese) I also had about 10 large steak fries.. I have no idea what they were worth. I also had a handful of tortilla chips.. maybe 10 of those. I'm just guessing here.. 1000 or 1200 calories?? I know there were a lot of fat calories.

I didn't want to eat this and feel guilty.. and I don't

update: I keyed my stuff into fitday.com and I'm at 1923 calories.. yahoooo!! I have my usual healthy breakfast tomorrow.
Doing this, and staying in control, was a great experience.
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Last edited by Charbar : 01-06-2006 at 11:18 PM.
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Old 01-07-2006, 05:45 AM   #9
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Foods vary highly in calories, it can be hard to 'guesstimate'. In addition to FitDay, another source for calories I've found is (not sure if the URL link is allowed, but you can do a Google search as well) at Calorie King (http://www.calorieking.com/foods/), in their food database.
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Old 01-07-2006, 07:40 AM   #10
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I never was a calorie counter but my "cheats" always got recorded, down to even the smallest bite or nibble. I'm of the mind to eat really clean most of the time, and to plan special treats or meals every so often. But the planning part is key to me. When I decide to eat crap I want to feel in control of myself while I'm indulging, and feel like it's completely worth it. There's nothing worse than inhaling a bunch of "nothing special" foods and realizing that it really wasn't all that enjoyable and feeling horrible afterwards. Not fun!

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Old 01-07-2006, 09:10 AM   #11
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It's all about the balance. I wouldn't exactly call them "cheat days" either. I know I can't live the rest of myself without chocolate. I just can't eat it everyday, or even now, even once a week. In the past, if I knew a day was approaching where I would "indulge", I would prepare for it with more water, more exercise, little bit less food.

You did good, and shouldn't feel guilty.
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Old 01-07-2006, 01:45 PM   #12
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I have a meal off every now and then (I did today) I plan it, count it and forget it. I stay around 1200 - 1500 most days and then go as far as 2000 - 2200 on a blow out day, which I keep to once or twice a fortnight. I also up my exercise a little to compensate.

The other thing I do is take a break every eight weeks. my trainer at the gym told me to do this. So on that week I do the same abount of exercise and have one of my 2200 days perhaps three times a week rather than once. I aim to maintain in this week, and every time I have done it, I have maintained. I plan the week to coincide with things like birthdays, Christmas etc so I know I can go off plan and not gain.

The main reason for doing this is so that we learn how to maintain. So many people with lots of weight to lose feel they now have a free ticket to eat what they want once they reach goal, and we know full well that we have to reducate ourselves so we never have to do this again!
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Old 01-07-2006, 10:15 PM   #13
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I'm another who relaxs on weekends, but only in that I'll save all my Weight Watchers Flex points and use them for that purpose. While I ate more today than I would on a weekday, I didn't eat any junk or commit "mindless eating" or feel out of control or suffer any guilt.
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