Weight Loss Support - If you are going to cheat, try to wait until the weekend?

02-12-2008, 01:45 AM
If you are going to cheat, try to wait until the weekend? I just read this in a fitness book. At first I wondered... but then I thought, maybe it's true, if one could make it through the week with a CLEAN diet and then IF there's a cheat, make it a weekend, like more then 4 oz of wine, or something you are really craving...

Another weight training book said it's actually helpful to have a semi cheat day, as it tricks your body. Say you do 1200-1400 cal most the time, then do 1500-2000 cal a day or two... but this would be WITH exercise as a part of the plan.

BUT the Clean Eating Diet that I'm reading now says NO CHEATING. I know some people can do it, live the clean life all the time. I don't think I can. Every now and then I'm going to need some mexican food, some wine, some ice cream, and even a juicy low carb burger with tons of fat.

Yet as of the last few days on the 1200 cal clean eating diet I'm feeling energy, I'm not craving junk, and I'm not hungry. I did the South Beach phase one and didn't feel so good the past few weeks but the author of that says that's part of his "plan" to make you crave junk less. I don't crave it... and after working so hard I'm not sure I can picture a cheat right now anyways.

Tonight I poured out 2 of the 4 oz of wine even... whew.

02-12-2008, 01:49 AM
I don't look at it as a "cheat". If I want a drink, I work it into what I am doing that day, food/calorie wise. Same goes for "treats". I eat a little dark chocolate almost daily. I still lose weight, feel great and enjoy myself.

02-12-2008, 01:58 AM
Maybe "cheating" should be called "treats" and perhaps it's the opposite, you eat "more" on days you are really working out, not on weekends when you kick back more, at least I've been on Sun's...

02-12-2008, 07:33 AM
I am one who believes that so-called "cheating" only cheats one person.

In calorie counting, there are no forbidden foods--you just have to stay within your calorie range. You pretty soon figure out how much of what foods you can have. A 900-calorie burger at a fast food place just seems like a really bad choice! :eek: And when you consider that a SMALL french fries at McDonalds has over 200 calories all by itself... and how good are they, really? :p ...you just find that there are better choices. And, if you JUST HAVE to have something like ice cream, you find a way to have "a" serving and work it in.

If you are still using "bad" foods as "treats," what kind of lifestyle is that? That's kind of like a recovering alcoholic using booze as a reward...

:coach: "So, are you thin now? Is that why you get to overeat high calorie foods?"

Weekends shouldn't be different from any other day. In my opinion, too many people blow their weight loss by thinking they'll stay on plan during the week and then give themselves time off on the weekend. Then they post here on 3FC wondering why they aren't losing. "I just don't understand... I've been staying on my program pretty well, more or less, for the most part." ;)


02-12-2008, 07:59 AM
I know for me, when I was in the losing portion of my journey, the only way I could have a cheat, or a splurge, was if I planned it. If I knew I was going to a party on the weekend or something, I actually shaved 200 or so calories a day from my allotment. And then I would use those extra calories saved at the party. Any added splurges, or 2000 calorie days would just set me back and I wasn't willing to do that, usually.

Now that I'm in maintenance it's a different story, and I often told myself that when I wanted something "off" - that maintenance would be a whole other matter. Well not a whole other matter, since I basically eat the same foods in the same portions except I do allow myself some splurges during the weekend or at a party. I would tell myself that I don't need so and so now, there's plenty of time for it later.

02-12-2008, 08:46 AM
I have a 90% 10%rule.

If 90% of my calories are from my healthy diet.. then I allow 10% of my calories to come from whatever...a candy...a soda... whatever.. but only if I was good and it's only 10% of my calories (or less). often there are days when I don't even use that rule. I eat good 100% of the time.

That way, I don't ever feel like I'm cheating or feel cheated out of my favorite goodies.

02-12-2008, 08:55 AM
I don't know. I don't like the concept of "cheat day", because it brings negativity into it and reeks too much of "I've been good, I've been bad" thinking. I'm leaning more these days towards having a little of something now and then, working it into one's daily calories alottment, if only because I did try the "cheat meal" thing, and it has always ended up in catastrophe. The 90/10 rule seems good as well.

Apart from this, well... If the week-end is the moment of the week when you work out the most, perhaps it's not too much of a problem to eat that slice of pie on Saturday. And if those two days are spent not moving a lot, it's probably not such a good idea?

02-12-2008, 10:57 AM
Well, I have to say that for me, this is what works! In the beginning I ate clean for a about a month at a time and then had a "cheat meal". (I am not into the Phyc. word play, so fill in your own word there. "Day off", "off plan meal", "temporary suspension of new life style", what ever makes you happy!) Now that I am so close to goal, I actually do it more often. I cut my calories back the lighter I got, then added another cheat meal for the month. It definately helped me! Sometimes you just have cravings! I don't think that will ever go away. Now, every 1 - 2 weeks or so, I have a meal that I don't worry about the calories. After the water weight goes away form that meal (I easily retain water with sodium!) I always have a bigger weight loss that week! I always (try) to have portion control with that meal. It doesn't even really change my calorie count that much for the week. But it helps me mentally! I can do this forever, because I didn't have to give anything up! I just can't have it all the time all I want! I also love my "on plan" food! I am very satified with what I eat normally.
The 90% - 10% rule really is a good rule. The biggest key to all of this is to find out what will work for you as an individual. Jelly

02-12-2008, 11:37 AM
I'm another who is *FOR* cheat days. Or treat days. Whatever you want to call them.

I find that if I am craving something that I know will blow my calorie budget for the day, I will give myself permission to have it on my "treat day". That way I'm never *denying* myself anything ... I'm just delaying the gratification. And then often by the time I get to my "treat day", I don't really want what I was craving before, so I might not have it at all, or I might have just a very little of it.

I personally don't think of it as "I've been good" vs. "I've been bad". I think of it as I made a choice to eat something that is not necessarily good for me ... and I've done it in such a way as to not sabotage the entire rest of my week.

For me, that works because it prevents me from craving something, eating it, and then thinking "oh, ****, I screwed up anyway today, so I might as well add these fries and this milkshake and a corndog for dinner!" :)

It might not work for other people - but we all have different ways of thinking about our diets and our lifestyles.


02-12-2008, 11:46 AM
I don't like the word 'cheat'. What are you cheating? In reality - you are cheating yourself out of your weight loss goals and a healthy life. The word 'cheat' also implies that the plan you are on is not something you can follow for life.

If I want to eat something indulgent - I plan it in. And it is never a whole day of going crazy. Maybe I want pizza some night, so I will plan for 2 pieces and enjoy them. The rest of the day I eat my normally planned food.

02-12-2008, 11:57 AM
I dont have a cheat day, but I also dont consider any food off limits and I specifically work certain high calorie foods in to my plan.

"cheat" implies this is a diet and that I am doing something wrong.

I have high days and low days but that is because this is LIFE.

02-12-2008, 12:08 PM
I kinda think of my "diet" as practice for maintenance.. just at a lower calorie level. So, I eat mostly whole foods and meals I prepare myself, I weigh, measure, count calories - every day. weekend or weekday makes no difference.

But, if I know I'm going somewhere or doing something where trying to count the calories is basically pulling a number out of the air - then I make the best choices I can, eat what I want at reasonable portions and let it go. Next meal/ day I'm back to what is now my day to day "normal". If I know about it in advance, I might bank some calories through the week.. or I might not.

If I want some junk - I think about if the calories are worth it.. will it satisfy a craving that I'm having? am I just hungry.. will is satisfy my hunger? etc...

Usually - I'd rather use the calories on something better - but - if I just have to have it.. I have it and keep track of it - just like I plan to do when I start maintaining.

It's working for me :)

02-12-2008, 01:26 PM
I've been reading the Superfoods Diet, that's a good one, you are allowed treats only if they are planned, which is what some are saying here. Like 1 glass of wine, planned into the day and week. There's so many allowances per week. Some treats are 2 for 1's if they are healthier. That seems like a sensible approach. The Best Life Now book suggests you don't do anything that's not clean eating until you've finished the phase where you lose the weight, then in maintenance you can add in some treats that you wouldn't normally do- ahhh, like English style fish & chips.

Anymore my "cheats" aren't entire pizzas with beer, or extra large burgers with potatoes and extra sour cream, or xl tubs of popcorn at the movies. But sometimes I just need some peanut m&m's, or a burrito (without all the extras like I used to do), or the high fat burger. BUT Jay is right, if I'm going to lose the final 10-15 lbs I want to cheating isn't going to help. I have a plan for clean eating, and I'm going to have to tighten it up for a period of time here likely with very minor if any treats at all.

No I'm not progressing enough, and this is likely part of WHY. I don't know that I need diet/exercise books encouraging cheating, well it's not for me NOW. I don't particularly like working out hard 45 min per day all the time to lose weight, it would be nice to have it off, then monitor pounds carefully with the scale, getting back to "work" when they go up 2-3, but allowing for a few more calories and treats. I'm just learning though how much "normal" eating, what I thought was - and I don't mean pizza, is 'cheating" from clean eating. Our society doesn't make it easy to eat healthy and make good choices.

02-12-2008, 01:28 PM
I'm thinking too most of my massive cheating before was done when I skipped meals. Having a plan seems to keep this from happening, having almonds and v8 juice around for when the hunger really strikes rather then hitting fast food, etc. And Wasa crackers with the skinny cheese. Lots of cut up veggies in a bowl ready to eat. It seems that having an organized kitchen and learning "treat" tips is important.

02-12-2008, 03:14 PM
I've always heard that you have to have a "shock" day to shock your system,that's probably why a lot of us have such a hard time losing weight, because we "stick" to our diets day in and day out and won't treat ourselves or what ever then still can't lose the weight.I've read so many posts" I've been so good this week,why didn't I lose anything?, or ,why did I just lose a pound?" well it's probably because we need to shock our system,give our body some calories and kick it into high gear ya know?

02-12-2008, 03:26 PM
I am of the mind that, if you plan for it, no matter what it is, it isn't "cheating".

My plan has always, 100%, been to eat all of my meals and snacks from healthy choices, and have a dessert that was junk, or a couple drinks on the weekend, or whatever it was. That was my plan. Therefore, I never went off plan by doing those things.

If you are planning a day where you eat a higher calorie range, that isn't cheating...that is following your plan. I don't think this is all cheap semantics, either...the mindset between "I am on-plan and eating this ice cream cone" and "Today is my cheat day, so I will cheat by eating this ice cream cone" can be the difference between continuing with the plan and saying "today is my cheat day, so I can eat WHATEVER I WANT" and diving headfirst into a pile of Krispy Kremes.

02-12-2008, 03:53 PM
I agree with Amanda. My weekdays are pretty normal. I eat very simply during the weekdays and within the lower end of my calorie range. On weekends, I plan to go out to eat and thus plan for higher calorie ranges. They are all within my acceptable limits.

So I don't plan cheats, I plan meals and days where I may eat more than normal but I balance it out with lower calorie days throughout the week.

02-13-2008, 12:45 PM
I'm going to stop thinking in terms of bad and good foods, I like the French Women Don't get Fat book, how you can cheat, in small amounts but the key is to walk it off or exercise to make up for it. I think that's fair. Also I think a fair idea is the more you exercise, and after getting close to your target weight or there the more revved up your metabolism is and the more you can cheat here and there. There's just a few things I can't give up, some red wine, peanut m&m's, some chips and salsa with melted cheese, a little ice cream (I've discovered Skinny Cow though), and those big juicy burgers. It seems the key is keeping the cheats small, or just having a few bites for me - like I snuck a few of my boy's fries the other day. They tasted good, but I kept it at five of them knowing I'm working to lose and get fit. The articles/experts even on the homepage of this site say very strick dieting can lead to binging... perhaps it depends on the person, but if I have my cheats here and there then I'm not as likely to feel like I"m depriving myself. Yet the cheats will have to be worked into my calories for the day/week.

02-13-2008, 01:05 PM
There's just a few things I can't give up, some red wine, peanut m&m's, some chips and salsa with melted cheese, a little ice cream (I've discovered Skinny Cow though), and those big juicy burgers.

As has been said, the challenge is to be able to stop once you start, and to plan ahead with your calories. Good luck!

Many of us had things we just "couldn't" give up--until we realized that trying to keep eating them wasn't working. Maybe you'll be lucky and none of those will be a problem for you.

Hang in there!


02-13-2008, 01:51 PM
horsey - are you doing the Eat-Clean Diet? I started it a week or so ago and am loving it. I feel great and am not hungry.

I save a few glasses of wine for the weekend and maybe eat out a time or two but still try to eat as clean as possible.

02-13-2008, 02:41 PM
Yes I started the Clean Eating diet about a week ago too, I love it too.

Jay I think you are right, the problem seems to be "stopping" when you grab just a few chips and all of a sudden you go back for a plate with melted cheese and the works, I did that once last week, felt horrible. Or when one glass of wine turns into three and 400 calories! That will mess up a day!

I'm going to clean out my kitchen one more time of starches and junk that I won't eat no matter what. And I'm going to keep treats hidden up high so I never see them and will be less tempted. I seem to be happy most the time with Wasa crackers and skinny cheese, plus veggies at night, without the chips.

Either way I"m going to have to clean up my habits to lose the last 10 or so lbs I want to lose... cheating is mostly OUT.

02-13-2008, 02:49 PM
I can plan a special meal into my calorie allowance, but my problem comes in what happens AFTER that meal. I HAVE TO have a plan for the next snack or meal, or else I easily slip off plan. For me, it's not so much the plan for the "cheat" but the plan for afterward that's important.


02-13-2008, 02:59 PM
So you "cheat" then look at calories/nutrition so far for the day and make allowances? Perhaps if I have a big burger for lunch, too much fat, then cut to almost no fat at dinner for example? Biggest problem seems to be the evening cheating, when you have had a good clean eating day, and splurge with wine or chips, and went way over calories etc. I did that in a minor way last night, ended up 250 cal over what my goal was and it was late. I had a PLAN to NOT eat 2-3 hours before bed and I broke it. I think cheating needs to stay during daytime hours so if you cheat you PAY by exercising more, or eating less at dinner, etc. However I do these late night workouts that I love BUT when in "cheat" mode I don't want to exercise, I want to plop on the couch and watch tv! So late night snacking appears to be my problem.