20-Somethings - cheat meals

View Full Version : cheat meals

04-27-2008, 05:59 PM
i've heard from several sources that is a good idea to give yourself weekly or bi-weekly "cheat" meals to fight off cravings and give yourself an additional incentive to be good all week. What do you guys think of cheat meals? Does anyone do this?

04-27-2008, 06:08 PM
I read from many posts that people are indeed doing this...and if you keep yourself from eating "cheat" meals or "favorite" but "bad" sncaks, then it will be very difficult to last for a long time on this journey...

Apple Cheeks
04-27-2008, 06:50 PM
I do it. Once a week I treat myself to sushi. (I think I may cut that back to bi-weekly because it is a little expensive.)

I have to be careful though, since this can sometimes trigger the "what the ****--might as well write off the whole day and eat whatever I want" mentality and start me on a day of binging on junk. That usually only happens when I am tired/stressed, however.

04-27-2008, 06:52 PM
I do. I allow myself one meal off a week.

However, I have noticed that these once "favorite" meals no longer taste same and also kinda make me sick - but serve a good reminder to why I eat the way I do now.

04-27-2008, 07:33 PM
I used to do this, but it would lead to a binge and I would just get myself sick so I had to stop. I just make sure to have a healthy version of all of my favorite foods.

04-27-2008, 07:52 PM
I'm having a treat meal every friday night, but it's a healthy home made version of my takeaway favourites, it helps an awful lot that I love cooking though.

04-27-2008, 08:01 PM
I allow myself a day off every week. I'll eat something I've been craving all week in the morning and then still eat clean the rest of the day...I just don't weigh and portion everything out. And just because you screwed up a little bit doesn't mean that your whole day has been wasted. We all screw up, just get yourself back on track and keep going...you're no less of a person for messing up for a moment.

04-27-2008, 08:11 PM
I have a cheat day/meal also. Because it's something I am looking forward to, it helps keep my cravings in check. Now that I'm more educated on what is in food I tend to make healthier choices even on cheat day.

04-27-2008, 08:14 PM
I don't like to refer to anything as "cheating".

Truly, if you're planning to have this meal (whatever it may be) it's not really cheating is it? Because you're planning it.

It's important that if you decide to plan these meals once a week, or once every other week that they still have rules attached. Really, the most important being that it's just going to be one meal. (As others have mentioned it's easy to fall into the "Who the heck cares, I'll just eat what I want for the next few meals, etc." mode.)

It certainly isn't for everyone. I do have special occasions where I'll plan to eat what I'd like, but I only do that once a month or so. I found that for me, it works out fine.

Try it out for a week. See how you react. Are you satisfied with one meal? Or do you suddenly crave more of the less nutritious foods for days following that meal? You'll figure out if it's for you or not.

04-27-2008, 08:16 PM
When I first started losing weight I would allow a cheat meal every week. Normally it was when I went to my moms on Sunday (before she moved). It helped me stay on track and remember I could incorperate all of my old favorites into my new lifestyle. I still do cheat meals but just not on a regular basis like before.

04-27-2008, 09:10 PM
I call them my "Free Meals" I have one per week! I couldnt do it without them. i look forward to and plan for my free meal. and i make sure its totally worth it. :carrot:

04-27-2008, 09:20 PM
I have a cheat meal every week, generally Sunday's breakfast. The rest of the week I eat really well..I think you need to allow yourself that one day/meal.

just keep swimming
04-27-2008, 09:55 PM
I won't lie, I allow myself Taco Bell every once in a while, because I looooove it. But it usually upsets my stomach after, so I'm not tempted to do it too often.

Get n healthy
04-27-2008, 09:56 PM
I do because it helps me "hold off" til friday. so if monday i am craving naughty chinese take out...i say, ok, you can have that friday. If i am craving a big mac on wednesday...i say, ok, you can have that on friday. By the time friday rolls around...i have passed up at least 5 MAJOR cravings and i am usually not in the mood for any of it by friday...and like someone else said, even when i eat it...it just doesnt taste as good as i remembered it to...funny.

04-27-2008, 10:44 PM
I heard that you should give yourself a cheat meal once a week so you don't get those cravings and end up pigging out. I have said this before but they said to this on the biggest loser as one of the diet tips from Bob. They said they even give the people on the show a cheat meal once a week so it gives them motivation and something to look forward to.

04-28-2008, 10:19 AM
When I first started the low carb diet, I took off a two days every 14 days. But I discovered that I was stuffing myself with every carb I could get my hands on, so I stopped doing it that way. Now, every other week or so I'll have something special, like spaghetti, for dinner, but I'll not go off on a carb binge like I had done before. Plus, I'm not quite as strict as I had been in the beginning. If we have hamburgers and french fries, instead of skipping the fries entirely, I'll eat two or three. That way I don't feel completely left out, yet I don't completely blow my plan.

04-28-2008, 10:49 AM
I don't have a cheat meal after an allotted time frame. I count calories so if I'm dying(ie: PMS, TOM, etc:D) for the chocolate one night I have a small, single serving of chocolate and work it into my calories.

Occasionally I have had actual "meals" that were off plan. Like out for lunch with friends at a pub or something. I still try to count calories, but if I go a little over it's not the end of the world. Those kinds of meals have only happened to me like twice since January and I try to keep it that way. It bothers me when I eat junk like that most of the time.

04-28-2008, 02:28 PM
I used to give myself "cheat" meals.. but I found out it's not a healthy mind frame for me to have. One of my big goals is NOT only to lose weight, BUT to get (and remain) healthy. Now- when I had cheat meals/days.. I went ALL out. ALL out. I would have soda and cheese nips for breakfast. I would go to McDonalds for lunch, and have Chinese for dinner. I would get on the scale the next day and was up a good 3 pounds. Some from water retention, I'm sure- but not all. I had a JAM packed day of calories once a week. I felt I deserved it or something after a hard week of losing weight. And, I assumed it would help keep me on track... something to look forward to.

The ONLY thing it did was stall my weight-loss somewhat, and surely didn't help my goal of eating more healthy.. and it wasn't a healthy relationship with food.

I've since given them up and just find in general that I have WAY less cravings for the junk.

Lord knows.. I'm not perfect, far from it. I DO have days where I have burger king or McDonalds.. but I still count my calories. And I do have OFF days where I slip.. but I never plan to do it on purpose. It's not healthy for ME.

THAT said- we're ALL different people and have to do what works for US!!!!!!! :D

04-28-2008, 02:50 PM
I do this but i call it "rewarding" i reward myself for a weeks job well done. If i had a bad week well that sucks for me and i dont get the pizza. My favorite cheat/reward is 2 pieces of cheese& mushroom pizza with 1 breadstick! about 600cals but man is it worth it!

04-28-2008, 02:54 PM
I go out every couple of months to a place of my choosing and eat whatever I like. I love the Chinese buffet.

04-28-2008, 06:04 PM
i told myself when i started working out and eating healthier that i wouldn't deprive myself of 2 things: pizza (from anywhere. i LOVE pizza) and my dad's chocolate chip cookies.

when i know my family is ordering pizza for dinner, i'll only have breakfast, that way i can go all out on the pizza.

same goes for the chocolate chip cookies. haha.

04-28-2008, 07:26 PM
Death Although you are on the right track I don't think only eating breakfast is a good idea. Eat lunch and your snacks then stick to one piece of pizza and a big salad. That way you can actually stick closer to your daily calories and not "go all out" on pizza.

04-28-2008, 07:43 PM
I have "special" meals/dishes that I will eat sometimes. When I first started Weight Watchers, I would stay on plan for 5 days, then be off for 2...this was something a lot of women at my work WW group were doing. And I would go bonkers on weekends...seriously. It made my weight loss really slow, and I put a lot of unhealthy stuff in my body. Now I will have a cheat meal every once in awhile, but I still count points almost all the way through the weekend.

I know myself well enough to know that I can't simply tell my brain "No, you're not eating that." Or else all I'll want is THAT, and then I'll binge on it. So my first course of action is to see if I can find a healthier way to prepare that favorite meal, so that it isn't such a "cheat." One of my favorite special meals is bean and rice soft tacos with reduced fat cheese and light sour cream...it satisfies my cravings for cheesy, salty, chewy, and carby, and yet I can eat it totally within my points range.

If I can't find a way to eat my "cheat" meal/dish in a healthier way, then I will see if I can make it myself at home. For example, if I am craving cookies, I will make them myself instead of buying a bag of store-bought, even if I am making a regular recipe instead of something low-fat or low-cal...this way I can be aware of what's in them, and I can also be sure I'm eating quality ingredients. (I learned, though, that I can't freeze extra dough and keep it for later...steak knives do well at cutting into a log of frozen oatmeal cookie dough! I just can't trust myself with cookie dough.)

If I can't make the cheat meal healthier and if I can't make it myself at home at all, then I will go ahead and have it...but I will make sure that I have thought about it long and hard beforehand, and made an educated decision to eat it. I find that I personally enjoy the food more when the decision was not made in haste...that way I don't have any "eater's remorse" afterward! :)

Of course, we all make mistakes....and when I am feeling particularly emotional/hormonal, I do sometimes make bad choices. But like so many others have said, one bad choice doesn't ruin the whole day.

04-29-2008, 07:54 AM
I've been trying to find a way to work "cheat days" into my new lifestyle. I have had some rough experiences with them, recently. I tend to fall into the "Well, I already ate this, might as well go nuts until Monday" trend. I love the idea of them, though, because I really don't like saying goodbye to entire groups of food. I think I will try and set a definite "cheat day" and try what someone here said; putting off cravings until that day and then see what I really want.

04-29-2008, 10:02 AM
i do it... i LOVE chinese food, so i let myself have it every couple of weeks...

04-29-2008, 10:19 AM
I've been doing WW for about two weeks and have found ways to work not-so-good meals into my diet. I dont even think of them as cheat meals b/c I plan for them and fit them into my points for the day. On days that I know I'm going out to dinner with friends, I go to the gym and get in a great workout (activity points!) and then eat as much food for as little points as possible for breakfast, lunch and snacks (so lots of fruits and veggies and any zero point options).

04-29-2008, 01:28 PM
I make room for the less-healthy stuff I crave, but I don't really think of it as cheating or rewarding or whatever. Its just for me, I can't imagine going the rest of my life without chocolate cake or ice cream or things like that. So I make it a point to let myself have stuff like that here and there. I don't let myself go overboard and most days I'm eating only healthy stuff, but at the same time I'm not going to deprive myself all the time, thats not sustainable for me.