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Michelle98272
01-29-2009, 03:40 PM
shaking up your diet with a big fat cheat day or cheat meal? My BF is dieting now and is adamant that cheat days are essential for tricking your metabolism. He believes if you religiously stick to 1800 calories a day your body gets used to that and weight loss slows. Yesterday was his cheat day and OH MY WORD, did he cheat!! Bicuits and gravy for breakfast, half a roasted chicken with butter/garlic mashed potatoes for lunch, a whole box of Garlic Triscuits (that I dole out 7 crackers at a time for myself) 4 string cheeses for snack and Burger King SteakHouse burger with swiss, King size fries and a giganto full sugar pop for dinner. :ink:

I have my moments of not following WW to a "t", and eating a little more here or a little more there...and have had a steady weightloss. I'm all for tricking the metabolism into working better but I'm afraid that a huge cheat day for me would turn into a cheat week, month, year and I'd gain back all the weight!

Is there any validity in the Trick Your Metabolism thing for all you knowledgible long term dieters here.


fiberlover
01-29-2009, 03:46 PM
Eating a little more at a meal or on a given day is really calorie cycling. Planning in treats like a piece of cake or treat is one thing. However, what you described above is not really part of a healthy eating plan.

If you need a deficit of 3500 calories to lose a pound, a day as described above could easily pack in said 3500 calories and erase all your hard work. Easily - and then you would wonder why you aren't losing.

If you fuel your body with good quality *real* foods, the desire for cheat days and junk foods diminishes. It really does.

JayEll
01-29-2009, 03:55 PM
Hey! In my humble opinion what your boyfriend is doing isn't a "cheat day," it's a BINGE, B-I-N-G-E.

To overeat that much in a single day pretty much wipes out whatever you may have lost in the week before. And you're right. It can lead to throwing in the towel completely.

The best people to tell you what works are those who have been obese, have lost the weight and are now normal sized, and have kept the weight off for a year or more.

The worst people to get information from are those who are now obese and have tried losing weight for a minute or two... ;)

Jay


WarMaiden
01-29-2009, 03:56 PM
To be honest, I think the "trick your metabolism with a cheat day" idea is really just a rationalization for cheating. It's bad mental ju-ju, is what I mean; the dieter wants to cheat, and therefore finds a justification for cheating.

So much better, like Lori says, simply to eat clean and let the body have what is good for it over the long-term.

Kae
01-29-2009, 04:08 PM
I think it is ok to plan treats into your plan and to flux calories a couple hundred this way or that... but not thousands of calories! Like everyone else has said: that would be totally counter-productive.

TJFitnessDiva
01-29-2009, 04:11 PM
I agree with everyone else...it just seems to me that a full blown out "cheat" day is a binge and someone was trying to rationalize it ;)

Shannon in ATL
01-29-2009, 04:13 PM
My DH believes the same thing - when he was dieting several years ago he had 'free weekends', now it is one day per weekend. Typically though, he has one 'cheat meal' that is high calorie enough that he is too full for too much else later in the day. When I first started calorie counting I did it with him, though still tracked my calories for the day (he doesn't track at all that day.) That one day brought my daily average up by 150-250 calories some weeks. So, I started cutting back more and more on those days and just not talking about it. :)

That being said, I do still have a higher meal every week than a normal meal, but still track it. I also plan in some higher calorie snacks and stuff here and there. I just had to let go of the cheat day concept.

I should add, DH has lost and regained and lost and regained up to a 75 pound swing over the last several years. This time he lost 20, regained 10, is working on losing again. So, could be that the 'cheat day' set him up for long term failure. I learned how to count pretty much anything I want into my calories for the day, or even for the week sometimes if I go higher than planned, so learned not to binge. DH hasn't learned that yet.

rockinrobin
01-29-2009, 04:24 PM
IMO, the only good a "cheat day" will do is to delay your weight loss.

I certainly never found a need or purpose to "trick" my metabolisim. I kept on creating a calorie deficit through calorie monitoring and restriction, ate frequent small meals and exercise. No tricks involved. That's what it's all about.

IMO, a cheat day is a recipe for disaster. Disaster. You can easily wipe out any calorie deficit created in 6 days of hard work by one day.

And another thing, men are totally different then men when it comes to weight loss. Not saying that anyone should justify a "cheat day" such as your BF's, but a guy can "get away" with stuff like that (though not for very long - at all) a lot quicker then a woman can.

amyk0202
01-29-2009, 04:39 PM
I don't think that will work out well for him. That never lets you get more accustomed to healthy foods & would just keep feeding the cravings. I do think that it is ok to splurge every once in a while--not to trick your metabolism, but to not feel deprived. I do WW & they give you a free 35 flex points to be used over the week. Sometimes I save those up for a treat at the end of the week & sometimes I use some them if I am extra hungry one day. I could never recover from eating huge amounts of points at every meal. For me, that would propel me right back to eating like that all the time.

jessisaokay
01-29-2009, 04:41 PM
I binged every single saturday and still managed to lose 130 pounds. However, I was starving myself during the week, and had a **** of a time learning to eat right without re gaining the weight. I did it, but it wasn't fun. Cheats are ok, binges aren't worth it in the end.

MaddiesMom
01-29-2009, 04:50 PM
I think the only thing you accomplish with a "cheat day" is cheating yourself out of eating something healthy.

I did hear that by eating the exact amount of calories a day can cause your body to get used to it. I read (Jillian Michaels) that you should take the # of calories for one week (10,500 if you are on a 1500/cal per day diet) and have 1500 one day, 1200 the next, 1800 the next day and so on, just so you can avoid your body getting used to the same amount of calories a day. That's how you "cheat" or "trick your metabolism."

froggie83
01-29-2009, 04:57 PM
i sometimes use 'keeping my metabolism guessing' as an excuse for having some cheese or a sandwich or something i really want (had a great sandwich at lunchtime today on this pretext in fact) but the all-day meat, salt and fat fest in the original post sounds a leeetle OTT

Michelle98272
01-29-2009, 04:59 PM
I guess the only thing that makes this still a diet is that he used to eat like that every day of the week. So one day is better than seven!

I think I'll just keep plodding along the way I'm doing it and let him do his own thing.

Redflame
01-29-2009, 05:00 PM
calorie cycling really does work for those people who have done metabolism damage and needs to be shaken up. in cycling you would have one high day a week...........a high day is not a binge day though. In my cycling I do plan one off plan day every other week, and I plan it on my high calorie day (Sat) but for me that means that I dont have to worry about tracking calories and all.........it does not mean I eat what ever I want, I could easily do alot of damage. Cheat days are great for going out to a restaurant that you cannot look up the calories--but you still pick the grilled chicken or fish instead of the fried, you share a piece of cheesecake where you would not normally have any at all...things like that.

WarMaiden
01-29-2009, 05:01 PM
I do have a special meal on Friday nights each week; we cook it at home from scratch, and it's something like hamburgers or chicken fingers or pizza. It's healthy, whole foods, but more like comfort food or kid food than the rest of the stuff I eat throughout the week. This meal typically has more calories than my other dinners, but it's all planned-for. Then I finish with something special like a milkshake made of sugarless vanilla ice cream and sugarless strawberry fruit spread.

So I think planned treats ARE very important; but all out cheat/binging is just a bad idea.

rockinrobin
01-29-2009, 05:05 PM
I do think planned treats are very important as well.

I very strongly believe though, that our idea of a treat has got to change.

Shannon in ATL
01-29-2009, 05:51 PM
I guess the only thing that makes this still a diet is that he used to eat like that every day of the week. So one day is better than seven!

I think I'll just keep plodding along the way I'm doing it and let him do his own thing.

Michelle - that is what I have noticed with DH. He makes initial progress because it really is a change to only eat this badly one day per week rather than every day. It is part of his baby step into the whole process. I'm hoping we can work on keeping him on plan and trimming down the cheat day when he gets closer to goal and starts to stall again... Good luck with you and your DH, too!

Shannon in ATL
01-29-2009, 05:53 PM
I do think planned treats are very important as well.

I very strongly believe though, that our idea of a treat has got to change.

Absolutely. My planned treat last night for first day back at work was a serving of real Ben & Jerry's ice cream after dinner. I planned all day for that! But, I only ate one 1/2 cup serving, not the whole container.

jessisaokay
01-29-2009, 10:05 PM
I ate two pints of ben and jerry's once in a sitting during my binge day. I did not feel good.

howie6267
01-30-2009, 10:32 AM
I lost all my weight with having a binge day once a week and eating 1800 the rest of the week. However I know a binge day is not a good thing and it can easily lead to another binge day. So now I still allow for a high calorie day but I count calories and what I allow on that day is to eat what a normal man of 6'2 would eat. So on those days I allow 2600 to 3000 calories. Instead of 4000 to 5000 and up.

madys momma
01-30-2009, 11:53 AM
I think there is a lot of truth to whay your bf is saying...I remember Bob from Biggest Loser saying at the end of a show last year that after every weigh in the players get a "free" or "cheat" meal...with more calories than their diet...that helps keep things shook up...WW gives you the 35 flex points and the plan works much better when you use them because you can't let your body get used to working on a set number of calories otherwise you are going to hit a plateau that won't budge...

H8cake
01-30-2009, 12:45 PM
I would be in pain from eating like that. I've shrunk my stomach down and that would just stretch it back out. Each person is different though. He might be able to get away with a day like that once a week. Guys usually can get away with a lot more and still lose weight. My idea of shaking things up is a day at the high end of my calorie range. Let us know how it works out for him. It will be interesting to see.

cfmama
01-30-2009, 12:59 PM
I think it can work... depending on the size of the cheat meal or day. I mean if you ingest 5000 calories in that day then it's kind of counterproductive. But if you add 500 calories to your regular day then it will shake things up.

I am in this for life. If I want something special I make room for it within my daily calories. I usually find it's not worth it though :)

Thin4Good
01-30-2009, 01:13 PM
That sounds crazy. Just based on my own experiences so far.... I allowed myself *free* days on the day of Thanksgiving and on Christmas Day. I didn't even go that overboard IMO and it completely wrecked my week each time. I guess he may be able to get away with it right now but as far as it being justified, I don't think it is.

rodeogirl
01-30-2009, 07:28 PM
It's not magic, it's calories in vs calories out. If you want to keep your metabolism "off balance" calorie cycling makes a lot more sense.

For myself a planned time of not calorie counting (like at Christmas) might be a good mental break but the cost is slower weight loss. But I don't look at those as "cheat" days, I still try to eat well and make good choices, stop eating when i'm full, etc. I just don't record calories and make my goal to maintain during that time instead of lose.

Calories in vs Calories out.

Daimere
01-30-2009, 07:44 PM
Calorie Estimates that he ate:
840
530
300 plus 124 for mashed potatoes
300 for at least 3 servings of the triscuits
400 for the string cheese
580 for large fries
100 @ the least for pop

That is just a rough estimate of calorie counts, especially since I don't know the specifics of any of it. I added it up and that is at least 3,000 calories that he consumed in one "cheat" day. I have read stuff about diet plans that encourage "cheat days" but most said, stay mindful of what you eat.

rodeogirl
01-30-2009, 09:11 PM
It was more than 3000 I'm sure. 6 triscuits have 140 calories so a whole box is going to be more than 300 by a fair bit.

Anyhow I think what everyone is basically saying is the amount of caloric burn you get from "fooling" your metabolism isn't going to offset so many calories.

Daimere
01-30-2009, 09:16 PM
It was more than 3000 I'm sure. 6 triscuits have 140 calories so a whole box is going to be more than 300 by a fair bit.

Anyhow I think what everyone is basically saying is the amount of caloric burn you get from "fooling" your metabolism isn't going to offset so many calories.
I never eat triscuits or know how many servings are in a box. I was also using online nutrition facts which sometimes vary greatly.

Even on my fattest days, I don't think I've ate a whole box of crackers. :(

Gretchy
01-30-2009, 10:11 PM
As far as I can tell the "cheat day" theory is to fluctuate your calories a bit. IE, if you're eating about 1500 calories a day instead of doing it the same every day to switch it up - ie, having a day or two that's 1400 calories and a day or two that's 1600 calories and still average 1500.

rockinrobin
01-31-2009, 12:55 AM
I don't know. I naturally vary my caloric intake day to day without even trying much. It's next to impossible to duplicate the same exact calories in day after day.

hautbois
01-31-2009, 10:13 AM
My calories naturally vary too. I have about a 350-calorie range that I stay in.

slimmingsi
01-31-2009, 11:00 AM
To be honest, I think the "trick your metabolism with a cheat day" idea is really just a rationalization for cheating. It's bad mental ju-ju, is what I mean; the dieter wants to cheat, and therefore finds a justification for cheating.


Actaully the body is very very good at adapting to new circumstances it takes approx 7 days (give or take) for the body to start adapting to a new regieme, i.e thinking food is short and after starting to adapt it will take very little time for the metabolism to come into line.

tricking the metabolism by eating more on one day usually every 7th day will stop any adaption the metabolism is making, its not an excuse to cheat as its not cheating its a very logical practice to ensure the success of the diet.

however in saying that the 7th day isn't a total blow out eating a huge amount of caloires. the 7th day should have a food increase of really no more than 33% extra calories so the average bloke on 2k a day should move to 2660 cal. or essentially another meal.

this is best in the form of another meal and not cakes chocolates

rockinrobin
01-31-2009, 11:08 AM
tricking the metabolism by eating more on one day usually every 7th day will stop any adaption the metabolism is making its not an excuse to cheat as its not cheating its a very logical practice to ensure the success of the diet.

Now of course we're all different. But for me, I found success by strictly staying within my calorie budget. The few times that I added in more calories, my weight loss stalled.

Just like now that I'm in maintenance. I consume more calories then my budget allows for - and I gain weight.

Pretty much you see, more calories coming IN, means less of a deficit. Less of a deficit, less weight loss. :dunno:

katiecron
01-31-2009, 11:14 AM
in the past, hubby and i would do a cheat meal. that is, we would have one meal out that was not carb, or cal, or whatever counted. it never effected us adversely, unless it turned into the one meal that lead to the cheat day, cheat week, cheat life....
it was a boost (or whatever to metabolism, tricking the body) and a reward for a hard 2 weeks work.
again, we didn't go crazy, just had a meal w/out worrying about the cals

slimmingsi
01-31-2009, 11:16 AM
but how long into your diet did you add more calories for you weight loss to stall if it was over 7-10 days at a time it would stall as the metabolism will have slowed

rockinrobin
01-31-2009, 11:34 AM
Si, I really wouldn't change a thing about my weight loss journey. I lost steadily for 10 months straight, losing 154 lbs. I had a stall, meaning I stayed the same, 2 weeks out of those 10 months. They were not back to back either. They were both self-induced, meaning I ate over my calorie budget. Upon losing those first 154 lbs, I upped my calories for the next 2 months. Didn't lose a thing as was the plan. I decided to take my weight down and did so in the next month, going back to my losing calorie level. Lost the last 11 lbs. And that was that.

I'm sorry, for ME, and ME only, because I can't speak for any other person on the planet, I see no need whatsoever to *trick* my metabolisim.

midwife
01-31-2009, 12:32 PM
I agree that it sounds like he went overboard, but that may also be what he needed to do at this point in his journey.

When I started with my trainer, she gave me a cheat day a week. I changed the term to "free" day, cause I didn't like the cheat connotation. She does believe that it is important to keep our metabolisms from adapting to a set amount of calories but also for psychological reasons (which may be where the OP's DH is at right now).

Radically changing one's food intake is a big deal. It is changing so much about habits, socialization, coping skills, etc., and for me, the free day was an emotional lifesaver. I was very very strict 6 days out of the week, knowing that I could have the ice cream or chips or whatever on the 7th day. It helped me to NOT eat those things on the other days during the week.

When I first started, my free days were pretty much horrendous. Fast food, cookies, ice cream, all the junk that I wanted. But I soon learned on my own that eating that way was not great. I would feel sluggish and sick and it would affect my energy levels and workouts for about 24 hrs. I learned that my body hummed along with great energy and feelings of satisfaction when I ate healthy and that junk food was pretty much poison. So my free days evolved from junk food binges, to maybe an extra serving of beans, or a dinner out to eat, or a birthday celebration, or pizza. But not a whole day free for all.

I still use the idea of a free day. If there is a day that for whatever reason I eat something that I wouldn't ordinarily eat, it is okay. For me, mentally, it is okay. I chalk it up to my free day, and get right back on plan, and don't use it as an excuse to slip for another day or the week or the month or whatever. I've learned that I can get right back on plan. I've learned that I don't have to be perfect to maintain my weight loss. I've learned that I can incorporate a pastry or a piece of cake or a bacon cheeseburger into my life, as long as it is occasional.

Never underestimate the power of learning and evolving one's own food and exercise plans. My life right now looks different from my initial foray into this latest weight loss/maintenace effort. This journey takes a lot of trial and error, steps and missteps, learning and evolving. The OP's DH may have needed that experience for a myriad of reasons. Perhaps he will still post a loss this week. Perhaps he will be chugging mylanta for 24 hrs. Perhaps it will push him off his new WOE for a week or a month and then he will get back on and remember what happened this time, and choose not to do it again. Or choose to do it again.

This journey is very personal and fraught with learning experiences. This sounds like a learning experience for him.

LuvMyMr
01-31-2009, 10:11 PM
I do believe in cheat meals and have been doing it. I did it twice since I joined this site and both times afterwards I had lost weight. I think it's okay. A few years ago I had cheat days and cheat meals and I still lost 40 pounds in 3 months. That's because even if my eating isn't right, as long as I am moving I lose weight. My mom is the same way. What I used to do is six days a week I would follow my eating plan and on one day eat whatever I wanted which was high calorie and fattening. A few times I was eating right 5 days a week then had a cheat meal on the sixth day and a cheat day on day 7. It sounds crazy but honest it worked fo rme. It might have been pizza and ice cream or ribs and fries but I lost actually I was losing at a faster pace than I am now! I was losing 3 and 4 pounds a week so go figure. I am doing well now but I do include cheat days because I do work out every day and four days a week I do twice a day. As long as I am not sedentary I will lose. It's not good to deprive yourself. For instance my daughter's birthday is today. I was nearly foaming at the mouth all week thinking about eating cake because I haven't eaten it in months. It's good to indulge sometimes but not all the time or else you will forever be trying to enter Onederland. LOL. I do it once a week but it's usually something I crave and if I don't have a craving I just stay on my meal plan.

zerocool
02-01-2009, 11:33 AM
however in saying that the 7th day isn't a total blow out eating a huge amount of caloires. the 7th day should have a food increase of really no more than 33% extra calories so the average bloke on 2k a day should move to 2660 cal. or essentially another meal. this is best in the form of another meal and not cakes chocolates

Totally agree! I have heard of a 'cheat meal' when your doing a restricted calorie diet, not a whole day. Dig into a favorite food you like for lunch once a week but by dinner be back to eating right.

LookingForMeAgain
02-01-2009, 11:55 AM
Lets see my power was out so I had to go to my moms. Dinner that night was pizza. The next night was a club sandwhich and cheesy potato soup. Not to mention pepsi that I havent had ALL month and candy.
Those two days have me back up tp 301 from 297. Granted my real WI isnt until Monday but still it sucks. I feel like crap. Im cutting WAY back this week to get me back on track.