Atkins - Cheat meal/day to confuse body?

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02-21-2011, 06:40 PM
Have any of you heard/tired cheat meal or day to confuse your body's metabolism?
I have read quite few articles on cheat meal/day as well. It wouldn't let me post links yet, so I'm cannot pin point an article.

I know someone who does high protein diet for 7 days & has 1 cheat day after every 7 days to confuse her body & she still lose weight.

When i say cheat days-i still being under 1300 calories intake that day as well, but just giving your body different variety so it doesn't get used to the same food?

Has anyone else tried it? or any comment on this? :)

02-21-2011, 07:19 PM
Speaking for myself, when I made the committment to do Atkins almost 7 years ago now, I made the committment to do it 365 days a year. The foods allowed on Atkins give me lots of variety. "Cheat meals/days" aren't part of my lifestyle.

02-21-2011, 07:50 PM
I think you have to decide if you can handle it, if you can jump back on the next day AND deal with the hunger, bloating, gas pains, headaches, etc of adjusting again to less carbs. I did have a cheat meal (not day) for my birthday and I had horrible gas pains the next day. It took me three days to get back into normal ketosis and I gained a pound that stuck around until I was able to turn the stick purple again. However then I started losing again.

It is not something I am going to do again until my daughters birthday. I honestly don't crave anything sweet so I feel no need to cheat. I think it could be a slippery slope but I know the low carb body builders do it.

02-21-2011, 11:05 PM
I agree it depends on if you think you can handle it. My husband lost 130 lbs doing atkins and cheating once a week for most of the time. It started out every other week and became weekly but he was still losing so he stuck with it! I am still struggling with getting through the first 2 weeks without slipping up!

02-21-2011, 11:46 PM
I would hve to say after losing 30 lbs and my body getting use to eating healthy its very hard to have cheat days because i am so sick after i eat anything greasy like pizza or mcdonalds or whatever. Try cheating without cheating. WHatever you are craving try eating it in a healthy way. Like if your craving chocolate, drink a glass of skim milk with chocolate sauce. I dont think its bad if you eat a little bit of something your craving once in a while just dont over do it. Thats the whole point in dieting, proporitons.

02-22-2011, 12:32 AM
:) Thank you all for helping.

But i wanted to know if it helps trick your metabolism?
As per cravings, I'm on day 6 (which is doneee :carrot:) and I have no craving to wake up n eat donut or go to starbucks, lol.

Elizabeth-did it increase wait loss for your husband?

if cheat days do help with metabolism, i definitely won't add junk food. I would probably add healthier variety just so the body doesn't stall and get used the food.. yay or na? lol

02-22-2011, 12:34 AM
I guess it all depends on what you consider a "cheat meal". After about every 15 lbs lost or so, I will have a "cheat meal". However, it's not sweets and junk that got me fat in the first place. I will just have a meal with higher carbs than usual. More often than not it may include a roll or might be a wonderful piece of fruit. The longer I am on Atkins the wiser I get on my food choices. It's not that I never want something wonderfully sweet and decadent, it's just I have more will power than ever before. I have no problem jumping right back on board.

02-22-2011, 10:21 AM
feelingthin-I don't know if it upped his metabolism but that is how i always rationalized it. I was doing calorie counting and I didn't do any official calorie cycling but I considered our cheat meal just a part of calorie cycling and I could even usually stay on the high side of my calorie goal when we cheated. I do think it helped me.
I will say that he usually did have diarrhea after the cheat meal so I would tell him 'well there went your meal' (sorry if that's TMI), but again to him it was totally worth it. If he had a craving during the week he could postpone it until his cheat meal and it gave him something to look forward to and helped so if there was a special occassion or we went out with friends he could eat 'normal' but even then he ate far less than he did before the diet. That said due to pain health issues (so not related to Atkins) he went off the diet late last year and is starting up again sometimes soon. He's gained 5-10 lbs back since he quit oh 5 or so months ago and he wasn't at his goal weight. So some may see that as a 'failure' since he did quit the diet. But he does like the diet and wants to get back on it. It's just when he was in severe pain losing weight and eating healthy became the lowest priority.

02-22-2011, 02:15 PM
I did this and I gained. Tried rationalizing it because I really wanted that cheat day, but my metabolism just wouldnt support it. Had to switch back to a clean induction and cut out ricotta, peanuts, and kick up my exercise. That fixed the problem (stall).

Even my friend who said that they had success.. had to switch back to induction because she started gaining.

If you have a great metabolism.. it might work. If you are like me, and have a hard time losing... not such a great idea.

02-22-2011, 02:33 PM
My thinking on this is if your body gets kicked out of ketosis, you will gain a bit of weight back only having to go back on induction and have a miserable 2 or 3 days until you get back in ketosis. I commited to Atkins for life and will not have a cheat meal as a reward or to attempt to trick my metabolism. If I stall, I will look for different varieties while staying on plan or up my exercise to push through the stall.

If you think you can do it and get back on plan easily, then try it. I know for myself, I can't do it because this is what happened to me a few years ago when I tried Atkins....We were invited to a wedding and had all sorts of food and treats that were not on plan, this lead to more 'cheating' and of course, we failed and stopped Atkins. We simply could not get back on plan at that time.

Best of luck whatever you decide :)

02-22-2011, 11:08 PM
I've read some things about carb cycling and this seems to be similar to what you are referring. The theory is that a few days of higher carb will reignite metabolism and when you go back to low carb your body is in a higher metabolic mode. I would definitely read up on it if it's something you are considering, and be sure that your higher carb days are *good* carbs, not sweets and the like, which will raise your insulin and produce fat.

02-23-2011, 07:54 PM
I'm glad you all could help :) Thank you!! :hug:

I'm still debating with myself if I need to do a cheat meal every so many days to trick my metabolism. I think if i do try it, i'll definitely find out if its for good or no. I will let you all know :D

I know it can work for some people, and yet it can throw other people off--so i still haven't decided.

02-23-2011, 10:36 PM
I think there could be something to what you are considering. My experience has been that a slight bump in calories does lead to a loss as long as I pull right back and stay on the straight and narrow afterwards. I'm not talking an increase in carbs, instead, a nosh out on nuts (like 3-4 times what would be a normal serving - every once in a while I just can't help myself!) or other low carb fare. I think the guilt over my piggishness puts me back on track and within a day or so I generally see a nice loss. I don't know that I'm disciplined enough to actually PLAN my pig-outs so I just take things one day at a time and try to balance things out in the long run.

02-24-2011, 01:43 PM
I just saw a post on the low carb board about "Crack the Fat Loss Code" I've never read it but it sounds like something that does carb cycling with built in cheat days. Definitely worth looking into if you are interested.

02-24-2011, 04:13 PM
firkindness-Thats a good approach as well! thank you.

Elizabeth-Will definitely look that up, thanks :)

02-24-2011, 04:40 PM
I wish I could at times, but my body wont let me. My stomach hates what would be my "cheat food"

03-30-2011, 10:13 PM
I know this is a little old, but I thought I'd chime in with my experience. I did this for the month of March.. I kept my calories the same, but had a high carb/low fat day once a week. I lost the least amount of weight this month. Four pounds less than the last 2 months, and this is also the month that I have worked out the most/hardest. Could it be natural slowing down? Maybe.. I am going back to strict low carb for April, so I guess I will find out.

03-31-2011, 02:02 PM
I think if anything on atkins your "cheat day" should still be on plan but add 10 carbs or something and should not be done while in induction and ketosis. I think this makes the most sense for OWL when you are not in ketosis and are adding carbs.

I personally would not do it.

04-01-2011, 05:34 PM
Have any of you heard/tired cheat meal or day to confuse your body's metabolism?
I have read quite few articles on cheat meal/day as well. It wouldn't let me post links yet, so I'm cannot pin point an article.

I know someone who does high protein diet for 7 days & has 1 cheat day after every 7 days to confuse her body & she still lose weight.

When i say cheat days-i still being under 1300 calories intake that day as well, but just giving your body different variety so it doesn't get used to the same food?

Has anyone else tried it? or any comment on this? :)

Yes, I just started on a "slow carb" diet (based on the glycemic index.) I got it from a book. Prior to that I had tried for 2 months... lost 8 pounds and got stuck. After the first "cheat day", I lost a pound. Tomorrow is my second go at running amok. I literally have a list of crazy cravings to be fulfilled.

The nice thing is, I am not scared. I know it is safe to just go and eat all day. The only stipulation being that I begin the day with a slow carb breakfast. J

04-01-2011, 06:30 PM
I do this... my trainer talked me in to it. I usually have a hamburger or pizza for one meal. I limited the pizza to 2 pieces. Ate a whole hamburger. I have also carb loaded with cereal. I have had next day weight gain that is lost pretty quickly. My trainer said it keeps the body guessing.

04-01-2011, 07:08 PM
You may think it's splitting hairs, but you can't confuse or trick the body or the metabolism. In order to be confused or tricked, one must have consciousness. We have consciousness, our metabolism does not.

I can confuse, trick, and fool my mind, but not my body.

I'm not saying that calorie/carb cycling can't rev metabolism, and it's a worthwhile experiment, but thinking of it as "tricking" or "cheating" your body or metabolism makes it sound like it's more of mind game or a magic trick than a physiological tool.

If a "cheat meal" results in a woosh loss, I know it isn't because I "tricked" my body, so I want to know what about the cheat meal was the effective part. Is it more calories than usual? Is it the macronutrient proportion of the meal/day? Is it some thermogenic property of the specific food choice?

Do cheat meals work? ANd if so, what makes them work (because it isn't "fooling" metabolism, because metabolism can't be fooled).

I've done almost 40 years of experiments and I can tell you that different calorie levels do change my metabolism.

Low-carb eating revs my metabolism more so than any other diet.

Increasing my carbs has the opposite effect (always. I've never had a high carb "cheat meal" do anything but cause weight gain. It's usually water weight gain, so if I choose a "cheat meal" the damage is mostly temporary IF (and it's a big if) I don't make such meals a regular occurrence (because high carb foods tend to trigger hunger and cravings for me). Even if metabolisim were somehow moderately boosted, the increase in appetite would negate any benefit - in my experience.

You can only experiment, and see what works, but if a cheat meal works for you, remember it isn't because you've "confused" your body or your metabolism. It's because your choice has changed the metabolic equation in some way.

I think it's important to understand why and how it works (if it does work), because thinking of it as "confusing" or tricking the body/metabolism in some way makes it extremely easy to jump to the wrong conclusions.

For example, Say I'm following a low-calorie, high carbohydrate diet, and I learn from experience that an unusual low-carb day of the same calorie level every once in a while causes a woosh of weight loss. If I thought of it as "tricking" or "fooling" my metabolism, I could easily (and very mistakenly) think that a high-carb cheat day would be just as well on a low-carb diet (definitely not true for me).

After all if the body can be "confused" on a high-carb plan, (in theory) it can just as easily be "confused" on a low-carb plan or any other plan (I've not found that to be true at all for me. I don't know if that's just as true for others).

04-11-2011, 05:06 PM
I've tried this over the past couple weeks and basically the same thing happened each week. On Fridays I would cheat...def too much though. I'm guessing my carb intake the last two Fridays were around 150 grams within a 2-hour period (5pm to 7pm). Once was pizza and a few snacks. The 2nd time it was honey garlic wings and snacks like bear paws. Each time, I'd have an immediate gain of about 2lbs. This gain would last about 4 days and then I'd drop back down a couple. So, pretty much all this done for me is maintain my weight. I guess it's nice to know for when I get to my goal, but for weightloss, it doesn't work for me. Of course, my carb intake was quite high. I considered a controlled binge where I'd stuff my face for a couple hours and then get back on track like nothing happened.

Anyway, I'm done with these cheat nights until I hit my goal! Just thought i'd share my experience...

04-12-2011, 04:55 PM
These are all really good responses and feedback. Tomorrow is my birthday and I'm on my 10th day of induction. I'm really torn as to whether or not having pizza (without the crust) and birthday cake & ice cream will be worth it. On the one hand, I'm delighted with the progress I've made and don't want to derail it. On the other hand, I have intense cravings and want to satisfy them. Decisions, decisions.

04-12-2011, 05:07 PM
It helps me! I am getting back on WW and when I was on it a while ago and losing a good amount of weight I was eating on plan, and within my daily points 6 days a week, but on Saturday night I would eat whatever I want (not binging though, just maybe a french dip and fries at my fav diner instead of salad and vinegar). I never tracked these and they were only for Saturday night. I would never take home leftovers, because then I would try to rationalize eating it come Sunday. I never ate weekly points of activity points, and I lost weight EVERY week. It kept me sane.

I would highly recommend keeping it to one meal though, preferably on a specific day (I would occasionally trade my "free" meal on Saturday night for Easter brunch on Sunday instead). I think, for me at least, a whole day would cause me to start seeking out things I know I don't need, but would love to eat, like Starbucks Cake Pops (Oi!).

I am also going back to zig-zag eating, because it worked for me. Good luck!

04-12-2011, 05:11 PM
Oops, didn't realize this was an Atkins thread, I'm new. But the gist of my message was that a cheat day may work for some.

AZ Sunrises
04-16-2011, 03:43 PM
I'm finding that "cheat" meals only serve to make me want to binge. Staying on plan and upping calories for a day is better for me.