South Beach Diet - Once/week cheat meal: metabolic tease or weight staller?

04-23-2011, 03:09 PM
I see two strains of thought on this throughout the board. Some say it can trick your metabolism or "keep it guessing," and that it makes the diet more doable. And some say it sets them back a day or two, all hard work lost.

I don't know if I could do it- all that work to get white crap out of my system just to negate the ideals of SB for a little boost? Kinda terrifying. If I'd allow myself any kind of cheat, I think it would be not worrying if the restaurant is using butter or not or something. Or not worrying about a creamy sauce once in a blue moon.

Those with experience in trial and error, what say you?

04-23-2011, 04:11 PM
This plan is based on cleaning your system of the simple carbs to eliminate cravings and stabilize blood sugar. Adding that stuff back in even once a week just feels really counter productive to me and would keep me in constant craving mode. I am the sort of person that has to learn everything the hard way but if you're not ;) I'd advise against a "cheat day" that includes processed carbs.

The idea of tricking your metabolism is about calories not carbs so if you want to try it, track your calories and add a high or low day once a week, not too low or too high but just enough to keep your body guessing. Those calories should still be on plan foods though or you risk undoing the work you did in Phase 1. At least that's my opinion

04-23-2011, 05:10 PM
I side with Cyndi on this, with one exception. I think it's OK to go a little off-plan for a special meal once in a while, but only for one meal, and then get right back on track again.

On this plan, we do a clean Phase 1 to rid ourselves of cravings and clean ourselves out, and having a cheat meal once a week would just be redundant and you'd be back to square one.

04-23-2011, 05:40 PM
Yeah I'm with you two. It seems quite counterproductive. Still wonder if it aids some in weight loss, though. Still wouldn't do it, but wonder.

04-23-2011, 06:58 PM
I notice discussions about "cheat days" in the general section of 3FC quite often. I personally think it's a totally different ballgame when you've detoxed and are following SBD vs calorie counting. If I need a "treat" (I don't use the word "cheat") I go out to a restaurant where I can order something OP which I wouldn't fix for myself at home. We have a great Asian Fusion restaurant that focuses on healthy food , limits fats and doesn't use MSG. We also have a local organic/vegetarian spot and a heath food store which serves lunch. I love going to Whole Foods for a meal because I can carefully choose fun things to try.

Everytime I have gone for Chinese since starting SBD the scale has moved up by 4-5 pounds and it's taken 3-4 days for it to come back down. I just don't do it anymore because my body is telling me it isn't happy.

I think one day a week would definitely stall my WL efforts. I love pizza and I've worked at creating one at home that makes me super happy that I can enjoy without ordering out. Tonight I'm making Butternut Squash/Spinach/Black Bean Enchiladas. I love Mexican food and just don't enjoy the restaurant choices the way I used to.

I haven't ever had the big craving beast come back and I attribute that to sticking with approved foods, of course, with occasional deviations. I didn't enjoy the restrictiveness of P1 and would rather eat in a way which dictates that I don't need to detox again.

Once I get to P3, I might enjoy an occasional deviation but I'll stick with the program while I still want to keep losing.

Oh, and answering your question, "Still wonder if it aids some in weight loss, though." My opinion...maybe on another plan but not with SBD.

04-23-2011, 07:01 PM
Debbie - can I come to your house for dinner??

04-23-2011, 07:16 PM
Debbie - can I come to your house for dinner??

:drool: Me, too? Cyndi, just pick me up on your way! ;)

04-23-2011, 07:34 PM
Come on over!

04-24-2011, 08:33 AM
I'm going to differ on this. I'm not saying it's ok to binge on white carbs once a week or even with any regularity, but I do think it's ok to allow a cheat meal once in a while or even once a week, if you plan it. They key is planning it, not binging and then saying after "oh that was my cheat meal." For instance yesterday I went to a brunch and I knew I was not going to really be "on plan" but any carbs I did eat I tried to keep as on plan as possible, i.e. I avoided the bagels but did have some whole wheat pita (that I brought.). Where the cheat came in was I feasted on things like smoked fish dip and other things where the fat content was probably relatively high. If I know I'm going to cheat I really try to limit the carbs and cheat on fat.

Today I also have some planned cheats. My friend is bringing a tomato pie for lunch and I will eat the crust. I'll also probably have some crackers with cheese in the beginning of the meal. I am fully prepared that the scale is going to go up to reflect this and I have planned to eat moderately for the next couple of days to counteract the cheat. So I have a plan. I don't expect to lose weight this week because of all these cheats either.

04-25-2011, 04:56 PM
I have gone off plan for cheat meals fairly regularly during my time on the beach. In a year I have lost about 40 pounds. Whether that is a good rate or not depends on who you ask- but I know that I could be at goal right now, or fairly close to it, if I had not deviated. Or, at the very least, had deviated VERY infrequently. For the most part it comes down to two issues.

The first is that getting back on plan is very difficult. After detoxing from sugar and the like, you don't crave it anymore. Have it again, and my cravings come back full force. It seems like getting back on track for SB is harder to me than when I was CCing. In all honesty, I have probably spent just as much time off the wagon as on it, since it seems so hard to claw my way back in after jumping off.

Also, I'm super carb weight sensitive now. Since I've cut them out, when I have them, I go up 3-4 pounds that take a week to lose. So, every meal I have off plan usually stalls my weight for atleast a week.

I was most successful with this plan when I stuck to it constantly. When I went off plan, I tried to determine what was most important to me (generally limiting sweets over fat didnt affect me as much as if I stuck to the low fat but had a ton of sugar) I do okay off plan on vacation- DH and I do Disney several times a year- but, it's because I siginificantly increase my exercise, and we split all of our meals.

So I guess it's all a long winded way of saying that yes, you can have a cheat meal here and there, but you won't lose as quickly. Be careful about stopping at one meal. And once a week would probably be too often.

04-26-2011, 01:28 PM
Ditto what South Lake said...

I allow myself a "cheat meal" usually about once a week. These days, a cheat meal is totally different than it used to be.

Cheat meal pre south beach = deep fried everything with a brownie BY MYSELF and three or four sugary adult beverages

Cheat meal after South Beach = Steak, baked potato, caesar salad, a glass of wine, and sharing a dessert with a friend or a weight watchers dessert at home

I've noticed that I will not allow myself to "blow it" the way I used to. Blowing it USED to involve lots of sugary desserts and fried foods. I now know that if I allow myself to blow it like that often, that usually results in huge cravings and starts a slippery slope of "I shouldn't be eating this and I'll start again tomorrow". Tomorrow = Tomorrow + 2 days, and so on and so forth.

Long story short, I am an advocate of the cheat meal - but stop at one meal and don't "wreck the whole meal", if that makes sense.

Just my $.02 :)

04-27-2011, 07:48 AM
Just throwing out another thought...Body For Life....they build in a cheat day weekly (called a free day). For reasons regarding refeed, giving yourself something to look forward to (it's easy to stay on something 6 days strict when you know you can hang on until the 7th day). I guess my opinion is that it all depends on how you handle it. I have dinner out almost every week. Sometimes I eat on plan, but mostly I have a "cheat meal." My thought is this...I am doing this for the rest of my life. I'm not NOT going to eat some of my favorite foods again. I just am not having them in my life all the time. I have no problems getting back on it (this time) because I've made this just what I do everyday...not a diet that can be started and stopped. Good luck with whatever works for YOU! ;)

04-27-2011, 02:58 PM
I have a cheat meal once a week, but only after i was done with phase 1. And i don't tend to make it a whole meal, like this weekend i will have chocolate water ice that I have been thinking about all week, just a LITTLE reward now and then is ok, if you feel bad about it afterwards you probably over did it.

04-27-2011, 04:15 PM
Wow what is chocolate water ice?? Sounds not very cheat-tastic!

04-27-2011, 04:43 PM
My idea of a cheat meal is very different now that I've lost weight. Cheating, and filling myself with a boatload of white carbs and nutrionless foods makes me feel horrible physically and I don't much see the point in doing that to myself anymore. If I cheat, it is with foods that should be "limited" on SB -- foods higher in fat, full fat cheese, etc. They don't make me feel bad, and, when eaten in moderation, don't completely destroy my diet.

04-27-2011, 08:50 PM
When I cheat it is likely to include french bread (baguette) or white rice or too much brown rice, or white pasta at an Italian restaurant. I am really not tempted by sweets at all. This weekend was the first time I have eaten candy since starting SB again back in January. But, I do love my baguette, and my linguine with white clam sauce, and given a chance on a cheat meal, I will eat them. No shame there.

04-28-2011, 03:06 PM
Ritas water ice sells the chocolate water ice. I don't know how much sugar is in it but i get the little childs size for my cheat, and it doesn't make me horrible about cheating a little