Weight Loss Support - Who are you cheating when you "cheat eat"?




Sheri~C
02-18-2006, 01:45 PM
Who are you cheating when you “Cheat Eat”?

First what does the word “Cheat” mean?

1, to deprive of something valuable by the use of deceit or fraud

2, to practice fraud or trickery, 2b, to violate rules dishonestly

What am I depriving myself of if I have a cheat day or cheat moment? The first thing that comes to mind is Success. I am depriving myself of the opportunity to be successful. The second thing that comes to mind is Strength. I am losing the opportunity to build my willpower and become stronger and more able to make good choices. The third thing is Self Control. I am not in control when I am eating off of my plan.

How do I feel after I cheat? I feel I have let myself down; that I am not a good person that I may never be able to succeed at weight loss. Even when I have followed an allowed cheat plan, I never felt very good about it. It just feels wrong to me to treat myself badly. When I quite smoking I never allowed for days where I could smoke all I wanted; when I decided to stop gossiping I didn’t allow for a day when I could gossip all I wanted.

Am I the only person who feels like they have cheated themselves when they give in to the urge to “cheat”? I don’t think so; I have talked with many people about this and they all agreed that even when having a “planned” cheat day it never feels as good as you imagine it will. Does this mean that I never eat a potato chip or a chocolate bar? Well of course not!

I plan for these treats so they fit in with my eating plan. I make sure that I am getting the activity I need in my day and I make sure that I fulfill my nutrient needs and then I enjoy a big bowl of popcorn with real butter. Or I will go and choose 6 truffles from the best chocolate shop in town. Sometimes I enjoy 30 grams of potato chips with my sandwich. The point is that I never feel deprived and I never eat anything I do not enjoy. I think that is why it is so much easier for me this time around. Knowing that I can eat whatever I want whenever I want it makes life so much less stressful. I love eating and cooking and I never want to be a slave to food again. I am the master and I make the choices and my choice is to take care of myself in the best way possible.

Have I ever made a mistake and eaten past fullness or eaten more than my plan allows for? Oh of course I have, we all do sometimes. The difference for me this time is that I no longer use that as an excuse to make a week long binge of it. I no longer punish myself the following day by reducing my food intake. I simply resume my healthy lifestyle as quickly as possible.

I no longer need to feel guilty or punish myself when I make the occasional poor choice I forgive myself and move ahead. In living a healthy active life and eating for pleasure. I live guilt free.


Altari
02-18-2006, 01:57 PM
Very good post! I was just thinking about the whole concept of 'cheating' the other day.

I don't think there's a need in a healthy diet for the word cheat. If we can look at another definition :
Diet. n.
1. The usual food and drink of a person or animal.
2. A regulated selection of foods, as for medical reasons or cosmetic weight loss.
3. Something used, enjoyed, or provided regularly: subsisted on a diet of detective novels during his vacation.

Why are we so fixated on 'dieting' (def 2) to get to a certain weight? Like, if we just deny ourselves for long enough, we'll get what we want, and then we can go back to where we want to be.

I was very proud of myself this week. I've been cutting out 'crap foods' and replacing them with healthier alternatives, and doing well at it. But hubby and I went to Olive Garden for Valentine's Day. Instead of ordering my usual huge portion of Chicken Alfredo, I asked if they had half portions. Turns out, they did! So, not only did I pay half as much for the dinner, I could have that cocktail guilt free.

This wasn't 'cheating' and I refused to look at it as cheating. I used to, and it always gave me the impression that I was being deprived until I could have my big treat. I felt like I was training myself like a dog. I don't want to deprived. Food is a lovely, tasty thing and I want to eat all the yummies out there in the world.

busker
02-18-2006, 02:59 PM
The first time I lost weight, I said I was allowed "one cheat a week." When I got back to losing this time, I decided, "I don't like the word cheat, because yeah, it makes you feel guilty, and it makes the diet feel temporary." So I reworded it to my "Weekly Wildcard."

I'm allowed one wild-card per week (Sunday-Saturday) to eat whatever the heck I want. Then I'm not deprived of anything - I just have to dole it out accordingly. If I'm jonesing for a bacon-cheddar-mushroom-melt burger, I'm allowed to have one. But that would use up my wild-card until next week. If I want strawberry cheesecake, I'm absolutely allowed one. I'm not deprived of ANYTHING. I can eat anything I want - the key is to eat healthy 95% of the time, so that the one time doesn't matter in the grand scheme of losing weight. So, to keep track of how much I'm eating off-plan, I have my wild card. It's also easy to keep track of. Even if you don't remember what you used it on, you can say, "I don't remember what I used it on, I just know my wildcard is used up until Sunday."

This way, I feel good that I can have whatever I want, and I can say I haven't "cheated" once during my entire weight-loss. Besides... saying you "cheated" has an aura of taboo around it, and the rush of feeling like you got away with something. You get into the mind set of, "I got away with it once, why not again?" Pretty soon, you're feeling self-loathing, guilt, and you figure, "My diet's gone down the crapper, why continue?" instead of just saying, "Hey, that's a part of life" and continuing on.

My wildcard's up for this week (since I shared a piece of chocolate cake on Valentine's Day), but I have a new one tomorrow, so it's all good. :carrot:

--Janis


Isla_Bonita115
02-18-2006, 03:32 PM
I agree 100% w/ you girls...and I like the Weekly Wildcard idea...I try to eat healthy 90% of the time and allow myself little indulgences when I really want them, because I refuse to go through life w/o ever having a slice of cake or a cookie ever again. But I make sure to exercise 6 days/week for at least 1 hour a day and eat at least 90% (some days it's 100%, some days 80%) healthy every day. You have to lose weight in such a manner that you can continue once you get to your goal and begin maintenance. If you do this, you will be able to keep the weight off permanently.

Jen415
02-18-2006, 03:40 PM
The Weekly Wildcard is a great idea! I have always hated the word "cheat" in a diet.

meowee
02-18-2006, 04:04 PM
Wow . . . I'm impressed and I think you are all right. We've got to drop definition (2) and realize that we have devlop our eating style as in definition (1). Whatever we do that causes us to lose weight, we (more or less) have to do forever or we will only put it back on again. So let's not think about either "diet" (def 2) or "cheat" as words in our vocabulary. Let's aim for "living a healthy lifestyle".

Have agreat day and a great life, everbody.

DeafinlySmart
02-18-2006, 04:21 PM
Here's the difference for me...."MODERATION."

I eat good most of the time but when someone offers something outside the normal parameters instead of looking at it like "free food," I look at it like "do I really want it?" For example, this past week for the weekly Friday breakfast club at work there were donuts. They didn't have my favorite kind so I didn't eat any. A few weeks ago there was my favorite kind so I ate ONE. Same with cookies, cake, etc. I love sweets period, but I've learned to be more selective and not to eat a bunch becuase it is free food. My coworker kept saying "I'm not going to enable you, etc" and didn't want to let me have the cookie I was after. How silly. I can have a cookie. It's not going to kill my diet. It's not having the cookie, having tons of cookies, or having cookies all the time that kills the diet.

Having said that, the first 3-4 weeks I did say NO to everything until I could get my self control in place. Now I'm okay with the flexiblity. If I do get out of control again, I will probably need this place and a restriction on those things to bring me back to the right mindset again.

LLV
02-18-2006, 04:29 PM
I never "cheat". If I eat an ice cream cone, I'm not cheating. When I have my one big meal of the week, I don't consider that cheating, either. Two words that are no longer in my vocabulary.

Cheat

Diet

If I want ice cream I just count it in with my calories and move on.

kykaree
02-18-2006, 04:32 PM
So I reworded it to my "Weekly Wildcard."



:D You are the proud winner of fab idea of the week :D

I have what I have been calling a treat meal, but now it's a wildcard meal!!! It's usually on a Sunday and it's a traditional English Sunday roast. It's not that "wild" in terms of calories, but it's certainly outside my usual parameters, especially if I get a dessert as well :dizzy:

For those of us embarking on a lifestyle change, its unrealistic to expect that we are never going to eat an icecream sundae, a slice of chocolate cake, a piece of fried chicken - ever again.

Fo me, the whole point of this is to learn a healthy, nutritious way of eating for the rest of my life, that still allows me to have, occasionally, food that my tastebuds enjoy that my hips do not!

Heather
02-19-2006, 12:52 AM
Here's the difference for me...."MODERATION."

I eat good most of the time but when someone offers something outside the normal parameters instead of looking at it like "free food," I look at it like "do I really want it?" For example, this past week for the weekly Friday breakfast club at work there were donuts. They didn't have my favorite kind so I didn't eat any. A few weeks ago there was my favorite kind so I ate ONE. Same with cookies, cake, etc. I love sweets period, but I've learned to be more selective and not to eat a bunch becuase it is free food. My coworker kept saying "I'm not going to enable you, etc" and didn't want to let me have the cookie I was after. How silly. I can have a cookie. It's not going to kill my diet. It's not having the cookie, having tons of cookies, or having cookies all the time that kills the diet.

Having said that, the first 3-4 weeks I did say NO to everything until I could get my self control in place. Now I'm okay with the flexiblity. If I do get out of control again, I will probably need this place and a restriction on those things to bring me back to the right mindset again.

I think my mindset very much matches yours... I actually think of it like a budget. I have a certain amount I can "spend" every day (on average). Saving one day may give me more to spend another day... saving a lot means great weight loss, too! In this way, I look at food and decide if I want to spend my limited resources or not. Sometimes I do choose a food that I normally don't eat, usually I pass. Some days I do really splurge, but that is countered by "spending" or eating less other days...

DeafinlySmart
02-19-2006, 08:03 AM
I think my mindset very much matches yours... I actually think of it like a budget. I have a certain amount I can "spend" every day (on average). Saving one day may give me more to spend another day... saving a lot means great weight loss, too! In this way, I look at food and decide if I want to spend my limited resources or not. Sometimes I do choose a food that I normally don't eat, usually I pass. Some days I do really splurge, but that is countered by "spending" or eating less other days...

I've been sick all week and been supplementing my bare minimum food with nutrition bars just to get vitamins and a few calories. My calories have been lower than 1000 (very unusual for me) all week. Yesterday when my appetite came back, I wanted pizza. I ordered (guiltless) and stopped at 2 slices. My total calorie intake yesterday including the pizza was 1400 calories! I budget it in every day. The reason we can't do this everyday is because we need better nutrients for our body and when we substitute less than healthy foods, we lose the valuable opportunity to get better nutrition. Having said that, there is nothing wrong with variety. THIS is the kind of diet I can live with forever. Makes a big difference. If you are too restrictive and later give up and splurge that guilty mindset often causes a much bigger slide and a cause for gaining. I too have a slide range. 1200-1800 calories with my average at 1400-1500.

SherryA
02-19-2006, 01:06 PM
Yourself

blues4miles
02-19-2006, 01:35 PM
Love this thread. I too don't deny myself if I really want something. But I have to make sure that indeed I *really* want it. There were some oreos in the house last night so deciding I was just going to eat poorly I grabbed about ten of them and went to binge. After having three, I decided I didn't really want to eat the rest so I put them back next to the package for my family (who purchased the darn things) to finish off. I find I often turn down cookies now with no problem. I just realize that eating them isn't worth slowing my weightloss, unless it's my favorite kind of cookie or my favorite kind of chocolate. Even then though, I am teaching myself not to go on a binge because eating 1 cup of my favorite ice cream is enjoyable but 2 can make me feel a little sick and not appreciate the taste anymore!

busker
02-19-2006, 03:19 PM
Good for you, putting those Oreo's back! Everyone says, "moderation" is the key... but I'm the first to admit, I have a serious problem with moderation. I'm an all or nothing kind of person, and have a really hard time getting over that. I've started leaving stuff on my plate when we go out to eat again, which is good, but I think that's more my stomach shrinking than the instinct not to finish everything off. And when I get some cookies, I still feel the need to finish everything off, so I just avoid them in the first place.

Yesterday, we went to Friendly's for dinner, after avoiding it for a month. (I learned why - in addition to avoiding the icecream, they really don't have ANYTHING on their menu that could remotely be construed as "healthy.") In any case, I managed to "make my own meal" with the help of the waitress - basically chicken fajitas without the sourcream, peppers & onions or cheese - and I barely touched the rice. Anyway... I decided I'd have some of their fat-free raspberry frozen yogurt - happy ending size. As my boyfriend and I were discussing this, I decided perhaps it would be a good "exercise" to not only leave some food on my plate, but to leave some dessert/ice-cream and not eat it all. This was tough... but I left a bit in the bottom and walked out the door.

I couldn't believe how hard it was, even though I've been doing the food-change for over a month now. I'm still thinking about it. :( So, this is obviously an area I'm going to have to work on. :angel:

--Janis