3 Fat Chicks on a Diet Weight Loss Community  

Go Back   3 Fat Chicks on a Diet Weight Loss Community > Support Forum > General chatter

General chatter Because life isn't just about dieting. Play games, jokes, or share what's new in your life!

Let's talk terminology, "cheat day" vs. "free day"

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 04-14-2011, 07:34 AM   #1
On a Mission
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 1,202

S/C/G: 246/193/169

Height: 5'9"

Default Let's talk terminology, "cheat day" vs. "free day"

I have been seeing a lot of "cheat days" on this forum and I wonder why we're calling them that. I have started to use the term "free day" and noticed that it gives me the wiggle room for things like my bday dinner and slice of cake without making it seem like I am doing something wrong. I know it's totally my issue but I wonder if we all aren't really punishing ourselves calling special days that we aren't strictly adhering to plan as "cheating". Isn't that the lifestyle we are trying to create, one free of the stress associate with food but lets us be at a healthy weight? Like I said, this is my issue, I know. I don't expect everyone to change to "free days" or "free meals" but I do wonder why we automatically put a negative connotation on this sort of moderation. It just seems like a really defeating term to me, like beyond mere semantics.

Any thoughts?
__________________



Calorie counting gave me a method to fix the madness.

A high protein, moderate carb balance gives me control over cravings.

Last edited by 4star : 04-14-2011 at 07:35 AM.
4star is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-14-2011, 08:07 AM   #2
Incredible Shrinking Lisa
 
LisaP916's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Worcester, MA
Posts: 293

S/C/G: 279.2/ticker/175

Height: 5'5"

Default

I agree. We call them free days in our house. My DH is doing a 90 day Body For Life program. He eats strictly on plan for six days and the 7th is a free day. We've tweaked a little further to making it a 24 hour timeframe.

We weigh in on Saturdays - him at home, me at WW. Then we meet at the gym, work out, go home, make breakfast, and see what's on the agenda for the day. Our "free day" basically starts when we have our first sort of off plan meal. If we go out to dinner Saturday night, it goes until Sunday afternoon. If we stay on plan Saturday night, it starts Sunday morning and we will go out for breakfast. It's never more than a 24 time frame and it keeps us from feeling too rigid in our different plans.

It's also go to be able to plan around things. We're going in to Boston on Monday to watch the Marathon. For this week only, Monday will be our free day. :-)
LisaP916 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-14-2011, 08:38 AM   #3
On a Mission
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 1,202

S/C/G: 246/193/169

Height: 5'9"

Default

I like the term "free day" b/c it doesn't play into the negative images people usually stress themselves with when it is meant to be merely a day that people aren't following their normal diet. I feel like when people use the word "cheating" it's the same equivalent as being "bad" and that's guilt inspiring and anxiety provoking sometimes even to the point of derailing progress. IMO.

I have to wonder if people have felt such guilt over their weight that now it's a game of good/bad and that's a head trip. Life just isn't so rigid.
__________________



Calorie counting gave me a method to fix the madness.

A high protein, moderate carb balance gives me control over cravings.

Last edited by 4star : 04-14-2011 at 08:38 AM.
4star is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-14-2011, 08:41 AM   #4
Keepin' on...
 
shannonmb's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Columbus, OH
Posts: 981

S/C/G: 350/208/150

Height: 5'4"

Default

I don't have cheat days or free days. Occasionally I will indulge in something I wouldn't have on a day to day basis, but I have really come to think of it as just living life, not giving a label to it at all.
__________________
Shannon
START: May 25, 2010
FIRST GOAL... 299lbs - ACHEIVED 9/28/10
SECOND GOAL...250lbs - ACHEIVED 4/13/11
THIRD GOAL:
shannonmb is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-14-2011, 08:50 AM   #5
Midsize B%^$#*tch
 
saef's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Atlantis, which is near Manhattan
Posts: 5,469

S/C/G: (H)247/(C)158/(G)142-138

Height: 5'3"

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by shannonmb View Post
I don't have cheat days or free days. Occasionally I will indulge in something I wouldn't have on a day to day basis, but I have really come to think of it as just living life, not giving a label to it at all.
Same here, because it's not a whole 24-hour shore leave from duty, it's just one serving of something, in passing, on an otherwise unremarkable day. And it's usually during a social occasion that comes up during the course of my life. Anything else feels like a planned binge. As a recovering sufferer from an eating disorder, I'm wary of anything that feels even slightly like a binge.
__________________
saef is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-14-2011, 08:57 AM   #6
Working my way back
 
corazonas's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Tx
Posts: 729

S/C/G: 185/150

Height: 5'5

Default

I also think the term might be a little counter productive but honestly I never gave it that much thought to worry about it! I also don't have cheat/free days because events/ dates/ parties never stick to my schedule so I don't schedule a time, just keep it to a minimum and not more than once a week.

One thing I have restricted is to drinking only two days a week. I work in a club and its wayyy to easy to have a drink or two here and there every time I go in. Put that on top of maybe going to a club at night with frinds and that's a LOT of calories wasted on drinking without even the fun of drunkenly dancing on a table!! hehe
__________________
corazonas is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-14-2011, 09:06 AM   #7
On a Mission
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 1,202

S/C/G: 246/193/169

Height: 5'9"

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by saef View Post
Same here, because it's not a whole 24-hour shore leave from duty, it's just one serving of something, in passing, on an otherwise unremarkable day. And it's usually during a social occasion that comes up during the course of my life. Anything else feels like a planned binge. As a recovering sufferer from an eating disorder, I'm wary of anything that feels even slightly like a binge.
I totally understand that. I still struggle with my eating ways even though I can manage to moderate them to be lose weight, balance is hard to keep. The mental battle is very interesting to me though as I learn a lot about my own word associations through other people's point of view. Thanks for adding that facet for me to think about.
__________________



Calorie counting gave me a method to fix the madness.

A high protein, moderate carb balance gives me control over cravings.
4star is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-14-2011, 09:26 AM   #8
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: WI Northwoods
Posts: 672

Default

I love all of the responses because my first thought was that we are living a new lifestyle. Free day or cheat day terminology suggests that we are pretending to live a new lifestyle and allowing ourselves to fail at that occassionally.

I agree that these terms have a negative connotation.

I watch what I eat all week long and on the weekends, I don't. I have always been this way. That IS my lifestyle! So yeah, go ahead and allow for tasty indulgences (keeping portions healthy) every once in a while, but don't punish yourself for doing so. Just make it part of your new healthy lifestyle!
fitness4life is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-14-2011, 10:20 AM   #9
On a Mission
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 1,202

S/C/G: 246/193/169

Height: 5'9"

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by fitness4life View Post
I love all of the responses because my first thought was that we are living a new lifestyle. Free day or cheat day terminology suggests that we are pretending to live a new lifestyle and allowing ourselves to fail at that occassionally.

I agree that these terms have a negative connotation.

I watch what I eat all week long and on the weekends, I don't. I have always been this way. That IS my lifestyle! So yeah, go ahead and allow for tasty indulgences (keeping portions healthy) every once in a while, but don't punish yourself for doing so. Just make it part of your new healthy lifestyle!
Yes that is interesting. Free has a positive connotation in this situation and one might argue that is still trying to associate our food with something good/bad. It is, for all of us, part of this healthy lifestyle whether it's cheat or free or eating in moderation and there being a time for a dinner out with dessert for a special occasion. I didn't feel good or bad after my bday dinner except heartburn from the sugary cake. I think that's why I consider it "free". It causes me no worry. Merely my own word association.

I just ponder the word associations with "diet" words sometimes and how much they might matter for those who struggle with guilt associated with being overweight. Not everyone has the same point of view. It might feel positively wonderful for someone to have a "cheat day". It might fit into their lifestyle perfectly. Finding out what works for you is key to getting yourself on a good path.
__________________



Calorie counting gave me a method to fix the madness.

A high protein, moderate carb balance gives me control over cravings.
4star is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-14-2011, 10:20 AM   #10
I'm a SWIMMER!
 
joyfulloser's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 1,767

S/C/G: 209.4/149.2/150

Height: 5'9

Default

I'm trying to understand how calling it a "free day" is somehow mentally better than calling it a "cheat day"? IMHO "free day" sounds like some kind of "free for all" day...a "planned binge" if you will. Additionally, the word "FREE" implies getting something for nothing? The 'something for nothing' mentality is usually a "destructive" one IMHO and doesn't sound mentally healthy to me at all.

For me...I for one think that eating any and everything you want for an entire day is totally DANGEROUS both psychologically and physically to any healthy way of eating. It creates that "ALL or NOTHING" mentally.

I find that a planned "CHEAT MEAL" (which is the term I personally prefer) is much healthier long term for the following reasons:

1. The word CHEAT implies that you are 'breaking the rules' which some of us enjoy occasionally...at least I do!
2. The higher calorie meal actually PREVENTS weight loss plateaus.
3. Just knowing I can eat ANYTHING I want (in moderation), but still in all ANYTHING (chinese, jamaican, pizza, mexican takeout, etc.) once per week makes it totally easy for me to resist those same foods while out to lunch with friends, or at dinner with a significant other, etc. Gives me something to look forward to and teaches me discipline and moderation.

I've lost 55 lbs since September 2010 eating this way...and I almost feel guilty as this whole process has been totally painless because of my eating habits and of course, my beloved CHEAT MEAL!
__________________
My WEIGHT LOSS JOURNEY ---> http://www.3fatchicks.com/forum/calo...op-26-lbs.html

FINALLY MADE GOAL! Pics here--->http://www.3fatchicks.com/forum/goal...goal-pics.html


Last edited by joyfulloser : 04-14-2011 at 10:23 AM.
joyfulloser is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-14-2011, 10:29 AM   #11
On a Mission
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 1,202

S/C/G: 246/193/169

Height: 5'9"

Default

Please don't misunderstand me. My whole point in this post was more about word associations and positive/negative connations. I don't suggest anyone changing anything that works for them ro that one is better than the other. If it works, do it.
__________________



Calorie counting gave me a method to fix the madness.

A high protein, moderate carb balance gives me control over cravings.

Last edited by 4star : 04-14-2011 at 10:36 AM.
4star is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-14-2011, 10:32 AM   #12
Incredible Shrinking Lisa
 
LisaP916's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Worcester, MA
Posts: 293

S/C/G: 279.2/ticker/175

Height: 5'5"

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by joyfulloser View Post
I'm trying to understand how calling it a "free day" is somehow mentally better than calling it a "cheat day"? IMHO "free day" sounds like some kind of "free for all" day...a "planned binge" if you will. Additionally, the word "FREE" implies getting something for nothing? The 'something for nothing' mentality is usually a "destructive" one IMHO and doesn't sound mentally healthy to me at all.
When I say "free" day, it means I'm free from my regular structure. I apply it to my food choices like I do to the rest of my life. I work Monday through Friday - I have someplace I HAVE to be, so my time is not my own. When I get a "free" day, there's something liberating about it. I don't have to think about work, about punching a clock, about managing my time. It's a day just for me.

So when speaking about my "free" day in terms of food choice, I don't worry about tracking points, or calorie counting, or whether I'm getting enough fruits and vegetables in. It doesn't mean I'm going to eat my way through the day and undo all of my hard work from the previous days. It just means I'm I'm free to make the choices I want to make.

Now to relate that to the negative connotation "cheat" day has... I've called in sick to work when I wasn't really sick. Call it a mental health day, an "I just can't be bothered" day, whatever you want. On those days, I feel guilty. I can't enjoy my time off because I'm thinking about the unfinished work I left on my desk and that my co-workers are scrambling to cover my responsibilities. I don't feel good about any of it.

A "cheat" day in terms of food choices has the same feeling for me. If I'm cheating, then I'm thinking about how bad I'm being, how I'm not enjoying my meal or my time because I'm stressed about what it's doing to my plan. It just feels lousy and there's nothing positive about it.

Perhaps not coincidentally my free days from work and my free days for food tend to occur simultaneously! LOL!
LisaP916 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-14-2011, 10:42 AM   #13
I'm a SWIMMER!
 
joyfulloser's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 1,767

S/C/G: 209.4/149.2/150

Height: 5'9

Default

I find your choice of words "interesting" as well as the thinking behind it. That said...I like to stay away of passing "judgment" of any kind. I can clearly see from this thread, that one word can mean different things to different people and we can go on all day with symantics (tom-a-to/tom-aaa-to).

One common denominator I do notice here is that everyone NEEDS a change from the day-to-day...the ordinary...for lack of better words. Whether you call it a "cheat", "free", or simply nothing at all...I think the take home point here is just do something different and most importantly...what works for you!
__________________
My WEIGHT LOSS JOURNEY ---> http://www.3fatchicks.com/forum/calo...op-26-lbs.html

FINALLY MADE GOAL! Pics here--->http://www.3fatchicks.com/forum/goal...goal-pics.html

joyfulloser is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-14-2011, 10:43 AM   #14
Joie de Vivre!!
 
TheBunneh's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Utah
Posts: 1,139

S/C/G: 230/ticker/130

Height: 5'7"

Default

I've changed my thinking from "I eat this way to lose weight" to "I eat this way."

This is how I'm going to eat for the rest of my life, I'll just have a bit more food once I hit goal. Once in a while I will have a meal that doesn't exactly fit (high calorie pizza, for example) or a treat (dark chocolate, some ice cream, a starbucks coffee) but I've stopped looking for opportunities for "free days" or "free meals" because aside from the fact that it implies I am currently restricted, or forcing myself to eat this way, it fosters my tendencies to eat purely for emotional reasons.

For example, I am going to take a road trip home to Indiana in May. A year or two ago this would be my excuse to eat a lot of fast food "just for a couple days" because it's a special thing and I never get fast food. But now I will pack my own food in a cooler because that's just how I eat. It doesn't mean I won't go out for a meal with my brother when I stop for a night in Colorado but it will just be a meal, even if it's not exactly 'on plan,' and not a deviation from set rules.
__________________
"The pieces won't pick up themselves, you know..."
--Olivia-- Falling down isn't the failure, staying down is.

TheBunneh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-14-2011, 10:49 AM   #15
On a Mission
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 1,202

S/C/G: 246/193/169

Height: 5'9"

Default

No one's "passing judgement" here. Just talking words associations and how they are sometimes used.
__________________



Calorie counting gave me a method to fix the madness.

A high protein, moderate carb balance gives me control over cravings.

Last edited by 4star : 04-14-2011 at 10:50 AM.
4star is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply
Posts by members, moderators and admins are not considered medical advice
and no guarantee is made against accuracy.


Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 08:46 AM.






Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.6.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.3.2