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Old 04-26-2011, 01:45 PM   #1
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Default Intentional First Cheat?

Currently I'm on day 11 of Phase 1, and have managed to eat clean so far. I haven't been having bad cravings (especially once I got past days 2-6) so feeling pretty good at this point. However, I am absolutely PETRIFIED of ever eating anything off plan, because in the past I have completely given up and fallen off the wagon whenever I eat something I feel like I shouldn't be eating.

Since I'm living in such fear of messing up, I almost feel like I should plan one "cheat meal" so I feel like I'm in control of the cheat and can quickly bounce back - I wonder if this will make me feel more in control and less petrified of mistakes.

So I guess question one is if this is a good idea or not? I don't want to make it a re-occurring cheat, but is it a good idea to compromise this state of non-cravings to gain some confidence in future dieting? And if so, the second question is if anyone has opinions on when? I imagine I should wait until I'm like 2 or 3 weeks into Phase 2 so I have a real good control on everything first, but would appreciate the advice!
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Old 04-26-2011, 01:52 PM   #2
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I'm a real advocate of learning how to get back in the saddle, because it's unrealistic to think you'll never go off plan, so you better know how to get back on plan after going off. I'm also an advocate of enjoying food and I am in what I believe is a small minority that actually feels planned cheats are a healthy part of any eating plan.

After I did a clean Phase 1 this time around, I planned a cheat meal. Some friends had invited us over for dinner and the meal was to be fondue. I love fondue and wanted to be able to eat everything, including bread. I planned this cheat, was on plan all day leading up to it, ate the cheat meal and really enjoyed it, and then got right back on track. It was very liberating to feel I could do that.

I've been up and down the scale for the last couple of months because of eating too much delish on plan food rather than off plan food. I could literally count on one hand how many times I've had bread or a white carb since January. Potato chips only once since then too, which is a record for me. I seem to be able to get a handle on my cheats but need to pay more attention to the day to day on plan foods and quantities I'm eating. I've also been lax about my wine consumption, which always makes me eat more. When I drink a glass of wine I always have roasted chick peas, popcorn or other on plan snack, but just far too much of it. Now that the holidays are over, I'm moving on from that (hopefully).

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Old 04-26-2011, 02:11 PM   #3
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on the other side of the question I have been extremely overweight most of my life and clearly had issues with food and portion control. Every time I'd lost weight I'd regained it with friends. I decided not to eat anything off plan from October when I started until May when I went on vacation. I wasn't perfect with portions and I'm sure I ate more fruit sometimes but I never knowingly ate anything off plan for that time. It really helped me feel in control of my eating for the first time in my life.

I think the answer to this question varies a lot depending on how overweight someone has been, for how long, and what their relationship with food has been. For me having a planned cheat so early would have been a disaster and I know from previous attempts that for me one cheat would lead to two would lead to slipping off plan. I find it so interesting to read other people's perspectives on this stuff. Food and I have had a dicey relationship since I was a kid and so many of my choices revolve around that knowledge of myself. I'm always amazed that there are people who have relatively "normal"" relationships with food
Maintaining 57 lb loss since 2008, working off regain to a sensible maintenance level.
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Old 04-26-2011, 05:43 PM   #4
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Hey girl! You know my thoughts on this. I really think that a planned cheat is okay when you do it moderately. Just because you've say planned to go out to pizza with the girls doesn't mean you eat a whole pizza and drink the whole pitcher of beer. Have a big salad and limit yourself to a personal pizza or 1-2 slices of the pie. I know it's really hard, but when you see yourself turning down the last piece of pizza or only having on slice you're going to feel so empowered. Does this have anything to do with the wedding you're in next weekend? Weddings are the worst because there is never good for you food, it's always cheesy hors d'oeuvres and sauced up meats or pastas. I think if you go in and set a plan you're going to do better than if you just say ok today I am cheating. Make it a cheat meal not a cheat day. For instance for me at weddings it isn't the eating that messes me up it's the drinking so if I say I'm only have 2 glasses of wine and one glass of champagne I tell a friend or my fiance and ask them to help me stick to that.
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Old 04-26-2011, 06:39 PM   #5
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Oh the planned cheat. After I did a clean phase 1, I planned to have one piece of pie at a birthday party. I did not have any other off plan food except that piece of pie, and I felt great because I kept my promise to myself. Also, I didn't have too much so I didn't mess up my weight loss, and I went right back on the next day. If I have a planned cheat, it is always in the evening so I don't have to battle cravings or fight with myself about giving up for the whole day. I think the real skill here is to be honest with yourself so you balance not feeling deprived with maintaining control. Good luck!

Last edited by NicoleInCt; 04-26-2011 at 06:40 PM.
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Old 04-26-2011, 08:33 PM   #6
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I second the cheat being in the evening. That way you can be good all day and just restrict it to one meal or occasion.
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Old 04-27-2011, 09:05 AM   #7
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When I first started this plan, I was like Cyndi and stuck very closely to plan. I didn't plan cheats. Now that I'm almost at goal, I'm a bit more liberal because I know that I have a handle on things and can get right back on plan after said cheat. I really think you need to complete a full, on-plan phase 1 and after that, consider your cheat meal...and by cheat meal, I'm not advocating a bunch of fatty meats and cheese followed by a bunch of cupcakes...how about some extra fruit, or something that would be considered a "once in awhile" treat. One of my favorite "cheats" is homemade sorbet - I usually add honey to it, so it isn't completely on plan, but it is better than cupcakes and doesn't induce cravings like those kind of foods do.

On Sunday, I ate really badly and all day Monday, I paid for it. My mood was terrible, my endurance during my run was in the toilet (I was supposed to run 9 miles and only made it 4 before my attitude made me turn around), and I just felt bad in general. I made sure Monday was an on-plan day and by Tuesday, I was feeling good again. I hate feeling like that and because of that, make sure that the majority of my cheats are still close to plan. On the weekends, my cheats are usually an extra beer during a night out with my friends and husband.

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Old 04-27-2011, 04:52 PM   #8
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I agree with those who are advocating the occassional planned treat. The way I look at it, this is not a diet but a lifestyle change. When I started SBD, I had absolutely zero intention of saying no to (fill in the blank with favorite off plan food) for the rest of my life. On my anniversary, I will have an extra glass of wine (or two) and on vacation I will sample whatever the local favorite is. For me the key is reminding myself that Oh Look Someone Brought in Donuts Day is not a sacred holiday that I need to celebrate.

I just reread your post, and I would probably do the 1.5 phase thing and wait for your cheat meal until you've grown accustomed to phase 2. Starting phase 2 I was worried that I'd get discouraged (since the weightloss will slow down). I don't know you or your relationship with food wel enough to advise really, but that's what worked for me. Congrats on nearing the end of phase 1!
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Old 04-27-2011, 07:28 PM   #9
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I never had a cheat day until I reached maintenance. My tastes have really changed since being on SB and I really look forward to most of the meals I am eating. My indulgences are 1 oz. of dark chocolate a couple times a week with my nightly almond or peanut butter. It's like having a Reese's peanut butter cup! Now when I cheat it has to be a special occasion. And it has to be one day, then back on plan the next day. The danger is not being able to get back OP for some people. I do find after eating off plan foods that I am hungrier than usual the next few days. I would be worried about having a cheat once a week. That seems a little too often for me and would really have slowed down my weight loss.

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