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Old 02-12-2008, 12:45 AM   #1
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Default If you are going to cheat, try to wait until the weekend?

If you are going to cheat, try to wait until the weekend? I just read this in a fitness book. At first I wondered... but then I thought, maybe it's true, if one could make it through the week with a CLEAN diet and then IF there's a cheat, make it a weekend, like more then 4 oz of wine, or something you are really craving...

Another weight training book said it's actually helpful to have a semi cheat day, as it tricks your body. Say you do 1200-1400 cal most the time, then do 1500-2000 cal a day or two... but this would be WITH exercise as a part of the plan.

BUT the Clean Eating Diet that I'm reading now says NO CHEATING. I know some people can do it, live the clean life all the time. I don't think I can. Every now and then I'm going to need some mexican food, some wine, some ice cream, and even a juicy low carb burger with tons of fat.

Yet as of the last few days on the 1200 cal clean eating diet I'm feeling energy, I'm not craving junk, and I'm not hungry. I did the South Beach phase one and didn't feel so good the past few weeks but the author of that says that's part of his "plan" to make you crave junk less. I don't crave it... and after working so hard I'm not sure I can picture a cheat right now anyways.

Tonight I poured out 2 of the 4 oz of wine even... whew.
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Old 02-12-2008, 12:49 AM   #2
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I don't look at it as a "cheat". If I want a drink, I work it into what I am doing that day, food/calorie wise. Same goes for "treats". I eat a little dark chocolate almost daily. I still lose weight, feel great and enjoy myself.
"I do feel that spiritual progress does demand at some stage that we should cease to kill our fellow creatures for the satisfaction of our bodily wants." -Gandhi
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Old 02-12-2008, 12:58 AM   #3
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Maybe "cheating" should be called "treats" and perhaps it's the opposite, you eat "more" on days you are really working out, not on weekends when you kick back more, at least I've been on Sun's...
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Old 02-12-2008, 06:33 AM   #4
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I am one who believes that so-called "cheating" only cheats one person.

In calorie counting, there are no forbidden foods--you just have to stay within your calorie range. You pretty soon figure out how much of what foods you can have. A 900-calorie burger at a fast food place just seems like a really bad choice! And when you consider that a SMALL french fries at McDonalds has over 200 calories all by itself... and how good are they, really? ...you just find that there are better choices. And, if you JUST HAVE to have something like ice cream, you find a way to have "a" serving and work it in.

If you are still using "bad" foods as "treats," what kind of lifestyle is that? That's kind of like a recovering alcoholic using booze as a reward...

"So, are you thin now? Is that why you get to overeat high calorie foods?"

Weekends shouldn't be different from any other day. In my opinion, too many people blow their weight loss by thinking they'll stay on plan during the week and then give themselves time off on the weekend. Then they post here on 3FC wondering why they aren't losing. "I just don't understand... I've been staying on my program pretty well, more or less, for the most part."

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Last edited by JayEll; 02-12-2008 at 06:34 AM.
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Old 02-12-2008, 06:59 AM   #5
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I know for me, when I was in the losing portion of my journey, the only way I could have a cheat, or a splurge, was if I planned it. If I knew I was going to a party on the weekend or something, I actually shaved 200 or so calories a day from my allotment. And then I would use those extra calories saved at the party. Any added splurges, or 2000 calorie days would just set me back and I wasn't willing to do that, usually.

Now that I'm in maintenance it's a different story, and I often told myself that when I wanted something "off" - that maintenance would be a whole other matter. Well not a whole other matter, since I basically eat the same foods in the same portions except I do allow myself some splurges during the weekend or at a party. I would tell myself that I don't need so and so now, there's plenty of time for it later.
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Old 02-12-2008, 07:46 AM   #6
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I have a 90% 10%rule.

If 90% of my calories are from my healthy diet.. then I allow 10% of my calories to come from whatever...a candy...a soda... whatever.. but only if I was good and it's only 10% of my calories (or less). often there are days when I don't even use that rule. I eat good 100% of the time.

That way, I don't ever feel like I'm cheating or feel cheated out of my favorite goodies.
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Old 02-12-2008, 07:55 AM   #7
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I don't know. I don't like the concept of "cheat day", because it brings negativity into it and reeks too much of "I've been good, I've been bad" thinking. I'm leaning more these days towards having a little of something now and then, working it into one's daily calories alottment, if only because I did try the "cheat meal" thing, and it has always ended up in catastrophe. The 90/10 rule seems good as well.

Apart from this, well... If the week-end is the moment of the week when you work out the most, perhaps it's not too much of a problem to eat that slice of pie on Saturday. And if those two days are spent not moving a lot, it's probably not such a good idea?
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Old 02-12-2008, 09:57 AM   #8
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Well, I have to say that for me, this is what works! In the beginning I ate clean for a about a month at a time and then had a "cheat meal". (I am not into the Phyc. word play, so fill in your own word there. "Day off", "off plan meal", "temporary suspension of new life style", what ever makes you happy!) Now that I am so close to goal, I actually do it more often. I cut my calories back the lighter I got, then added another cheat meal for the month. It definately helped me! Sometimes you just have cravings! I don't think that will ever go away. Now, every 1 - 2 weeks or so, I have a meal that I don't worry about the calories. After the water weight goes away form that meal (I easily retain water with sodium!) I always have a bigger weight loss that week! I always (try) to have portion control with that meal. It doesn't even really change my calorie count that much for the week. But it helps me mentally! I can do this forever, because I didn't have to give anything up! I just can't have it all the time all I want! I also love my "on plan" food! I am very satified with what I eat normally.
The 90% - 10% rule really is a good rule. The biggest key to all of this is to find out what will work for you as an individual. Jelly

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Old 02-12-2008, 10:37 AM   #9
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I'm another who is *FOR* cheat days. Or treat days. Whatever you want to call them.

I find that if I am craving something that I know will blow my calorie budget for the day, I will give myself permission to have it on my "treat day". That way I'm never *denying* myself anything ... I'm just delaying the gratification. And then often by the time I get to my "treat day", I don't really want what I was craving before, so I might not have it at all, or I might have just a very little of it.

I personally don't think of it as "I've been good" vs. "I've been bad". I think of it as I made a choice to eat something that is not necessarily good for me ... and I've done it in such a way as to not sabotage the entire rest of my week.

For me, that works because it prevents me from craving something, eating it, and then thinking "oh, ****, I screwed up anyway today, so I might as well add these fries and this milkshake and a corndog for dinner!"

It might not work for other people - but we all have different ways of thinking about our diets and our lifestyles.

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Old 02-12-2008, 10:46 AM   #10
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I don't like the word 'cheat'. What are you cheating? In reality - you are cheating yourself out of your weight loss goals and a healthy life. The word 'cheat' also implies that the plan you are on is not something you can follow for life.

If I want to eat something indulgent - I plan it in. And it is never a whole day of going crazy. Maybe I want pizza some night, so I will plan for 2 pieces and enjoy them. The rest of the day I eat my normally planned food.
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Old 02-12-2008, 10:57 AM   #11
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I dont have a cheat day, but I also dont consider any food off limits and I specifically work certain high calorie foods in to my plan.

"cheat" implies this is a diet and that I am doing something wrong.

I have high days and low days but that is because this is LIFE.
Lost successfully, maintained successfully. Followed by a whole lot of setbacks and obstacles. Starting over with the knowledge gained before.
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Old 02-12-2008, 11:08 AM   #12
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I kinda think of my "diet" as practice for maintenance.. just at a lower calorie level. So, I eat mostly whole foods and meals I prepare myself, I weigh, measure, count calories - every day. weekend or weekday makes no difference.

But, if I know I'm going somewhere or doing something where trying to count the calories is basically pulling a number out of the air - then I make the best choices I can, eat what I want at reasonable portions and let it go. Next meal/ day I'm back to what is now my day to day "normal". If I know about it in advance, I might bank some calories through the week.. or I might not.

If I want some junk - I think about if the calories are worth it.. will it satisfy a craving that I'm having? am I just hungry.. will is satisfy my hunger? etc...

Usually - I'd rather use the calories on something better - but - if I just have to have it.. I have it and keep track of it - just like I plan to do when I start maintaining.

It's working for me

Calorie Counting and KISS (Keep It Simple Soyoudon'tgetOCDandquit)

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Old 02-12-2008, 12:26 PM   #13
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I've been reading the Superfoods Diet, that's a good one, you are allowed treats only if they are planned, which is what some are saying here. Like 1 glass of wine, planned into the day and week. There's so many allowances per week. Some treats are 2 for 1's if they are healthier. That seems like a sensible approach. The Best Life Now book suggests you don't do anything that's not clean eating until you've finished the phase where you lose the weight, then in maintenance you can add in some treats that you wouldn't normally do- ahhh, like English style fish & chips.

Anymore my "cheats" aren't entire pizzas with beer, or extra large burgers with potatoes and extra sour cream, or xl tubs of popcorn at the movies. But sometimes I just need some peanut m&m's, or a burrito (without all the extras like I used to do), or the high fat burger. BUT Jay is right, if I'm going to lose the final 10-15 lbs I want to cheating isn't going to help. I have a plan for clean eating, and I'm going to have to tighten it up for a period of time here likely with very minor if any treats at all.

No I'm not progressing enough, and this is likely part of WHY. I don't know that I need diet/exercise books encouraging cheating, well it's not for me NOW. I don't particularly like working out hard 45 min per day all the time to lose weight, it would be nice to have it off, then monitor pounds carefully with the scale, getting back to "work" when they go up 2-3, but allowing for a few more calories and treats. I'm just learning though how much "normal" eating, what I thought was - and I don't mean pizza, is 'cheating" from clean eating. Our society doesn't make it easy to eat healthy and make good choices.
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Old 02-12-2008, 12:28 PM   #14
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I'm thinking too most of my massive cheating before was done when I skipped meals. Having a plan seems to keep this from happening, having almonds and v8 juice around for when the hunger really strikes rather then hitting fast food, etc. And Wasa crackers with the skinny cheese. Lots of cut up veggies in a bowl ready to eat. It seems that having an organized kitchen and learning "treat" tips is important.
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Old 02-12-2008, 02:14 PM   #15
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I've always heard that you have to have a "shock" day to shock your system,that's probably why a lot of us have such a hard time losing weight, because we "stick" to our diets day in and day out and won't treat ourselves or what ever then still can't lose the weight.I've read so many posts" I've been so good this week,why didn't I lose anything?, or ,why did I just lose a pound?" well it's probably because we need to shock our system,give our body some calories and kick it into high gear ya know?
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