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Sooo... when IS IT okay to eat what you want?

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Old 07-02-2010, 03:31 PM   #1
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Question Sooo... when IS IT okay to eat what you want?

Hey ladies, there has been a lot of discussion over the great debate of whether or not "cheating" is allowed, or going out to eat and eating what you want is allowed. I think everyone is bringing up excellent points from both ends, and I don't really have a set opinion on this either!

All of the discussion led me to think about what us dieters are going through. Because we are dieting, does that mean from now until we reach our goal, we are never allowed to eat a bag of Cheetos? Or drive through Taco Bell one day and order what we want? I think it is really risky to do that. But on the other hand, I know for myself personally that if I deprive myself of ALL good foods, I might completely crack one day!

I'm just trying to get people's opinions on this!
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Old 07-02-2010, 03:35 PM   #2
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When you can do it and still maintain your weight. And that will be different for everybody. I'm like you and don't entirely deprive myself, you just have to be careful. But I don't think I'll ever be able to just eat what I want...my body doesn't know what is good for it!
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Old 07-02-2010, 03:43 PM   #3
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Ok, I've been thinking about all of these types of posts a lot and I'm really sorry if any of what I'm about to say comes across harsh. To be successful at this you MUST change your lifestyle - diet's are temporary, but lifestyles are forever. Doing this takes TIME - a lot of it. It's take me 4+ years to get to where I am today. Now I regulary choose the healthier options on the menu because this is what I want to eat. Do I splurge occassionally on a truly decadent dessert - absolutly. Do I do it everytime I go out to eat - absolutly not. Do I feel guilty when I choose it eating the decadent dessert - not anymore. Do I see flucuations on the scale when I eat a decadent dessert - sometimes. You've heard it before - moderation and balance. If you eat that decadent dessert (or Taco Bell or whatever), well then you'll need to lighten up the next day or maybe even the next couple of days. I really feel like the 90 some percent of people who lose weight gain it back because they never truly understand this concept. They are on a diet and once the diet is over they go back to their old ways. So anyway that's just my two cents...sorry if it came across badly, I've just been a little frustrated with the multitude of "cheating" posts lately.
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Old 07-02-2010, 03:47 PM   #4
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I don't understand what you mean by "allowed" or "not allowed." Who do you think is making up the rules? Who do you think is enforcing them?

You are "allowed" to do whatever the heck you want to do. However, if you eat more calories than you burn, you will not lose weight. If you eat fewer calories than you burn, you will lose weight. Really, that's the only rule (medical conditions excluded).

For me, personally, I aim to eat an average of 1700 calories per day. Many days I eat 1500 or 1600. Then, occasionally, I will eat 2200. It averages out to 1700 over the course of a week or a month. So I eat slightly under my target most days so I can "allow" myself a dinner out, or a dessert, etc, on occasion.
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Old 07-02-2010, 03:52 PM   #5
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Well, you're seeing a lot of mixed opinions because people are all radically different, with different plans and goals. It's nearly a proven fact at this point that weight loss is all about burning more than you eat. For some people this means they can eat cheesecake till they're at their limit and be fine. For others, that cheesecake could start a binge, send you in to craving mode, cause your body to burn less efficiently, etc. Then you have the question of, if you could do so, would you want to? A lot of people are losing weight for health as well as looks, but everyone is doing that to varying degrees. I want to be healthy, but I also want to enjoy life, and as much as my tastes have changed to the more healthy side, I'm always going to enjoy the occasional Dorito.

Personally, the only food I have to avoid is sugar. Everything else is fine.

So, there's my answer. Everyone is different. Novel, I know.
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Old 07-02-2010, 03:53 PM   #6
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Do you really think 'cheetos' and 'anything at taco bell' is GOOD food?

What are bad foods in your mind? Anything 'healthy'?

When I started at my highest weight, my priority was getting my food right and my exercise right. So I cut out all processed foods and the junk. I experimented with veggies and lean meats. I learned to feed my body healthy foods and I learned to love healthier foods and although there are splurges here and there, they are rare and portion controlled.

I absolutely love the food I eat every day and I absolutely love veggies. It didn't happen from day 1 but it became a learned behavior for me.

As for cheetos and taco bell, those aren't things that I would consider anywhere in the realm of good foods. And in fact, I used to love taco bell bean burritos, I didn't have them very often but I liked having them once in a while. Last year, on a road trip, I decided to go to taco bell which I hadn't been in probably 4 or 5 years. I had a taco bell bean burrito and the sad thing is it didn't even taste that good and afterwards my stomach hurt. You know what I did like? the sauces and the burrito was just a transport food for the sauces.

I should also say, you are just starting, hamburgers, fries, ice cream, cheetos, taco bell, etc aren't going anywhere. If it helps, tell yourself you are putting your health first and learning to live with healthier foods but if for some reason a few weeks from now, you want this or that that you can have it in a portion controlled manner. I will say if you continue to eat calorically high foods in large quantities you will continue to either stay the weight you are at or gain. What is more important to you? Do you want to lose weight or do you want to continue eating the same foods you eat now?
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Old 07-02-2010, 03:55 PM   #7
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I think this will be a personal question and the answers will vary for every person.

I don't eat bags of cheetos or Taco Bell. Ever.

Even at maintenance, I have an internal calculator that helps me make these decisions.

Just using Cheetos as an example (not to pick on Cheetos, just an example). I honestly never LOVED Cheetos. They taste "okay" to me. Even though they just taste "okay" they are a hard food to stop eating for me (like chips, cookies, crackers). I can live the rest of my life in perfect happiness without ever eating another Cheeto.

My formula for "should I eat Cheetos even every now and then?" would look like this:

How much do I like it? Just a little bit
How many calories does it have? A lot for what you get.
Is it good for me? No.
Is it a sentimental food? No.
Does this food come in a multi-serving container and is it a hard food to stop eating? Yes/Yes
Am I starving and there is literally nothing else around to eat? No.
Based on this calculation, Cheetos are NOT WORTH IT for me.

Let's try the formula with something I DO love - chocolate molten lava cake (with that rich gooey center).

How much do I like it? Love it!!! One of my favorites.
How many calories does it have? Astronomical.
Is it good for me? No.
Is it a sentimental food? It can be, in a restaurant setting - it adds to a perfect evening.
Does this food come in a multi-serving container and is it a hard food to stop eating? No/Yes
Am I starving and there is literally nothing else around to eat? No (unlikely for molten lava cake)
In this case, the ratio of loving it to calorie amount makes this a SOMETIMES food.

If I'm going to eat something with a high calorie count (which may result in a week's super careful eating to get back to where I want to be) it has to be WORTH IT. Some foods, occasionally are worth it. Some foods, will never be worth it. Some foods (like nuts) are okay because their nutritional value is so high, their high nutritional value per serving makes them worth it. Some foods are out, because they are just too hard to stop eating (Wheat Thins, Oreos, crackers, chips, cold cereal, pretzels).

On a day to day basis, I fill my days almost 100% with low calorie whole foods that I love eating and look forward to eating. Even without a lot of treats, I don't feel deprived on a day to day basis. I do not feel like I'm hanging by a thread, or going to crack in any way. Sometimes, I do have to remind myself that at my heaviest, when I was eating whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted - I was not happy. The taste of food could not make me happy, it was ephemeral, my heavy body was the reality every second of the day. I tell myself "you had your chance to eat scones and muffins and pizza and cheesey nachos and half a loaf of sour dough bread with my pasta and Taco Bell and Hershey bars and big bowls of ice cream with chocolate syrup - HOW WAS THAT?" and I think, it sucked. I don't want that.

I do have indulgences, once a week I go to a nice restaurant - drink a glass of wine, order an entree that is probably more than I would normally eat (but not off the charts) and split a dessert.
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Old 07-02-2010, 03:56 PM   #8
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For me this is a lifestyle, not a diet to go off of once I hit goal

If I want something that isn't to me considered healthy (I don't really eat much processed junk), I weigh the options of how bad I want it and do I want to spend the calories/points on it. Sometimes it's worth it but mainly to me it's not. I know what I can't control myself with (i.e. cake) and I know not to keep it in the house. You might think I'm depriving myself (and my family...we all eat the same way. My kids are 9,6 & 4) but there are so many healthy alternatives that we're happy with.

Instead of dwelling on what you can't have, explore your food options with an open mind. Negative thinking = negative consequences!
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Old 07-02-2010, 03:56 PM   #9
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First of all, dieting = failure. You need to make permanent lifestyle changes to be successful. So to answer your question, feel free to eat anything and everything you want if you don't want to be successful. Some can do this once and get back on track. For some its a downhill road to more and more eat what you want episodes and weight gain. I plan what I am going to eat, I do go out to dinner 2 or 3 times a week, I enjoy my meals and I'm losing weight.
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Old 07-02-2010, 04:03 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by QuilterInVA View Post
First of all, dieting = failure. You need to make permanent lifestyle changes to be successful. So to answer your question, feel free to eat anything and everything you want if you don't want to be successful. Some can do this once and get back on track. For some its a downhill road to more and more eat what you want episodes and weight gain. I plan what I am going to eat, I do go out to dinner 2 or 3 times a week, I enjoy my meals and I'm losing weight.
This, 100%. Hate to sound rude, but you can't always get what you want. You can't eat crap and lose weight.

I think you need to ask yourself: do I really want to lose weight? Or am I just saying I am and putting 10% effort in to make myself feel better?

Not saying that to be rude at all- but it's something we all have to ask ourselves. What's more important? That bag of cheetos, or being healthy and looking great? There has to be a limit. Supporters can only take you so far, you have to be willing to put in the effort.

Like I said, I'm honestly not trying to be rude or anything, but IMO you don't seem like you're 100% committed to this. Yeah it's hard (boy is it hard), but I look at it this way:

I'm 20. I have about 30lbs to lose. I'd really like to get control of it now, so I can spend my 20s thin healthy and happy, and not have to lose 100 or even more in a couple years, just for those bags of cheetos and those ice cream sundaes.
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Old 07-02-2010, 04:04 PM   #11
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Well, let's face it - No, none of us should probably ever eat a whole bag of cheetos again. We never should have in the first place. One of the mini, individual sized bags? Sure, whatever. The family sized bag? No. Not at all.

But everyone follows different guidelines, rules, strategies, mindsets, etc. Some people will never go for the cheetos again, because they lack nutritional value and some people don't see the need to eat food that doesn't actually fuel their body. Others will still eat the cheetos, but not nearly to the same extent, and not as often as they had prior to weight loss efforts.

As others have said, this isn't really a diet. It's a change in your life - Or at least, it is if you plan to keep the weight off. I think many people have the misconception that once your at your goal weight, nothing bad can happen. You will magically become one of those people who can eat anything and never gain an ounce. This simply isn't the case! You still have to work to maintain that weight - It's just slightly different work from when you're working to lose, as far as I can tell.

Yes. I think that most of us here would say that we indulge from time to time. I think people are getting way too caught up in what people are calling it - I Don't care if you call it a cheat, or an on plan cheat, or a treat, or an indulgance - Who cares!? In the end, it's all food. And all food has some kind of impact on you in some way or another. The kind of food changes the impact, sure, but it is ALL food. But the point is, those things that are "bad" for us, or that people call "off limits" or "cheats" or whatever... They are still around. And some of us, certainly not all, but some, are going to feel inclined to go back to those things now and then. It happens. We're human. But along with the fact that we're human comes the ability to exercise some self control and limit ourselves. Mini bag of cheetos vs. Family sized bag. Things like that. And we also have to realize we can't reach for the cheetos every time we want to - Or we won't ever get anywhere. Self control. It's a beautiful thing.

I don't even know if this even makes sense anymore. Each paragraph should, though. Sorry for the length, but I've been following all of these posts from the shadows and it's just amazing to me what people ar getting caught up on the last couple of days!
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Old 07-02-2010, 04:06 PM   #12
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Okay..... I'm beginning to regret even starting this thread. It is being overanalyzed to death. I don't mean to be harsh. I just want everyone who reads this thread to understand that "Cheetos and Taco Bell" were JUST AN EXAMPLE, PEOPLE! I KNOW they aren't good for you!! I'm not PLANNING to eat that today along with that cheeseburger that I ate two days ago! I did FINE yesterday, and I ran. Got right back on track like everyone told me to! I am a little frustrated that a simple discussion topic to draw out people's opinions turned into everyone thinking that I am gonna eat Cheetos tonight and that I think it's good for me. lol this is just a HYPOTHETICAL discussion topic.

Yes, I do appreciate each and every bit of advice you all have given me. Please do not think I am being disrespectful. I completely understand all of your opinions on the matter. I just wanted to clear that up!
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Old 07-02-2010, 04:08 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by neveragainbabe View Post
Okay..... I'm beginning to regret even starting this thread. It is being overanalyzed to death. I don't mean to be harsh. I just want everyone who reads this thread to understand that "Cheetos and Taco Bell" were JUST AN EXAMPLE, PEOPLE! I KNOW they aren't good for you!! I'm not PLANNING to eat that today along with that cheeseburger that I ate two days ago! I did FINE yesterday, and I ran. Got right back on track like everyone told me to! I am a little frustrated that a simple discussion topic to draw out people's opinions turned into everyone thinking that I am gonna eat Cheetos tonight and that I think it's good for me. lol this is just a HYPOTHETICAL discussion topic.

Yes, I do appreciate each and every bit of advice you all have given me. Please do not think I am being disrespectful. I completely understand all of your opinions on the matter. I just wanted to clear that up!
Well, sorry, but it is a weight loss forum. Sometimes things get lost in translation. Looks like that happened here. If the thread is frustrating you that much, just stop looking at it, or ask for it to be removed (can we do that on here? I'm not very forum-savvy). I don't think anyone's trying to attack you or anything, I guess people are really passionate lol.
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Old 07-02-2010, 04:10 PM   #14
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I would like to suggest that "eating what I want" is how just about everyone here became obese. Isn't it? Did we really get up to that weight by binging on asparagus, broccoli, chicken breasts? I didn't think so.

So if by "eating what you want" you mean ordering just anything you like at a fast food place, based on your own habits--no, that's not going to fly. At least not very often.

I do eat Taco Bell occasionally for lunch. I have two crunchy Taco Supremes. That's it. 440 calories, and not very filling, but if I have to have it, that's what I get.

However, keep in mind that "eating what you want" is going to change the longer you stay on your new lifestyle of healthy eating. You won't like those foods anymore.

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Old 07-02-2010, 04:12 PM   #15
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We are using the examples you gave us. The real point is your examples are calorically dense food with little nutrition value. Which means for me, as someone who wants to lose weight and be healthy, those types of foods are very rare for me and the food I do eat on a daily basis is food I love.

Not only you, but anyone who wants to lose weight needs to heavily limit calorically dense food in their eating plan. It helps when you learn to explore and find foods you love that are also healthful and give you more caloric bang for the buck.
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