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A Cheat Day-- I want to but I'm scared.

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Old 04-12-2011, 11:12 AM   #1
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Default A Cheat Day-- I want to but I'm scared.

Hi everyone, just wondering what thoughts were about "Cheat Days."

I have been following Jorge Cruise's Belly Fat Cure since March 1, 2010. I have had GREAT success on this plan. This is why I'm scared.

The plan allows for 15 grams of sugar per day and 6 servings of carbs. I'm at a comfortable weight right now. I would like to get lower, but slow and steady.

I am thinking of allowing myself a cheat day once per financial quarter. Jan-March, April-June (I'm an accountant, this is how I think), because once a month is just too much for me.

The thing is, I'm terrified!! I am in the utmost control of my eating, and I don't want to lose it. However, I would love to have a chocolate covered strawberry at Easter brunch and a bite or two of cake at my friend's wedding in August.

Am I nuts? Do other people do this? What are the consequences?

Thanks ladies and gents in advance!
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Old 04-12-2011, 11:33 AM   #2
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everything in moderation and you'll be fine.

if it's one or two dipped strawberries (not the whole pile), or one piece of cake (not 5) then you should be okay. i'm not sure how you measure in your diet plan, but if you go over on sugars/carbs, and get right back on plan the next day... does it affect you significantly? or maybe just a pound of water gain that will drop off within a couple days?

i'm not anywhere near close to being at my goal, actually i've just started. but i do allow myself a treat now and then, and the scale is still moving downward at a fairly steady pace. if you can 'cheat' without triggering a succession of binges and then regain, go for it and enjoy the cake
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Old 04-12-2011, 11:44 AM   #3
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My plan is not nearly as strict as yours so I have no problem incorporating a bite (or full slice) of cake here or there. I calorie count and sometimes that slice of cake, slice of pizza, etc fits into the daily caloric allotment, sometimes it puts me over. I overall am running a good caloric deficit though and exercising a lot, so that's what matters to me. I can't say whether or not a bite of cake will throw your plan off, since I'm not familiar with that specific diet or low-carb diets in general, but I do hope you're able to enjoy special occasions without worrying too much. Temporary increases in weight from sodium intake or eating a little more on a special vacation or event for me are totally worth the experiences and not worth stressing out over, in my opinion
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Old 04-12-2011, 12:00 PM   #4
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Are you worried about the extra calories or the extra carbs? Either way, i believe in cheat days, and not just for enjoyment purposes, but they can actually benefit you in weight loss. Do some research on carb-up days if you are restricting carbs--carb-up days may make you gain water weight temporarily, but once you immediately go back to low-carb, it helps you lose faster. And aside from carbs, i believe a higher calorie day once in a while benefits people restricting calories too--it doesn't make you gain that much weight but once you go back to the lower calories, it kind of shocks your body and you lose faster. This is my theory and what i've experienced.

And personally, i would eat the entire slice of cake I don't mean to be a bad influence...but if i'm going to have a cheat day, i'm going to enjoy it.
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Old 04-12-2011, 12:17 PM   #5
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Please don't set yourself up with an unsustainable lifestyle. Life is about flexibility and adapting yourself to the moment, not trying to bend every moment to conform to you.

You have found something that works for you (and that is GREAT!!), but you can't live in fear of deviating from it a bit every now and then.

Think about it, you are worrying over a couple of strawberries and a piece of cake that you might eat months from now. Your body is not suddenly unable to handle a teeny bit sugar or non-plan carbs. You have lived your whole life consuming them, and while you might not have felt the best, and was at a weight you didn't like, it's not like you were at death's door or anything.

I do IF, and I do it pretty religiously. (I know you do too ) My family knows my eating window, etc, but I leave a space in there for real life to happen. I give myself 'get out of jail free' cards of sorts, and can randomly have a couple days a month where I don't follow the eating window.

A few weeks ago my pregnant SIL was having a really tough day and just wanted to set down and eat lunch somewhere. I didn't say "no, I don't eat till 4pm and you know it", I just realized it was an important moment and relaxed and enjoyed my lunch. Could I have said, 'no you eat, I'll go with you and drink unsweet tea'? Yes, I could have, but my diet is only part of my life, and I refuse to allow it to take over my life and make everything else conform to it.

I have to live and you do too.

Let's face it, our families and loved ones have to put up with a lot when we are on these diets. Sometimes it's important to do little things that show them we care for them too. It's not just about them supporting us, it's about us showing them that we love and care for them too, and recognizing how much they put up with. Sometimes that requires us showing them that we are willing to break our little absolutes, just because they are so important.

One strawberry. One piece of cake. One lunch with less than perfect ingredients. These are all so abstract and small within the overall view of things.

You've dieted like you have to give yourself CONTROL of your life, NOT to lose control by living in fear of the smallest things. You have earned that.

Live life to the fullest, and enjoy every moment!
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Old 04-12-2011, 12:17 PM   #6
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I think becoming comfortable with this is part of the journey.

I went from 5'5 and around 165lbs to 5'5 and around 110lbs. Underweight. I am now back up to around 128ish but with an athletic physique. That journey took several years.

When we were overweight and then lost that weight, and still wanted to be smaller despite being at the lower end of normal, we sort of go from one extreme to another. At 110lbs, I was TERRIFIED of gaining back the weight and getting fat again, to the point where my reasoning became rather arbitrary (2 bites of a cake at a wedding... to fear this, is somewhat irrational would you say?)

It's not the cake you fear, it's derailing your progress if you give up what you think is complete control. Part of the maintenance journey is allowing yourself to have complete control without arbitrary restrictions and irrational restrictions. To live life in moderation. This is the part of maintenance that manys truggle with and why people say maintenance is harder.

Realistically, you will get older, maybe have babies (not sure your situation or age?), and life is not something that can be so strictly controlled. You realistically will not be following Jorge's plan until your deathbed (as an old lady!). My suggestion, now at 5'6 and 127lbs, is that you focus less on strict rules & control, and focus more on how to incorporate "LIFE" into your plan. This doesn't mean binging or 'losing control', but how to realistically feel OKAY and COMFORTABLE with an easter chocolate or a whole slice of wedding cake.

Good luck I am only NOW comfortable with this, 7 years since the day I chose to lose weight.
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Old 04-12-2011, 12:19 PM   #7
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And Katydid77, I agree 100%.

"You've dieted like you have to give yourself CONTROL of your life, NOT to lose control by living in fear of the smallest things. You have earned that."
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Old 04-12-2011, 12:27 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sacha View Post
And Katydid77, I agree 100%.

"You've dieted like you have to give yourself CONTROL of your life, NOT to lose control by living in fear of the smallest things. You have earned that."
You guys are so right! I think I'm just afraid to mess with a plan that is already REALLY flexible. I mean, I've fit it into every holiday, birthday, wedding that I've been to in the last year. I eat this way instinctively now.

I don't track my food anymore, I just KNOW if things fit into my food day or they don't.

I need to just TRUST myself to eat whatever I want four (planned) days a year.

Thank you for the help!
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Old 04-12-2011, 12:29 PM   #9
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I'm not really familiar with Jorge's plan but I do think that at this stage of the game, you can really start to trust yourself to incorporate 'life' in general. March 2010-now is over a year, I think it's no longer your plan but just your intuitive way of doing it. Go have fun! It's not a fallback, it's part of the journey, to feel comfortable to do so.
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Old 04-12-2011, 12:35 PM   #10
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Quote:
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I'm not really familiar with Jorge's plan but I do think that at this stage of the game, you can really start to trust yourself to incorporate 'life' in general. March 2010-now is over a year, I think it's no longer your plan but just your intuitive way of doing it. Go have fun! It's not a fallback, it's part of the journey, to feel comfortable to do so.
Congrats on getting this far and being comfortable, Sacha!!

You're right, I need to let go a little, two bites of cake is ridiculous!!!!!!!! I will see how it goes on Easter. Then Monday, I will go back to my normal foods. I think I'm more scared of the tummy ache I will have if I eat a whole piece of cake!
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Old 04-12-2011, 01:14 PM   #11
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I've eaten a cheat MEAL about once per week since Sept '10, and I've lost consistenly.

That said...while I don't think that an entire CHEAT DAY will derail months worth of efforts, I don't agree with the mindset that it creates. I much rather feel having a CHEAT MEAL is mentally healthier. An entire day of cheating could lead to gorging/bingeing...whereas a CHEAT MEAL is just one meal...the rest of the day is spent eating on plan.

In any event...ENJOY!
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Old 04-12-2011, 01:47 PM   #12
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I've eaten a cheat MEAL about once per week since Sept '10, and I've lost consistenly.

That said...while I don't think that an entire CHEAT DAY will derail months worth of efforts, I don't agree with the mindset that it creates. I much rather feel having a CHEAT MEAL is mentally healthier. An entire day of cheating could lead to gorging/bingeing...whereas a CHEAT MEAL is just one meal...the rest of the day is spent eating on plan.

In any event...ENJOY!
I'm excited that this works for you!! I guess I just know myself, and I know that I don't eat square 'meals' every day, and that I would probably streeeeeeeeeeeeeeetch a meal into a few hours.

However, if I wake up and it's "Sugar Day" as I'm going to call it, then from when I get up, to when I go to bed, or midnight is when it's ok to eat something that is off-plan. Next day is on plan until next quarters planned Sugar Day"

Thank you for all of the support and comments!
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Old 04-12-2011, 01:56 PM   #13
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I think it is really crucial for you to realize that Jorge is a great marketer and not a dietary mastermind.

You've lost a lot following his diet because of calorie restriction not because of his plan and the magic it causes no matter what his book says.

It's not cheap but since you're an accountant you might like the scientific viewpoint of Lyle McDonald's Flexible Dieting and certainly it would free you from your restrictive way of thinking.
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Old 04-12-2011, 02:14 PM   #14
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OPinion from someone who has done cheat days for 4 months.

I was terrified to do a cheat meal at first too. I don't do DAYS... I do a cheat MEAL. I actually still try to stay within my calorie limit of 1500 calories. I do a cheat meal every 2 weeks unless I have deviated from my eating plan. If I have deviated from my eating plan then I wait two weeks from the deviation. My cheat meals have been mainly hamburgers with a bun or 2 slices of pizza with bacon and beef toppng. Several times I have missed my cheat day becasue I splurge on silly things like a nighttime bowl of cereal or cookies or Valentines Chocolate.

I have not gained any extra weight from my cheat meals. I may go up a pound the morning after but then I might drop a couple the second or thrid day.

The "cheats" that negatively impact my weight loss are the ones when I have lost control and had 2 bowls or cereal, 2 snack bars and cookies all at once.

I controlled cheat meal is refreshing and rewarding... out of control cheating just makes you feel BAD!
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Old 04-12-2011, 02:38 PM   #15
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You've lost a lot following his diet because of calorie restriction not because of his plan and the magic it causes...
But then again...isn't this the same with ALL diet fads? I just think people feel more "comfortable" with certain ways of eating (i.e. IF, Atkins, etc.) Bottom line...as most of us here have figured out...it's calories in vs. calories out (this barring genetics, macros, etc.)

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I controlled cheat meal is refreshing and rewarding... out of control cheating just makes you feel BAD!
Aint dat the truth RUTH! WELL SAID! My cheat meal is usually upwards between 800-1000 calories (NO DESSERT!) I could only imagine the disaster of me having an entire DAY of that..haha!
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